Friday, March 28, 2014

7 Questions with U.S. Senator Saxby Chambliss, Georgia

(Senator Saxby Chambliss was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1994.  Since his election in 2002, he has represented Georgia in the U.S. Senate. )

1. How and/or when did you get you hooked on history?

When I was 8 years old, my parents allowed me to stay up past 1 a.m. to see the results of the 1952 election when Dwight D. Eisenhower was elected U.S. president. Looking back, that moment sparked an interest in government, and politics, and history.

2. What role does history play or has it played in your personal life?

I have always admired the great leaders that came before me, and believe we can all learn from their wisdom as well as their mistakes. My upbringing and my personal history are the foundation of my success. I was taught important lessons of integrity and honesty early on, and I never forget that.

3. How is/How was history a part of your professional life/career?

History is something I rely on every day. Working in the United States Senate, we must look back at the history of our nation, our founding fathers, and the principles this nation was founded on to know which direction to take the country. I believe our nation’s first president, George Washington, was this nation’s greatest political leader.

4. Why is studying/knowing history important?

It is important to learn about our past and about those who came before us in order to see how their actions and decisions affected the course of history. History gives us the unique opportunity to learn lessons from the past, determine what actions led to certain outcomes, and then use this information to shape our future.

5. What is your favorite period or aspect of history to learn about and why?

The Revolutionary War period of Washington, Adams, and Jefferson is my favorite period of history because that is when the ideas of great men developed into the foundation of our country. Those ideas shaped the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, documents that are still the envy of the free world.

6. How can today’s students benefit from studying history?

Every time I meet with a group of young people I encourage them to read everything they can get their hands on, stay up to speed on current events, seek out the places around the world they find of interest. Most importantly, I always tell them to never forget their roots.  Learning about the past teaches our young people about the decisions that were made, as well as the benefits and consequences that may arise from the actions they take.  It also gives them a sense of their own past, which makes up so much of who we are.

7. What should Americans know about history and why?

Americans should remember that history gives us a sense of identity by learning who we are through where we came from.

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