Reference Blog Entries

Yankee Doodle Dandy

Laura's picture

Poster advertising the movie Yankee Doodle Dandy with James Cagney

Music has the ability to stir our feelings of patriotism and national pride like nothing else. Whether it is the jaunty lilt of a Revolutionary War song or the regular beat of a Sousa march, we respond.

You probably know the story of Francis Scott Key and the writing of the Star Spangled Banner on the eve of the War of 1812, but do you know how Yankee Doodle Dandy came about? What are the stories behind other rousing favorites? An article on patriotic music in the Oxford Music Online database provides the backstories. Access it on the library’s website with your library card.

In addition, in honor of the 4th of July, take some time to listen to the following patriotic music CDs in the Media Department of the Upper Arlington Public Library: 

Logo for Oxford Music Online; white letters spelling "Music" on a dark background

We Hold These Truths...

Laura's picture

Painting of Thomas Jeffererson, John Adams and Benjamin Franklin writing the Declaration of IndependenceWhen the fireworks explode on the 4th of July this year we should remember the explosive document that is behind this celebration. It was the Declaration of Independence, a remarkable document produced by a small group of men who were expressing the sentiments of many of the newly-formed colonies. They felt that the policies of Great Britain were intolerable. They wrote a declaration stating their objections as well as their intention to break away from British rule. 

Richard Henry Lee of Virginia proposed the declaration hoping that Britain would back down. Thomas Jefferson wrote the draft, and the other members of the committee, Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, Robert R. Livingston and Roger Sherman, gave suggestions. It is good to re-read this eloquent text of 1776 and to imagine what it must have been like to take such an historic step. To read more, go to the Upper Arlington Public Library’s American History database.   

Logo for American History database; profile of the head of George Washington in color