But understanding what else was going on before and during his term is important. One needs to understand what was happening in the USSR and why the Berlin Wall existed. One needs to understand the conditions that paved the way for Reagan’s election. One needs a sense of the cause and effect that a historical timeline provides. I agree that memorizing the dates of a president’s term by itself doesn’t mean much, but understanding what came before and after it is crucial. History needs to be understood in its context.