Putting your own life in a historical context—comparing your life events to what was happening in the world or in your community at the time—can add great depth to your stories. Looking at historical events can also spark your own memories.
For instance, it might be interesting to find a copy of a newspaper from the day you were born. You may recall what you were doing when you heard that the president was shot or
that the war was declared to be over.
How did wars or other major world events effect you and your family? The Great Depression? World War II? The Korean Conflict? The Vietnam War? 9/11? Iraq, Afghanistan?
How did technological advances affect you: the telephone, the television, the personal computer, the internet? What societal changes have influenced your life: the Civil Rights Movement? The 1960s? The internet? Major events in your religion or community?
Much of the historical insights gained from the history of the American Revolution or the U.S. Civil War have come from the letters, journals, documents and memorabilia of "ordinary" people. Your insights and experiences may be, in the future, considered more significant than you regard them today.
Take a few minutes to add some historical elements to your life timeline. If any have significantly impacted your life, see if you can find a way to weave them into your stories.
Here are some sources that may help you: