Thursday, July 4, 2013

Literature is a luxury; fiction is a necessity.”
G.K. Chesterton


Happy Birthday America! Today, we celebrate and enjoy the freedom that comes with the event that made this day so special. The Declaration of Independence was not signed by all representatives until August, 1776. To make it official, John Hancock, President of the Continental Congress signed it. Now, can anyone guess where the saying “put your John Hancock on it” came from!?! Today, we enjoy the benefits of the freedom which the framers signed and ultimately fought for.


Not only is July 4th Independence Day in the US, it is also Independence from Meat Day. This day, originally created by the Vegetarian Awareness Network in Tennessee, has grown beyond its original US-only focus to being an international day for celebrating a meat-free diet and lifestyle. Vegetarian or not – it can’t hurt enjoying a meat-free day every so often. So give it a go – celebrate your Independence from Meat, wherever you are.

late great usa

We are reducing the price of the hardcover book The Late Great U.S.A.: The Coming Merger With Mexico and Canada by Jerome R. Corsi. Amazon gives the following description:

In “The Late Great USA,” Jerome Corsi argues that the benignly-named “Security and Prosperity Partnership,” created at a meeting between George W. Bush, Stephen Harper and Vincente Fox, is in fact the same kind of regional integration plan that led Europe to form the EU. According to Corsi, the elites in Europe behind the EU knew that “it would be necessary to conceal from the peoples of Europe what was being done in their name until the process was so far advanced that it had become irreversible.” Could the same thing be happening here? Is American sovereignty doomed?

Using dozens of documents secured through the Freedom of Information Act and his trademark hard-hitting interviews, Corsi sets out a chilling view of America’s possible “harmonized” future – one being created covertly, without voter input or Congressional oversight. Could our government’s unfathomable position on illegal immigration be tied to the prospect of an integrated North American Union?



Today is Sidewalk Egg Frying Day, a perfect time to try this energy efficient solar way of cooking. An egg needs temperature of 158 degrees Fahrenheit to get firm. The top two bigger US cities that get temps of 100 Fahrenheit or more the most often are Phoenix, AZ and Las Vegas, NV. Oatman, AZ actually celebrates this holiday at high noon with a sidewalk egg frying contest held on historic Route 66. There is a 15 minute time limit to fry your egg. Contestants often use mirrors or a magnifying glass to aid their egg and the dry air helps as well.


Walt Whitman‘s book of poems, titled Leaves of Grass, was first published July 4, 1855.


Lewis Carroll told Alice Liddel a story that would grow into Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and its sequels on July 4, 1862. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland was published exactly three years later.


On this day in 1886 the people of France offered the Statue of Liberty to the people of the United States.


On July 4, 1939, Lou Gehrig, who had recently been diagnosed with ALS, told a crowd at Yankee Stadium that he considered himself “The luckiest man on the face of the earth” as he announced his retirement from major league baseball.


NASA’s Pathfinder space probe landed on the surface of Mars on this day in 1997. Exactly one year later Japan joined the U.S. and Russia as a space exploring nation when they launched the Nozomi probe to Mars.


The cornerstone of the Freedom Tower was laid on the site of the World Trade Center in New York City nine years ago today.


On this day in 2009 the Statue of Liberty’s crown reopened to the public after eight years of closure due to security concerns following the 9/11 attacks.


Some of the writers born July 4th include:

Christian Fürchtegott Gellert (1715), Michel-Jean Sedaine (1719), Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804), Mao Dun (1896), Pilar Barbosa (1898), Irving Johnson (1905), Lionel Trilling (1905), Ann Landers (1918), Pauline Phillips (1918), Neil Simon (1927), Sébastien Japrisot (1931), Geraldo Rivera (1943), Mark Steel (1960), Mark Whiting (1964), Andy Walker (1967), Zoe Naylor (1977), and The Situation (1982).


