April: A Busy Time for History Buffs

This is a very busy time if you are an American History Buff: April 9, April 12, April 15 and April 19.

surrender at appomattox

April 9 marks the symbolic end of the Civil War when General Robert E.  Lee surrendered to  General Ulyssses S. Grant at Appomattox Court House, VA. Take a look at the National Park Service to see what the area looks like today and read about the historic significance of the end of the war. And you might even plan a trip to visit an area that is so steeped in history! If you are interested in the Civil War, the internet has many excellent sites. One that I especially like is The Valley of the Shadow which includes the digital records for two communities, one Union and one Confederate, from the time of John Brown’s Raid through Reconstruction.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt Lincoln-portraitApril 12 is the anniversary of the death of Franklin Delano Roosevelt (1945), who was president through the Great Depression and the Second World War. And Abraham Lincoln was assassinated on April 15, 1864, less than a week after the Civil War ended. There are many good websites and books about these two Presidents. For a quick look at their lives and administrations check out the website from the Miller Center at the University of Virginia which offers a  chronology of their lives, a selection of their speeches and links to essays about their lives and administration.

battle-of-lexington-and-concordThen on April 19 we commemorate the Battles of Lexington and Concord (1775), the beginning of the American Revolution. Three of my favorite books about the time period are Gordon Wood’s Revolutionary Characters, David McCullough’s 1776 and Joseph Ellis’s American Creation: Triumphs and Tragedies at the Founding of the Republic. For a quick refresher about the incidents take a look at the History Channel’s site and for a sample of period music, a timeline, a list of people involved and major events there is The American Revolution website.

-posted by Brenda, Reference Services

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