Genealogists need to have a working knowledge of major historical events in the geographic and political areas in which their relatives lived and should not be afraid to look up dates if they can’t remember them. It’s fine if your memory of dates falters–just use a reference to keep yourself straight.
Regional or local events are just as important to your research and may have actually had more immediate impact on your ancestor. There was a mine in upstate New York State that had labor unrest in the 1880s and 1890s. That matters if my relative worked in the mine.
Another county where relatives lived built a new courthouse around the turn of the 20th century. An uncle was strongly opposed based upon newspaper accounts. It took some newspaper reading to determine the probable reasons for his displeasure (the price and the failure of the county board to move the county seat to a town near where he lived). Those micro-events matter.
But I should not state that I know what the reasons were that my relative was opposed to the courthouse–because I don’t.
At least I don’t know for certain, but the background is helpful.