When I began writing The Abraham Lincoln Blog a little more than two years ago, it was with the goal of sharing my interest (some would say obsession with) in Lincoln with anyone who might stumble upon the blog. Little did I know that it would lead to new friendships with people from around the country.
One of my best new friendships is with Rebecca, the author of "My Adventures In History," a well-written and very entertaining blog about her experiences at historic sites across the United States. The photo above shows Rebecca, who lives in Idaho, sitting with a statue of Lincoln in his hometown of Springfield, Illinois. I first informed my readers of her blog back in December 2009. I thought I'd take this a step further and interview Rebecca so my readers can get to know more about her and her blog. Please drop by her blog and read through some of her posts. Her blog is one of my favorites, and I hope it will become one of yours, too. The interview begins in the next paragraph. (When your done reading her interview, please drop by her blog to read her interview of me. If you ever wanted to know about what makes me tick, here is a good place to start.)
Q: Please tell my readers a little about your blog, "My Adventures In History." What could readers expect to find?
A: My blog is all about sharing my passion for history as I discuss places I've been with historical significance, my favorite movies in history, television shows of interest and events I'm learning more about. I want my blog to be more than just dates and facts, but about the deeper effects of history, how it has affected the world today and even me personally.
Readers can find various kinds of topics in history covered on my blog. As far as topics are concerned, I mostly discuss those having to do with American history but my blog isn't limited to that. Readers can also find a variety of posts. I've done book and movie reviews, talked about my own historical adventures and places I've visited. There are posts about serious topics, TV shows, holidays we celebrate, even contests and humorous posts!
Q: While you're at it, please tell my readers a little about yourself, such as where you're from, your education background, etc.
A: I was born and raised in Idaho, more specifically in the Treasure Valley near the city of Boise. I went to school in Idaho and graduated high school here. I then went on to college, and after trying a couple of private schools, ended up at Boise State University. I graduated from BSU about three years ago with a Bachelor's Degree. In my spare time, when I'm not doing homework or working on my blog, I like to write, read all kinds of books, and spend time with friends and family. I also really enjoy traveling and have been to several countries outside the United States.
Q: I understand you may be embarking on a new educational path in life. What are you pursuing? What do you hope to end up doing for a career?
A: I just started pursuing a certification in Secondary Education to teach history and social studies at Boise State University. I am undecided right now if I want to teach either middle school or high school. Honestly, I'd really like to continue with my education after that and pursue a Master's Degree in history, so I can teach at the university level. I have a strong passion for history, and I love sharing it with others. I want other people to know that history is not boring. I personally have been in history classes where I've been bored to death, but it can actually be fun to learn and study!
Q: How long have you been blogging and what made you begin?
A: I've been blogging for a little over a year and a half now. I started back in the spring of 2008. The way I got started blogging is an interesting story. I've always been a huge history buff, and back then, I watched the History Channel a lot. It was something to do on my days off when I was working the night shift. I had the idea to start this blog after watching a show called "Battle 360" about the U.S.S. Enterprise in World War II. I wanted to share my thoughts about the show, so I started my blog, and that became the very first post. My blog has been and growing and evolving since then, and it's been really exciting for me to see!
Q: Have you always been interested in history? What triggered your interest in history?
A: I have been interested in history ever since junior high school, and that was over ten years ago! I remember first being really interested in U.S. history after watching the movie "Gettysburg," the one with Jeff Daniels and Martin Sheen. I wanted to know more about the Battle of Gettysburg and the Civil War after seeing that. It was then in junior high that I began to really find myself interested in history and learning more about it in class. I found that the more I learned in class, the more I wanted to study it on my own. After high school, I sort of lost my passion for history a little as I had to focus on studying other subjects, but it has always been there.
Q: What particular area (or era) of history fascinates you most? What person(s) from history most interest you?
A: The Civil War is my first love and probably will remain that way. It shaped so much of our country and what we see today. This country was much different before the war. I also like early American history American Revolution and the Founding Fathers, how they shaped the Constitution and set up the government. Honestly, it's hard to say what particular area of history fascinates me the most, because I seem to jump from subject to subject. One day, I'll find myself really interested in one topic, and I read all I can about that subject, then a few days later, I'm on to a new topic!
Of course, Abraham Lincoln has always been a person from history that I've been interested in for a long time. The Founding Fathers really interest me, including George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. Then just this last year I read a book that sparked an interest in John and Abigail Adams. I've also been interested in the Lewis and Clark Expedition, and major presidents and military commanders in American history.
Q: What other eras or areas of history hold a particular interest for you?
A: Well, military history, including the 20th century wars America has been involved in, has always fascinated me. Also, when I lived in Poland a few years ago, I learned a lot of Polish history. Many of the tragedies in Poland that happened in World War II are still visible there today, so a lot of places I went reminded me of that. Plus, this semester I am taking a class on Eastern Civilizations. I'm finding that really interesting, because I didn't learn a lot about that subject growing up. Most of my history classes in school have been on Western Civilizations and U.S. history.
Q: Since your blog is titled "My Adventures In History", please share with my readers some of your most memorable adventures. What are some of your favorite places you've ever visited, and why?
