History and the Case of Joe Paterno

The Historical Society: Rewriting History? The Case of Joe Paterno

While I am swamped, I came upon this blog post about Joe Paterno and the NCAA punishments leveled at his legacy. Has history been rewritten now that the NCAA retroactively rewrote their record books? Well, the historical record certainly can’t be rewritten! (Seriously, go to the Sports Illustrated online archive, none of the articles about Penn State’s victories have been redacted.)

Alan Bliss points out the dichotomy between the past (what happened) and history (how we interpret the past).  It is an important distinction.  Revisionist history is the constant state of the field.  New data, information, and interpretations are always coming to the fore.  Bliss makes an interesting comparison with Ballard’s discovery of the HMS Titanic.

Click the link above and read the brief, well-written post on history and its relationship with the past via the Joe Paterno scandal.


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