History

Canada Day celebrates the 1867 enactment of the Constitution Act which united the three colonies of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and the Province of Canada (Ontario and Quebec) into a single country. In honor of our northern neighbor read about some of her most illustrious native sons and daughters, past and present. For information on the history of Canada you can check here. For more noteworthy Canadians check here.

A dual portrait of the irrepressible orphan Anne of Green Gables and her creator covers such topics as the death of Montgomery's mother, her life on Prince Edward Island, and the inspiration for the "e" at the end of Anne's name..

July 1, 1867. The Constitution Act, 1867 is enacted,  uniting the three separate colonies of the Province of Canada, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick into a single Dominion within the British Empire called Canada.

The Constitution : an introduction by Michael Stokes Paulsen

July 2, 1788. The United States Constitution was ratified.

July 2, 1881. President James A. Garfield was shot as he entered a railway station in Washington, D.C. He died on September 19.

British author Eric Arthur Blair was born June 25, 1903. He published his first book in 1933 using the pen name George Orwell. Find out more about George Orwell and explore his politically-charged writing with these titles.

1984 : a novel by 1903-1950 George Orwell
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In 1918 Michigan passed a Constitutional Amendment to recognize women's right to vote. Nationally, the 19th Amendment wouldn't pass until the following year and wouldn't be official until the year after that.

The 19th Amendment clarified that the right to vote could not be denied based on sex, and was passed on June 5, 1919 and ratified by 36 states on August 18, 1920. The last state to ratify this amendment was Mississippi in 1984.

Celebrate this milestone by checking out one of the following titles and learning more about the global fight for women's suffrage. Titles geared for younger audiences are at the top, but may interest older readers.

Follow suffragettes Nell Richardson and Alice Burke's cross-country journey to campaign for women's right to vote.

Explore the history of women's suffrage, highlighting the contributions of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and such other reformers as Sojourner Truth, Susan B. Anthony, and Lucy Stone.

Thorndyke the Bear Dressed as a Stereotypical Pilgrim

 

1619 was a very busy year in and around Jamestown, Virginia. The business of getting a colony up and running was in full swing, and more than a decade after the first colonists arrived, they were still hard at work. Some of the momentous tasks taken on during the latter half of 1619 include beginning official self-governance, the landing of the first documented Africans in Virginia, the beginning of an official recruitment drive for colonial women, and the stated intention of beginning an annual Thanksgiving tradition. The schedule would have looked something like this:

  • From July 30 - August 4, 1619, the first representative legislative assembly took place in Jamestown.
  • In August of 1619, Africans were brought to Virginia and sold.
  • In November of 1619, the Virginia Company began actively recruiting females to provide stability to their colony.
  • December 4, 1619, settlers arrived at Berkeley and presumably held the first official Thanksgiving celebration.

 

These milestones resonated through our history and still impact what the United States is today. Investigate the 400-year-old history of our nation, its government, and its people. The following suggested titles might help you get started.

What was Jamestown? This book covers the first settlers, the problems they faced, and how Jamestown led to the larger colonization of the American continent. 

This year marks the 75th anniversary of the Allied invasion of occupied France during World War II. The operation began on June 6, 1944 and was the largest single-day amphibious invasion of all time, with 160,000 troops landing on the Normandy coast. 

On June 4, 1919, the United States Senate passed the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, granting American women the right to vote. It was ratified on August 18, 1920 when Tennessee cast the deciding vote. Learn about the historic struggle for women's suffrage from the following resources found in the Library's collection.

June 4, 1989. In Beijing's Tiananmen Square, unarmed protestors are fired upon by soldiers on order from the Chinese government.

June 5, 1968. Senator Robert F. Kennedy is assassinated in a  Los Angeles hotel shortly after winning California's Democratic presidential primary.

June 6, 1872.  Susan B. Anthony was fined for voting in a presidential election in Rochester, New York.

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