A: Just this last year, I visited some Civil War battlefields and historical places like Richmond, Yorktown, Colonial Williamsburg, and Springfield, Illinois where Abraham Lincoln lived. That was a very memorable trip. My favorite places I've visited on that trip were the Antietam Battlefield and Springfield. Visiting the Antietam Battlefield was incredible. It is such a peaceful place, yet during the Civil War, it was a scene of incredible carnage with over 23,000 casualties in one day. I have studied the battle in-depth, but actually going there helped me understand it in a much different way.
Springfield, Illinois is also one of my favorite places I've visited. I got to go with my family and even my grandma came a long with us. I'm really glad she got to see it! We went to the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library, Lincoln's house, and his tomb. I enjoyed seeing those places because it helped me understand how human Lincoln was. We saw the places where he played with his sons, where he shaved, the desk where he wrote. Then seeing the place where he's buried, it was pretty overwhelming.
Q: I admit to not knowing much about Idaho's history. What are some historical sites in Idaho you could recommend to someone like me, who has never been to your state? Why should anyone visit Idaho, other than for the sheer natural beauty?
A: Well, first of all, I would recommend visiting Idaho just for its sheer natural beauty! :) Idaho is very beautiful, especially in the mountains! Idaho is a great place to visit, especially if you love the outdoors. There are so many activities to do in all seasons, like snowboarding, camping, boating, hiking, fishing, and white water rafting. I could go on and on about all the possibilities! There are resorts, theme parks, art and cultural events, recreational parks, historical sites, and more.
Concerning historical sites, there are many museums to see all over Idaho. There are a few Oregon Trail sites in the state, like Three Island Crossing and the Old Fort Boise replica. I'd recommend seeing places like the Warhawk Air Museum in Nampa, the Old Idaho Penitentiary, and the Boise Train Depot. Of course, the historical towns and old mines are always fun too. In Northern Idaho, there are many historical sites having to do with the Lewis and Clark Expedition and the Nez Perce. Idaho actually has a lot of historical sites.
Q: Since my blog is entirely about Abraham Lincoln, are there any Lincoln connections to Idaho you could share with my readers? I notice that on your blog's homepage, you have a photo of a Lincoln statue. Would that statue happen to be in Idaho?
A: Yes, that Lincoln statue is in downtown Boise! This statue is the oldest one of Lincoln in the western United States. It was dedicated last year on Lincoln's birthday after being restored and moved to a new location right in front of the state Capitol. Lincoln actually has several connections with Idaho, but I'll just mention a couple. In 1863, Lincoln signed the bill that created the Idaho Territory and appointed the first territorial officers. Also, Lincoln met with the delegate from the Idaho territory, William H. Wallace, on the day he was assassinated and even invited Wallace to go to the theater with him that night. I have more information about the Lincoln statue and his connection's to Idaho on my blog too!
Q: If you could have dinner with any person from any time in history, who would you select and why? It can be a famous or obscure person.
A: That's a really difficult question! I'd probably say Abraham Lincoln first of all. He was such a fascinating person in American history, and I'd like to find out what he was really like as a person. We hear so much about him and how great a president he was, but I really want to know how great of a person he was firsthand! There are many people from history I'd like to have dinner with just to see what they were like in person!
Q: Since you obviously love history, you must read about it. What are some of your favorite books concerning history? Why did you like them?
A: One of my favorite history books that I read just this last year was John Adams by David McCullough. John Adams is one of the most overlooked of the Founding Fathers and this biography gave me a new appreciation and admiration for John and Abigail. McCullough is an excellent writer. Another one of my favorite books is Battle Cry of Freedom by James McPherson. The book is one of the most comprehensive ones I've read about the Civil War, and McPherson is one of my favorite historians too. It looks like an intimidating book, but it isn't boring at all. In fact, the writing style is actually engaging and exciting!
Q: What historical place or places would you most like to visit and why?
A: Well, on the top of my list of places I want to visit is Gettysburg and Washington D.C. I've wanted to visit Gettysburg since seeing the movie and because visiting a battlefield gives you a whole new understanding of what happened. I want to visit Washington D.C. to see all the monuments and museums and because it's an important place to our country as well. I also want to visit all the major battlefields of the Civil War and the American Revolution, including important cities like Boston and Philadelphia. There are so many historical places and museums I would love to visit.
Q: What do your family and friends say about your love for history?
A: My family has actually gotten used to my love of history now. In fact, my dad and my sister both share my love of history, but they aren't as geeky as I am! :) My friends don't say much about my love of history. It's kind of a rare thing for me to meet other people who love history as much as I do, but I'm sure I will meet other students at school who love history.
Q: Finally, please share with my readers your upcoming plans for your blog. Are you planning any new adventures?
A: I don't have any plans for new adventures in terms of traveling right now because of school. However, I've done a little traveling around my own state of Idaho in the last few months, so I have a few new posts about those adventures coming up. Also, going back to school to become a history teacher is an adventure itself, so I'll probably be posting about topics I'm studying as I go along! I have some book reviews, posts about Idaho history, some fun list posts, and more coming up on my blog in the near future. And I always appreciate when my readers give suggestions for new posts!
Thanks for your time, Rebecca!