“Freedom lies in being bold.” ~ Robert Frost
July 4th, also known as Independence Day, is a festive holiday marked by many fun summer activities. Fireworks displays that light up the night sky in cities and towns across the country. Colorful parades featuring bands, floats, and patriotic themes. Communities organize events like fairs, races, and contests. Concert performances that celebrate American heritage and freedom. Of course, families and friends come together for picnics, barbecues, and outdoor fun. Some people also visit historic sites related to the American Revolution. Whatever your party plan, this year bring a raincoat or umbrella; rain is in the forecast.
With all the activity, it is easy to forget that on this historic date in 1776, the Second Continental Congress unanimously adopted the Declaration of Independence, signifying the separation of the 13 original colonies from Great Britain. While the Constitution provides the legal framework for the United States, the eloquent assertion in the Declaration, “all Men are created equal,” holds a special place in the hearts of the American people. Fireworks became a tradition the year on the first anniversary in 1777, with a 13-gun salute followed by a dazzling display lighting up Philadelphia’s night sky. By the 1870s, the Fourth of July had become the most significant secular holiday on the calendar. Congress officially declared it a federal holiday on June 28, 1870. Even in far-flung communities on the western frontier, people gathered to celebrate. This year, after the festivities, consider visiting your local library for free options—whether it’s picking up books, movies, or magazines, or exploring the various summer programs available. All are free with your library card. Need a card? All you need is ID and proof of address (such as a piece of mail) and we’ll get you a card—your ticket to library land.
“Libraries are about Freedom. Freedom to read, freedom of ideas, freedom of communication.” ~ Neil Gaiman, The View from the Cheap Seat