Remembering Historical Dates and Appointments

(This blog will be much more meaningful having read the following blogs: “Remembering Numbers,” “More on Remembering Numbers,” and “Three Digit Numbers.”)

 Some years are easy to remember, when Columbus discovered America for example.  In 1492 Columbus sailed the ocean blue is likely the mnemonic you used to learn the year.  An image of Columbus on his ship embedded in a large TiRe BuN is another mnemonic using the consonant sound system.  Most every American knows the year the Declaration of Independence was signed, 1776.  But fewer Americans can recall the year that the Constitution was written, 1787.   TaCK FiG is a recoding for 1787.  You could imagine a tack being driven through a fig into a copy of the Constitution.  Most everyone knows the years for World Wars I and II, but what about the Mexican-American War?  It ran from 1846 to 1848.  DoVe RiCH DiVe RooF (a rich dove diving from a roof into a unit of Mexican soldiers).  What about the Spanish-American War?  The Spanish-American war took place in 1898.  DoVe BeeF (a dove having a beef with a Spanish soldier).  It took place between April and August, but we shall get to months later.   What about the Korean War?  This war raged from 1950 to the signing of a cease fire in 1953.   You could imagine a TuB of LiCe and a TuB with a LaMb on a hill in Korea.   And that War in Viet Nam?   With respect to American involvement, this war ran from 1959 (TaBLe Bow) to 1975 (ToP CLay), when the North Vietnamese entered Saigon.  You could imagine a table with a bow on it on top of a mound of clay in Viet Nam.

I taught my wife this trick when she was studying Art History in graduate school.  She found it quite helpful in remembering historical dates.  It has obvious uses for remembering numeric pin numbers and passwords, phone numbers, and for credit card numbers, to name just a few.

Now let’s consider the 12 hour clock.  Here you can use only the numbers 1 through 12 and indicate AM and PM with some sort of image.  For example, you could use the sun or a rooster to denote AM, and the moon in a dark sky to indicate PM. 

            Using numeric peg words for 1 through 12 we have

1          Dye

2          kNee

3          hoMe

4          haiR

5          Lye

6          Chow

7          Key

8          hooF

9          Bow

10        Dice

11        ToT

12        TuNe

 Now the half hour can be handled by adding MouSe (30) to each of the above hours.  You can do this to any level of precision desired by simply adding appropriate numeric pegwords.            

Suppose you want to remember the day of the week for a particular appointment.  This can be done by numbering the days of the week and using the corresponding pegword.  That is,

Sunday            1          Tie

Monday           2          Noah

Tuesday           3          Ma

Wednesday     4          Rye

Thursday         5          Law

Friday              6          SHoe

Saturday          7          iVy

 So suppose you have a dental appointment at ten o’clock Tuesday morning.  As your dentist does not have evening hours, you can dispense with either the AM/PM distinction or with the 24 hour clock.  So you would form an image of Ma playing DiCe at your dentist’s office.  Or suppose you wanted to remember your son’s baseball game being played at 2 on Saturday.  Again, you can dispense with AM/PM considerations.    You could form an image of your son playing baseball standing in iVy up to his kNee. 

Or suppose you needed to remember that you were meeting your wife after work at 6 on Thursday for dinner.  You could form an image of your meeting your wife for dinner at a Law office, having Chow.

 © Douglas Griffith and, 2009. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Douglas Griffith and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


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