Tag Archives: Summer

American Independence Day


This week at the Memorial Library we are preparing to celebrate, commemorate and consider the American Declaration of Independence, the Revolution that followed and the culture that flourished in its aftermath.

Independence Day is a federally recognized national holiday that is often celebrated with picnics, barbecues, fireworks, concerts and parades–just as John Adams, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence and the 2nd President of the United States, imagined it (although he was a few days out).

The second day of July, 1776, will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more. –John Adams in a letter to his wife Abigail Adams

Revolutionary Period book coverThe American Revolution was a political upheaval that took place between 1750 and 1783 during which the Thirteen American Colonies broke from the British Empire and formed an independent nation, the United States of America. The American Revolution was the result of a series of social, political, and intellectual transformations in American society, government and ways of thinking. Beginning in 1765 the Americans rejected the authority of Parliament to tax them without elected representation: ‘no taxation without representation.’ Protests soon escalated such as  the infamous Boston Tea Party of 1773.


The British responded with punitive laws and military aggression—but so too did the American patriots. The Patriots fought the British in the American Revolutionary War from 1775 to 1783. American independence from the British monarchy was officially adopted on July 4th 1776 with the signing of the Declaration of Independence and its acceptance by Congress.

Signing of Declaration by Trumbull (1817) held in the U.S Capitol

Signing of Declaration by Trumbull (1817) held in the U.S Capitol

This is only a small fraction of the American Independence story. There are many perspectives and numerous interpretations about the American struggle for Independence and the meaning of independence then and now. This is a debate still ongoing between contemporary scholars, writers and observers in the USA today.

For your own interpretation of events, I point you in the direction of only a small handful of our collection on the American Revolution and Declaration of Independence. All of these books and more will be displayed on our main display shelf (just outside the Memorial Library doors) and are available for check out.

inventing a nationmeaning of independence

rev for kids






In addition to this, you will find books on various aspects of American culture: American English, American food, American Art, American holidays and even fine American whiskey! You can reserve any of these books online here. But of course, if you’re in the library why not stop in and catch one of our American scholars! Until then, to all of our Americans out there: Happy 4th of July Weekend!

American Century-Art and Culture

Real American Breakfast


Speak American





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Filed under American Culture, American History, Books, Current Events, Local Interest, Memorial Library

Cinema Under the Stars and America’s Love Affair with the Drive-In

Cinema Under the Stars‘ When Richard M. Hollingstead Jr. first projected a movie onto a white bedsheet stretched between two trees at his home in Camden, New Jersey in 1933, little did he know that he was on the verge of creating an entirely new entertainment industry. With America just beginning its romance with the automobile, it is no surprise that the general public found this new form of movie going irresistible.’ —extract taken from Elizabeth McKeon and Linda Everett’s book (pictured above) Cinema Under the Stars: America’s Love Affair with the Drive-In Movie Theater, which can be found in the 2nd Air Division Memorial Library. Click on the image to reserve your copy.

The Norwich Business Improvement District and the Forum are providing the people of Norwich a glimpse of this American love affair with the Drive-In or outside movie experience with their OpenAir Screen and Norwich Evenings Film Nights.

Showing every Thursday at 8pm from 12 June 2014 until 10 July 2014, classic retro films will be shown on the Open Air Screen outside The Forum. The series began last night with the showing of the American film Ghostbusters!

The film nights form part of Norwich BID’s Head Out, Not Home free summer entertainment programme and they are offering a long list of classic films as possibilities for screening–many of them quintessential American films like Grease, Singing in the Rain, Back to the Future, Jurassic Park and Breakfast at Tiffany’s many of which are based on either classic American novels or American Broadway shows!


If you want to get all the behind the scenes information about the film before or after the screenings, stop by your local American library on the way! We are located just inside the Forum and we offer an extended selection of books on American film, Broadway, Hollywood and the original novels in which the films are based. Here is a list of just a few that we have in stock for you to explore! Click on the image to reserve your copy today!


Broadway MusicalsBreakfast at Tiffanys




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Filed under American Culture, Books, Current Events, Local Interest, Memorial Library, Public Events

Hitting the (American) Road!

Just in time for the season of summer escapes, we’re rounding up great fictional and non-fictional road trips that remind us of all the reasons to hit the American Road! From Route 66 to the Pacific Coast Highway, roads are a quintessential American motif, bringing to mind images of expansion, novelty and adventure. Roads, highways, railroads and trails run through some of America’s greatest fiction, history and landscapes.

Hit the Road

In the land of fiction you have heroes and villains hitting the pavement to flee their past or reach their future, reunite with loved ones, enact revenge or simply stay alive!

Looking to history we have the story of the underground railroad, the expeditions of Lewis and Clark, the roads to the Alamo and of course, the formation of NASCAR.

Finally, an ode to the road would not be complete without a collection of some of the best roads to hit in America. From hiking, to walking, to RV-ing, our stock will detail some of the best road trips in America! So come on over and Hit the (American)  Road!

Be sure to check our online catalog for the full collection or stop by the Memorial Library where you can find all these books and more on display ready for you to take home or on the road!



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Filed under American Culture, American History, Books