U.S. History

Columbus Day

Christopher Columbus first made landfall in the Americas on October 12, 1492 somewhere in the Bahamas, on an island which the natives called Guanahani and which Columbus renamed San Salvador. This date is a observed as public holiday in the United States as well as in many countries in South America. It is known as Discovery Day in the Bahamas, Day of the Americas in Uruguay and Day of the Cultures in Costa Rica. Many historians, however, are still asking the question "Who really discovered America?" Everyone knows that Native Americans were here long before Columbus arrived. In addition, Norse expeditions to North America have been historically established. Claims of discovery have also been made for St.

Civil War Anniversary

This year marks the 150th anniversary of the start of the American Civil War. The first shots were fired on April 12, 1861 at Fort Sumter in South Carolina's Charleston Harbor. Confederate forces let by Brig. General P.G.T. Beauregard demanded the surrender of the fort and opened fire when the Union commander, Maj. Robert Anderson, refused. He was forced to evacuate the next day, however, and this battle became the first engagement of the war. It raged on for four more years until Robert E. Lee surrendered to Ulyssses S. Grant on April 9, 1865 at Appomattox Courthouse, Virginia. Since then there have been thousands of books written about the war, its causes and its aftermath — including many published this year to commemorate the anniversary. Some of the Library's new titles include:

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