Calvin Coolidge, the 30th President of the United States, was born on July 4, 1872. He is the only U.S. President to be born on Independence day. His conduct during the Boston Police Strike of 1919 thrust him into the national spotlight and gave him a reputation as a man of decisive action. Soon after, he was elected as the 29th Vice President in 1920 and succeeded to the Presidency upon the sudden death of Warren G. Harding in 1923. Elected in his own right in 1924, he gained a reputation as a small-government conservative, and also as a man who said very little. Coolidge restored public confidence in the White House after the scandals of his predecessor’s administration, and left office with considerable popularity. His reputation underwent a renaissance during the Ronald Reagan Administration, but the ultimate assessment of his presidency is still divided between those who approve of his reduction of the size of government programs and those who believe the federal government should be more involved in regulating and controlling the economy. In 1905, Coolidge met and married Grace Anna Goodhue a teacher at the Clarke School for the Deaf. They had two sons: John, born in 1906, and Calvin, Jr., born in 1908. The marriage was, by most accounts, a happy one. Although Coolidge was known to be a skilled and effective public speaker, in private he was a man of few words and was therefore commonly referred to as “Silent Cal.” On August 2, 1923, President Harding died suddenly while on a speaking tour of the western United States. Vice-President Coolidge was in Vermont visiting his family home, which had neither electricity nor a telephone, when he received word by messenger of Harding’s death. Coolidge dressed, said a prayer, and came downstairs to greet the reporters who had assembled. His father, a notary public, administered the oath of office in the family’s parlor by the light of a kerosene lamp at 2:47 am on August 3, 1923; Coolidge then went back to bed. He returned to Washington the next day, and was re-sworn in by Justice Adolph A. Hoehling, Jr. of the Supreme Court of the District of Columbia, as there was some confusion over whether a state notary public had the authority to administer the presidential oath. Coollidge died suddenly from coronary thrombosis on January 5, 1933. Coolidge is buried beneath a simple headstone in Notch Cemetery, Plymouth Notch, Vermont, where the family home is maintained as one of the original buildings on the site, all of which comprise the Calvin Coolidge Homestead District. The State of Vermont dedicated a new visitors’ center nearby to mark Coolidge’s 100th birthday on July 4, 1972. Despite his reputation as a quiet and even reclusive politician, Coolidge made use of the new medium of radio and made radio history several times while President. He made himself available to reporters, giving 529 press conferences, meeting with reporters more regularly than any President before or since. Coolidge was the only president to have his portrait on a coin during his lifetime, the Sesquicentennial of American Independence Half Dollar, minted in 1926. After his death he also appeared on a postage stamp.


Three Presidents of the United States and a Vice President died on Independence Day. John Adams and Thomas Jefferson (the 2nd and 3rd President’s respectively) passed away July 4, 1826. The fifth President, James Monroe died on this day in 1831. Hannibal Hamlin, the 15th Vice President of the United States died on this day in 1891.


Georgette Heyer, a British historical romance and detective fiction novelist passed away on July 4, 1974. After her novel These Old Shades became popular despite its release during the General Strike, Heyer determined that publicity was not necessary for good sales. For the rest of her life, she refused to grant interviews, telling a friend: “My private life concerns no one but myself and my family.” Heyer essentially established the historical romance genre and its subgenre Regency romance. Her Regencies were inspired by Jane Austen, but unlike Austen, who wrote about and for the times in which she lived, Heyer was forced to include copious information about the period so that her readers would understand the setting. To ensure accuracy, Heyer collected reference works and kept detailed notes on all aspects of Regency life. While some critics thought the novels were too detailed, others considered the level of detail to be Heyer’s greatest asset. Beginning in 1932, Heyer released one romance novel and one thriller each year. Her husband often provided basic outlines for the plots of her thrillers, leaving Heyer to develop character relationships and dialogue so as to bring the story to life. At the time of her death 48 of her novels were still in print; her last book, My Lord John, was published posthumously. Heyer’s husband was involved in much of her writing. He often read the proofs of her historical romances to catch any errors that she might have missed, and served as a collaborator for her thrillers. He provided the plots of the detective stories, describing the actions of characters “A” and “B”. Heyer would then create the characters and the relationships between them and bring the plot points to life. As Heyer’s popularity increased, other authors began to imitate her style. As Heyer aged she began to suffer more frequent health problems. In July 1973 she suffered a slight stroke and spent three weeks in a nursing home. When her brother Boris died later that year, Heyer was too ill to travel to his funeral. She suffered another stroke in February 1974. Three months later, she was diagnosed with lung cancer, which her biographer attributed to the 60–80 cork-tipped cigarettes that Heyer smoked each day (although she claimed not to inhale). Despite her popularity and success, Heyer was ignored by critics. Heyer was also overlooked by the Encyclopædia Britannica. The 1974 edition of the encyclopædia, published shortly after her death, included entries on popular writers Agatha Christie and Dorothy Sayers, but did not mention Heyer.


Much of the information in this blog is taken directly from Wikipedia, Amazon, and other sources such as, which are directly linked to within the text. Images have been taken from various sources found via Facebook, and Google.
Village Book Shop and the blogger claim no credit for the information above.


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