People often wonder why historians go to so much trouble to preserve millions of books, documents and records of the past. Why do we have libraries? What good are these documents and the history books? Why do we record and save the actions of men, the negotiations of statesmen and the campaigns of armies ?
Because, sometimes, the voice of experience can cause us to stop, look and listen. And because, sometimes, past records, correctly interpreted, can give us warning of what to do and what not to do.
If we are ever to create enduring peace, we must seek its origins in human experience and in the record of human idealism. From the story of the fortitude, courage and devotion of men and women, we create the inspirations of youth. From stories of the ancient cave dwellers right down to today's environmental activists, history records people's success, intelligence and strength. Surely from these records there can come help to mankind in our confusions and promote and in our desires for peace .
The supreme purpose of history is a better world. History gives a warning to those who would promote war. History brings inspiration to those who seek peace. In short, history helps us learn. Yesterday's records can keep us from repeating yesterday's mistakes. And from all these records, we can see the progress of mankind .