Often when I start a personal history for a client, I create a simple timeline of their lives so I can relate their experiences to external events that have helped shape them. In fact, since I started writing personal histories, I've learned more about history & world events in general than I ever learned in school. I guess that personal connection makes all the history seem more real and significant.
Think about some of the elders in your group of friends and family. If they are old enough to have experienced WWI, the Great Depression, WWII and the atomic bomb, you can get some fabulous stories from them.
One of my dearest relatives has Alzheimer's disease, but I recently had an amazing conversation with her. She was "living" in the past almost 50 years ago. As I gently asked her questions about how she met her husband and the wedding dances they used to attend, I saw a side of her I had never seen before. She even giggled(!) when she said, "...then he came right over and asked ME to dance, instead of Rosie." It was a thrill to see her relive that experience.
So make it a point to go see an old friend or relative and ask them questions about what they remember. Don't wait too long, though. Our precious older generation is quickly fading away.