Drawing the Lessons of History, Poster-Size

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Nineteen years ago, Peter Robyn’s 10-year-old son came home from school on a day that, for Mr. Robyn, will live in infamy.

It was Dec. 7, 1991, the 50th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, and Mr. Robyn asked his son if he had learned about the event in class. He was surprised when his son said no.

“My father served in World War II, and it was very important to him,” Mr. Robyn said. “That day should have been remembered.”

Fifteen years later, Mr. Robyn, 53, said he was obligated to do something about Americans’ indifference to their own history. He sold a landscaping business, which operated out of Wilton, Conn., reached the limits on his credit cards and spent more than $35,000 to try to make history more accessible to more people. To raise money for the project that has been his obsession for four years, he has worked jobs up and down the East Coast.

That project is HistoryStrips — poster-size timelines that feature colorful depictions of the bills, battles, politicians and patriots that have shaped the nation. Each strip chronicles a 50-year block of American history.....

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