Why do we learn about history when it is in the past?

We learn about history, so we can attempt to make the present and future a better place to live. By learning about our past we can make better choices and not make the same mistakes twice. And we also learn about ourselves and how we can, perhaps make history.

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We try to reconstruct the past so that we can understand the present and plan for the future. If the dramatic stories of the past, in themselves, do not interest a student, and if a student has no desire to understand the present or to plan for the future, then I suspect that no answer to the question will be good enough.