The Fourth of July is the Celebration of American Independence. But there is divisiveness today that seems to cloud the celebration for many.
The country has survived many such times, perhaps none worse than July 4th, 1865. Virginia Tech researchers take us back to that day, with a website entitled “Mapping the Fourth” that scans news articles, personal letters and manuscripts to see how Americans celebrated Independence Day, even as they fought to tear the country apart.
Paul Quigley is Director of the Project: “So it could be that you find a letter home that tells about soldiers’ experiences in camps celebrating the Fourth during the Civil War. You might find a newspaper article that discusses whether white Southerners should celebrate at all, now that they have seceded from the Union or maybe you can find an African American perspective from 1865, talking about how meaningful it is to celebrate the Fourth, really for the first time.”
From Virginia Tech’s website Mapping the Fourth of July in 1865.