As the site name says, I love history. Beyond the normal (though accurate) platitudes about being doomed to repeat history if we don’t know it, I simply find it fascinating. Finding out the details in the lives of those that we usually only get a glance at that made our history makes them real and humanizes them for us.
Most evenings find me reading history or browsing through “This Day in History” sites researching for new information. When I’m driving, I’m listening to a History audio book. Several years ago I began to share my finds in a “Today in History” post each day on Facebook. Some things just have to be shared. To my surprise and delight, many of my friends have enjoyed the posts and have been very supportive. Many of my family and friends have encouraged me to expand to a broader audience, so at long last, here I am. It took awhile because I am not a professional historian (lets get that out of the way.) I am an avid, devout, amateur at this point. Some day I hope to change that if I can. For now my passion for History is quenched when I am not working and doing all of the things we worker bees do.
One of my pet peeves is revisionist history. Historians often believe they must re-write history to be relevant. Studies that look at lead deposits in the ground 150 years after the event and decide that their findings mean those who were actually there didn’t know what they were seeing annoy me. “Who are you going to believe, me or your lying eyes?” Of course those that took part in the events have their biases; and it is difficult to record an entire battle while you are fighting it. However, their first person accounts should not be discounted easily. I try not to judge those in History too harshly…only to learn about them and from them.
I really enjoy finding connections throughout history that most people don’t see. These are what I most enjoy sharing. One of my favorite examples is Francis Scott Key. He wrote the Star Spangled Banner for us, remember? Did you know that his son, Phillip Barton Key II became the District Attorney for the District of Columbia? In the midst of his duties he found the time to have an affair with the young wife of a Congressman named Daniel Sickles…somewhat of a whore monger himself…who shot Key dead in Lafayette Park across the street from the Executive Mansion (It wasn’t the White House until Theodore Roosevelt made it so.) Sickles was the first person in America to use the “temporary insanity defense” suggested by his attorney, Edwin Stanton. Sickles would become a Civil War hero (sort of…he was not a good commander) and Stanton would become Secretary of War for President Lincoln.
So. My intent is to share these tidbits that I find in my History explorations with you. I sincerely hope that you enjoy them as much as I do.