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My Country Tis of Thee. Brittany Woodward, 2001.

[Detail] My Country Tis of Thee. Brittany Woodward, 2001.

Chronological Thinking: Distinguishing Between Past, Present, and Future Time

The interviews in the September 11, 2001, Documentary Project are not just oral histories. Most interviewees not only describe their experiences on September 11 and in the days afterwards but also provide opinions on the events and possible responses to them and make predictions about how life will change in the United States in the future.

In a group interview, a Harvard instructor and three students share their recollections of September 11. Listen to this interview and take note of (1) recollections of actual events/experiences that occurred on September 11 and later, (2) the participants’ opinions about various events, and (3) their predictions about future consequences of the terrorist attacks. Why is it important to distinguish between fact and opinion? Between past events and predicted future events?