There was a study several years back that found a sizable number of people associate history with boredom.
Someone apparently committed "history" on them in high school, where they were hammered with dates and names until they lapsed into a catatonic state. The excitement of history was carefully removed and put in a jar in the janitor's closet.
Which brings me to a question that I'm tackling due to involvement with a local history group: How can we make a history museum more interesting?
Art museums can sell beauty and - let's be blunt - good taste by association. There's a certain snob appeal. The botanical garden is not peddling plants so much as events held in a beautiful environment.
History museums offer old stuff in a glass box.
What can we do to reach and excite our audience? I've got a few ideas but am interested in anything you might want to pass along.