IV. The Importance of Various Pasts
Next, I'd like to ask you about some areas of the past that might be important to you.
Knowing about the past of which one of the following four areas or groups is most important to you:
<1> the past of your family
<2> the past of your racial or ethnic group
<3> the past of the community in which you now live, or
<4> the past of the United States?
Why is knowing about the past of [FILL-IN] important to you?
Besides the four I just asked you about, is knowing about the past of any other area or group very important to you?
(If necessary): Knowing about the past of which area or group is very important to you?
Additional Follow-Up Questions for Minority Samples
Respondents in our African-American, Mexican-American , and Pine Ridge samples were asked the following additional questions about the importance of various pasts:
Is the past of any other place in the world more important to you than the past of the United States?
How much of a common history do you think you share with other Americans? Would you say:
<1> A lot
<2> Some
<3> A little, or
<4> No common history?
Because of the expense and inconvenience to interviewees of very long interviews, we only asked the following questions of a (randomly selected) portion of our sample.
Many people believe it is important for our children to know about the past. What about the past do you think is important for children to know?
As you remember, we defined the past as everything from the very recent past to the very distant past, from your personal and family past to the past of the United States and other nations. With that in mind, what event or period in the past has most affected you?
What did you learn from that event or period?
Please name a person, either a historic figure or one from your personal past, who has particularly affected you.
What did you learn from that person?
In what ways do you think differently about the past now than you did when you were younger?

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