Thursday, July 3, 2008

Happy Fourth!

Greetings, guys, and Happy Fourth of July. OK, the Fourth is actually tomorrow, but we're closed then, so I'll do it today. Are any of you going to see some good fireworks? Where will you go? Where are the best fireworks in your area?

We're celebrating our independence this weekend, not only from England but from all forms of tyranny and oppression. Sure, our country's not perfect, but we have a lot of freedoms that many places in world don't. One of them is the right to read. Dictators don't like it when their people can read and are free to read. It undermines their ability to oppress. Frederick Douglas certainly knew it. He told a story about how his master's wife started teaching him to read. The master made her stop because reading would make "unfit" to be a slave. He'd learn new things and become "unsatisfied" with his life. And it was true. Frederick Douglas continued to learn anyway, eventually found his freedom, and became a nationally-famous speaker against slavery. READING IS IMPORTANT, GUYS! Don't ever forget it.

Enough talk--let's put this into practice. Here are a couple of really good books for the Fourth or any time:

DK Eyewitness Books--American Revolution The cover says, "Discover how a few brave patriots battled a great empire." It's true. The American Revolution was an amazing story--a nation of farmers and shopkeepers, a country that was just a strip of land between the mountains and the sea, took on and beat the greatest military power in the world. Of course, we had some help with people like LaFayette and countries like France, but, still, we came awfully close to losing and it's amazing that we won. This book, like all the DK Eyewitness books, gives you lots of good pictures, interesting facts, and makes a good introduction to this fascinating story.

The Journey of the One and Only Declaration of Independence by Judith St. George
What a story!! Can you believe we still have the original Declaration? A piece of parchment over 200 years old? It's amazing to think of that--especially when I often can't find the piece of paper I printed 30 minutes ago! The original document of the Declaration of Independence is on display in Washington D. C. but it went through a lot to get there--it had to sneaked away from the British (twice!!), shrank in the hot and humid Washington summers, endured years of chimney and cigar smoke, and was both neglected and fought over many times before finding a place in its permanent display. This book told me a very exciting story that I never knew about. Judith St. George (who wrote the award-winning book So You Want to Be President?) for making history come alive and interesting and fun to read. And Will Hillenbrand's great illustrations really add to the story.

Enjoy the weekend. Liberty forever!

Carl and Bill

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