Excellent points, Ron. I found when I was in school Titus, that I had to do just what Ron said. I needed to make the learning something I enjoyed, even when some of it was so bland and dry, I thought I'd go mad.
The main trick I used was drawing. I had a good sized chalk board when I was young, and turned everything I had to learn into drawings and stories. I needed things to be visual, so it worked for me.
For your example, I'd have probably drawn a simple line ... like a timeline across the page or board, then at each date I'd write in, I'd draw something unique about the name or "thing" I had to remember - nothing fancy, just something visual and talk my way through it like it was a "story". I'd usually scribble it out on paper after I covered a few items, then would erase the chalkboard, and draw it again, then erase and draw again ...
When I took my tests, I could see the pictures still in my mind. It probably sounds silly, but I took that chalkboard with me to nursing in college. It fit under my bed, and I'd pull it out to study. I got all the girls on my dorm floor drawing out hearts and digestive systems, and well, you name it.
My chalkboard is long gone, but I still draw things out with a pen and paper at work when working through problems and training employees. Dull, boring concepts get circles, squares, arrows, and lines and the odd happy face, if nothing else.