Tuesday, August 23, 2011

History Just Around the Corner - A few random thoughts

When going on a road trip, there's always the possibility of running into something you didn't think about before your travels. Also, as I mentioned in a previous post, history tends to be just around the corner. I only say this fact, due to the reason that while me and my wife were heading for Nashville, Tennessee, a road sigh declared that Andrew Jackson's home, The Hermitage, could be found just off the next exit.... ironically enough, along Old Hickory Boulevard - Old Hickory being Jackson's nickname, due to his toughness and aggressive personality that produced a bunch of duels.

I look forward to visiting The Hermitage the next time I get the chance to, since Andrew Jackson is one of those historical figures that tends to really stand out, especially as a president. A few months ago, I became deeply interested in the Jacksonian Era - most especially the events surrounding the War of 1812. I've only had the chance to visit Abraham Lincoln's home in Springfield, Illinois, so I think it would be pretty interesting to visit another president's home.

Jackson on his horse outside the Tennessee State Capitol Building

One of my many goals in life that I've had since I was a scrawny little kid, has been to visit all the state capitals and see the state capitol buildings (the inside of them anyways to be more specific). So far, I've only had the chance of being in a very small handful of them and at each place, it's been a very fun and fascinating experience. I think the most interesting building that I've been to and thoroughly enjoyed walking around, has been to the Hawaii State Capitol Building - where the traditional rotunda found anywhere else, is fully open to the elements. Here are a few more facts about the capitol building, found via the World Wide Web:
  • The building is surrounded by a reflecting pool, symbolizing the Pacific Ocean.
  • The two legislative chambers are cone-shaped, symbolizing volcanoes that formed the Hawaiian Islands.
  • The columns around the perimeter of the building have shapes resembling coconut trees. There are eight in either side of the building, representing the eight main islands of Hawaii
The only downside to my trip to the Hawaii state capitol building was that there were no tours being offered the day I went. I could have went back another day, but it was the final full day that I would be on Oahu.

I'm hoping for my next state capitol building tour to be Wisconsin's. Surprisingly, I've lived only a hundred miles or so away from Madison all of my life and I have yet to step inside the place. I'm hoping to change that in the next couple of months or so - especially to see any signs of protesters that are still hanging out around the building, just to see what the fuss is all about. I'm sure it won't be like it was a few months ago when thousands jammed the hallways and rotunda and capitol grounds to protest the Governor and the state legislature.

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