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Liberty and Independence

Field trips can be educational, dull, or rather exciting. Since tomorrow is National Kissing Day, I wonder how many first kisses were received on school field trips. When I was growing up near Allentown, PA, all the school field trips, the Girl Scout trips, the church trips, etc., were always to the same three places: New York City, Washington, DC, or Philadelphia. We got to see Broadway shows, all the Smithsonian museums, and the Liberty Bell numerous times.

In 1835, on July 8, legend has it that the Liberty Bell was being rung at the funeral of Chief Justice John Marshall when it cracked. The truth is that it cracked and was recast twice before that. The purpose of the first bell was to summon lawmakers to legislative sessions and to alert citizens to public meetings and proclamations. This last bell was displayed outside Independence Hall in Philly for years. Since I last visited, it has been moved to the Liberty Bell Center in Independence National Historic Park.

Two books O, Say Can You See? and Red, White, Blue, and Uncle Who? both give the background and history of our American symbols. Check one of them out to learn more about our patriotic heritage. If you read about them to your children or grandchildren, they can count it as reading time on their charts. When those charts are completed, bring them to Jamestown Library to choose their prizes.

We all celebrated our country’s birth yesterday. Whether you call it the Fourth of July or Independence Day, this national holiday is our most important. Our freedom was hard fought and hard won, from our mother country England. The English king thought the rebels were bad children that needed some discipline. The patriots thought they were mature adults, able to rule themselves. With the help of some French, we became the United States of America, declaring our independence on July 4, 1776. The Liberty Bell did not ring on that day, but did ring four days later when the document was read to the public.

If you are still in the celebration mood, check out the DVD Independence Day, an exciting story about space invaders who are turned back and destroyed on our country’s birthday. The sequel, Independence Day: Resurgence, tells of these aliens trying again to take over our world. Again our scientists and military defeat them. Hooray!

Remember to treat your children to our library programs on Thursday mornings at 10:00. The next few programs are about recycling: taking care of our earth, animals from the Science Center, and Home Depot’s kits to build tool boxes. We can use parents and extra hands to help on most projects. See you soon at the Jamestown Public Library.

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