July Display Highlight: Independence Day

July 5, 2021 – Alli Boyer, Adult Services

As we all know, July 4th holds quite a bit of significance in the timeline of American history. On July 4, 1776, what we now refer to as Independence Day, the Second Continental Congress all signed the Declaration of Independence, officially announcing the colonies’ separation from England.  

The timeline of the American Revolutionary War is a busy one, with conflicts starting as far back as 1765 with the passing of the Stamp Act, in which Great Britain imposed more taxes on the colonies. The first official battle of the Revolutionary War was at Lexington and Concord in 1775, and just over a year later the Declaration of Independence was signed. However, this doesn’t mark the end of the war. The Declaration of Independence only fueled King George III to regain control of the colonies. The war lasted until 1781, when the large British force surrendered at Yorktown. Another two years passed before the Treaty of Paris was signed in 1783, officially ending the Revolutionary War.

Interestingly enough, Independence Day wasn’t celebrated in America until after the War of 1812 (another skirmish with the British). In the late 1850s, though, many were beginning to question the freedom of everyone in America – especially with the practice of slavery still popular in the south and women’s inability to vote or own land. However, by the 1870s, the Fourth of July was the most celebrated secular holiday in America.  

Today, it is still one of the most celebrated holidays in America. Because it is in the middle of summer, Americans typically celebrate with a pool party, spending the day at a lake or beach, and then watching a firework display at night. While fireworks have been used in many countries for many centuries, in America, the Fourth of July firework display is supposed to represent the cannons going off in battle during the Revolutionary War. 

If you’re interested in reading about this time in American History, here are some titles featured on our Independence Day display in Adult Services:

Fiction:
I, Eliza Hamilton by Susan Holloway Scott
The Traitor’s Wife: A Novel: The Woman Behind Benedict Arnold and the Plan to Betray America by Allison Pataki
Someone Knows My Name: A Novel by Lawrence Hill

Nonfiction:
Desperate Sons: Samuel Adams, Patrick Henry, John Hancock, and the Secret Band of Radicals Who Led the Colonies to War by Les Standiford
Our Declaration: A Reading of the Declaration of Independence in Defense of Equality by Danielle S. Allen
Revolution Song: A Story of American Freedom by Russell Shorto
Constitutional Chaos: What Happens When the Government Breaks Its Own Laws by Andrew P. Napolitano

DVDs:
Turn: Washington’s Spies
A Spy Called James: The True Story of James Lafayette, Revolutionary War Double Agent
National Treasure

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