Photo from the American Legion website; click image to visit original URL.

Cookouts with family and friends and spectacular fireworks displays are a wonderful way to spend this holiday, but in case you’d like to add a little history appreciation to the mix, try downloading audio of our national anthem, “The Star Spangled Banner,” at the Internet Archive.  If you’re not in Washington DC to see our anthem’s namesake firsthand, you can check it out online at the Smithsonian’s Star Spangled Banner Virtual Exhibit.  Be sure to click on the “Interactive Flag” link — it’s quite incredible!

You can read a brief “History of the Fourth” at PBS.com, or visit ISU Library Special Collections to learn about how Iowa State has traditionally celebrated this holiday.  (For example, in 1889, “the campus celebrated by having a grand procession, dinners, fireworks, baseball, and boat and sack races.”)

However you choose to celebrate, please take a moment to appreciate the work of archivists, librarians, and preservation professionals in preserving the evidence of our national history and cultural heritage.  Happy Fourth of July!

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