One of my favorite places to visit is Charleston. The downtown area is filled with history with many of our former leaders having lived in this beautiful city. Many of the homes are architectural masterpieces with unique designs and floor plans. The homes converted into museums still carry many of the original furnishings.

Another unique feature of Charleston is its military academy, The Citadel. Originally founded as the South Carolina Military Academy, it consisted of the Citadel Academy in Charleston, originally located in Marion Square, and the Arsenal Academy in Columbia, South Carolina. The Arsenal was burned during the Civil War and never reopened.

Also interesting are fictional depictions of The Citadel. The campus is the backdrop for films and episodic television. Various characters are academy alumni. Pat Conroy based his novel The Lords of Discipline on his experience at The Citadel. In the Netflix series House of Cards, the character Frank Underwood is a graduate of The Sentinel which is inspired by The Citadel.

Although I live near the Air Force Academy, I have no firsthand knowledge of the college. As an undergrad, I met a cadet attending the academy. He talked about the strict and controlled environment and how he looked forward to finishing his degree and leaving. Because I never saw him again, I don’t know if he pursued a military career.

I find it interesting when establishments are used in fiction. Being the geek that I am, I have to research the institution. The older the institution, the more interesting it is to me. I like to imagine what the place had been like when it was first founded and then read about the institution during different historical periods. Those sorts of details fascinate me, though for many I’m sure they’re getting that glazed eye look.

If you’re like me and geek out about something most people would find dull, please share it. I’m always interested in learning new things.

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