Disclaimer: This was originally published as a part of our Facebook page that remained empty for nearly 3 years. I’m from the Midwest, where we are taught that talking about yourself is not proper, so I apologize my humility has prevented me from doing this for so long. However, nowadays, it’s all about show and tell, so I guess it has become necessary. And since you all have taken the time to follow and read my content, I suppose you have a right to know who the hell I am. Someone once said something like, “if good men don’t do the work, bad men will.” So, without further ado, here is a short biography of me and “I love American History.”
My name is James C. Shively, my friends and family call me “J.C.” for short. My love for American History stretches much further back in time than the making of this Facebook page, and its corresponding website ILoveAmericanHistory.org. My passion for history goes back to my childhood, when my Great Grandmother bought a set of encyclopedias at a garage sale and gave them to my mother for my brother and I. Yes, I am old enough to remember the days when the internet did not dominate research and such a large collection of volumes were something to be proud about. A shame I no longer own these encyclopedias, they were stuffed in the garage and at some point thrown away.
As a child, I would run my fingers through these books, feeling as if the whole world, and everything in time was right in front of me. I quickly gained a liking to Benjamin Franklin, and soon began a quest to learn about him that continues to this day. I also become very interested in politics and leadership, as George H.W. Bush become president and three years later battled it out against Bill Clinton. I was a child glued to the television watching them debate one another. I quickly discovered, I was not of my parents breed, as I took on a very independent view on politics.
In High School, my parents gave me a rare opportunity for a kid that age; to gain experience as a Disk Jockey. Between their travelling Karaoke show, and opening a Teenage Dance Club called “Da Houze” I become a natural at MC. This lead to my entering a Vocational School Program for Digital Media (Audio/Video) Production (Formerly known as the Radio and Television program) my junior and senior year at the Mid-East Career and Technology Centers in Zanesville, Ohio. I entered this class with the hopes of gaining enough education to become a Radio Disc Jockey. In this High School role, I used what I was learning to make a series of short documentary films on Black History, and this led to a few awards for these projects. A shame in those days we had no such thing as “Youtube” or “Facebook” in which we could simply upload videos online. These films have since been lost to history as the only thing I was given upon graduation was a VHS with the work on it. Though I do still have the awards given to me for their production.
I also led the debate team in a school wide Presidential debate arguing for the re-election of George W. Bush over John Kerry. Though I admit four years following that, I jumped on the Barack Obama bandwagon and voted for him in the 2008 election. To this day, the more I read history, the more determined I am to keep an independent mind on politics. It is my belief that both political parties have at different stages in our history, contributed to the progress of our great nation. I believe compromise between the two parties gives us the best chance to remain the greatest nation on Earth. Though, that’s enough about my politics. I bring this up, only to make sure my followers know that I am not a party man, and keep an open mind to both sides, educating myself about what is going on across the entire political spectrum. I do not live in a political bubble, nor do I contribute to any echo chamber. If you are looking for someone to confirm your opinion and lambaste those with opposing opinions, I am not that guy.
After High School, I attempted to use my Vocational education to get a job in radio and was told repeatedly that I needed more education. At that time, college was not an option financially, so I took a job at a local warehouse were I excelled in gaining business experience through a few different promotions. This lasted for eight years, when I decided to go back to school feeling I had more to offer the world than I was currently giving it and feeling I could eventually do better than $11/hour. I entered Ohio Universities Electronic Media program, and chose to further my education by taking the multimedia track, which is photography, advertising, graphic and web design. I quickly found I could not bare college without taking some history classes, at which point I decided to pursue a Minor in History. I completed this program in 2016 with my minor.Which brings me to how “I Love American History” come about. After writing research essays for my history classes and creative writing classes, I began receiving encouragement from my professors, urging me to share my essays with others. Instead of fighting publishers and journals, I decided to simply self-publish, by creating a Facebook page and website. So, in 2015, “I Love American History” was established with the simple purpose of publishing my research. I quickly found these platforms were ideal for showcasing all of my education skills in content creation: research, graphic design, web design, writing, video production, and so on. The web has responded well to my content, and my following on this page has continued to grow since it’s creation. Which has made me want more to build a community where we can share conversations about controversial historical topics, and learn from one another while doing so. “I Love American History” is now a labor of love. However, it is my hope to eventually write about history for a living through books, essays,and blogs. I plan on also making more short documentary films to share with my followers.
After accomplishing both these goals: a Degree in Multimedia and a Minor in History, I decided to continue on for a Bachelor’s Degree in Applied Management, in pursuit of more education and experience in Business Management, Marketing, and Advertising. Even after receiving my minor, I continued picking up courses in American history to further my knowledge on the subject. I believe I have enough completed credit hours in history for an Associate Degree at institutions that offer them, but since my school did not, I am happily stuck with a minor. In the Fall of 2018, I received my Bachelors Degree in Applied Management, giving me a combined 8 years of completed higher education (Certification 2, Associate Degree and Minor 2, Bachelor’s Degree 4, 2+2+4=8). Officially making me an overly edjumucated person with an insatiable desire to learn more about American History.
Currently, I have a collection of other interests outside of ILoveAmericanHistory.org. I also have started a small Digital Marketing/Production Company (hometown-multimedia.com.) I am also the creator of “Advocate-Recovery.com” a platform to share the stories and creativity of drug addicts currently in recovery. I am an avid Cincinnati Bengals fan, and have a page called, “Bengals Meme’s” were we create and share football meme’s and talk football. James Corbett Photography and Videography is also a platform created to share my own freelance photography. I am a member of my local historic association, where I created and write for their website, “Guernseycountyhistory.com.” I also freelanced, and podcasted about politics and current affairs under the name “DeeJC” while in college, but have since taken down the website and blog connected to that profile.
ILoveAmericanHistory.org is currently done at my expense, however I would love to find someone who would like to write and help create content for this site. If you know someone who like to add a line to their resume, or simply loves history, and is qualified to create content in this subject; I would love to have someone help me write essays for our followers. You or they, can just send me a message and we can then begin to work out the details. Stay tuned, this page, and the website are only going to get bigger and better. And thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for following this page. You have given me a reason to believe, I should be doing what I am doing. You, help my two little boys, give me purpose in life.
Below are a few more of my academic achievements: