The Fourth of July, aka Independence Day, is surely the most iconic of American holidays. The official birthday of the United States has long been celebrated with fireworks and family gatherings but the day did not officially become a paid holiday for federal employees until 1941. A bit of background: on July 2nd, 1776, the Continental Congress voted in favor of independence from Great Britain and two days later delegates from the 13 colonies adopted the Declaration of Independence, which was drafted by Thomas Jefferson and edited by Benjamin Franklin and John Adams.
There’s no better vacation - or staycation - companion than a good book, a real page turner that you absolutely cannot put down. The books pictured below encompass a wide variety of styles and themes; the one thing they have in common is their ability to transport. Click on a book jacket to be taken to a catalog link.
“One benefit of Summer was that each day we had more light to read by.” Jeannette Walls
June is National Audiobook Appreciation Month, a celebration created by the Audio Publishers Association (APA) to acknowledge the significant role of audiobooks not only in the lives of busy people needing to multitask but also as an indispensable tool for the vision impaired and to advance literacy.
While many of us think of Mother’s Day and Father’s Day as twin holidays, the two celebrations had very different historical trajectories. Mother’s Day became a national holiday only seven years after it was first celebrated on May 10, 1907, in Grafton, West Virginia.
Juneteenth - a term combining June and nineteenth - is our newest national holiday and the first new federal holiday since the establishment of Martin Luther King, Jr., Day almost forty years ago.
Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month was established by the Federal Government thirty years ago to celebrate the many contributions of Asians and Pacific Islanders to the history and culture of the United States.
Billy Collins, U. S. Poet Laureate and the “most popular poet in America,” according to New York Times columnist Bruce Weber, wrote: “I’m a great believer in poetry out of the classroom, in public places, on subways, trains, on cocktail napkins. I’d rather have my poems on the subway than around the seminar table at an MFA program.” His argument that poetry is everywhere and that it is accessible to everyone is one of the reasons this literary form will always be an integral part of our lives and culture.
Sixty years ago, Rachel Carson’s book Silent Spring alerted us to the devastating impact of pesticides on the natural world. Her book was a wake up call, the spark that ignited the modern environmental movement. Silent Spring not only led to the 1972 banning of DDT but resulted in new government policies to safeguard our air and water. Eight years after the publication of Silent Spring, Earth Day was celebrated for the first time on April 22, 1970, by more than 20 million Americans passionately committed to protecting our planet.
Ah, March. Hope for the best, expect the worst. In this unpredictable month, anticipation often results in disappointment as winter refuses to say goodbye. On the other hand, March is an eventful month, containing the first day of spring, Daylight Savings Time and St. Patrick’s Day. But did you know that Read an EBook Week occurs in the first full week of March? This year we celebrate the convenience and ease of ebooks from March 6-March 12.
In 1987, Congress designated March as National Women’s History Month. Each year, the President issues a special Proclamation in recognition of the enormous contributions of women to every aspect of American life and culture, often while enduring great hardship and sacrifice. For Women’s History Month 2022, The National Women’s History Alliance is honoring caregivers and frontline workers.
Presidents’ Day, a Federal holiday which is celebrated this year on February 21, was originally established in 1885 to honor the February 22 birthday of first president, George Washington. Over time it also became associated with the February 12 birthday of 16th President, Abraham Lincoln. Thanks to the Uniform Monday Holiday Act, which created additional three day weekends for the country’s workers, the holiday will always fall on the third Monday of February but, ironically, never on the actual birth
February is Black History Month, an annual tribute to generations of African Americans whose invaluable contributions to this country were achieved in the face of tremendous adversity. Originally a week-long observance created in 1926 by Carter G. Woodson, the event was celebrated in February to acknowledge the birthdays of both Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass. In 1976, the celebration was expanded to a month by President Gerald R.
Nobel Peace Prize winner and visionary civil rights leader, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., died on April 4, 1968, but it took 32 years for a holiday honoring him to be recognized by all fifty states. Dr. King’s birthday was signed into law as a federal holiday in 1983 and took effect three years later on January 20, 1986. However, it was not until 2000 that all fifty states officially observed the holiday.
Our community is composed of avid readers. In 2021, however, reading became more of a passion than a pursuit, an escape from an unexpectedly tumultuous year. Reading is a subjective experience but inspiration can be derived from the choices of others. Have you ever been curious about the books your neighbors have selected this past year? Listed below are some of the titles of the books that have flown off our shelves most frequently. Click on the book jacket to be taken to the link.
“Think before you speak. Read before you think.” Fran Lebowitz