This week's spotlight on the collection, written by Katherine A. Cassetta, focuses on a copy of an oration provided by Dr. Joseph Warren on the events known today as the Boston Massacre. This commemorative speech will be known officially as An Oration; Delivered March Sixth, 1775.
Thanksgiving is upon us with all the trappings of the modern holiday that we know and love (parades, football, and a ridiculous amount of food), but how much do we know about the historical event from almost four centuries ago that inspired our modern celebration?
In 1780 Newport Rhode Island was in ruins. The garrison of British and Hessian troops had finally evacuated Aquidneck Island the previous October, after three years of occupation. The occupation cost the island somewhere between 300-500 buildings, its wharves, warehouses and many small boats were broken and destroyed, and the economy was devastated. The Redwood Library was to not be exempt from these depridations.
November 11th, a date memorialized today as Veterans Day, was once known as Armistice Day, the date in 1918 that brought the Great War to a halt. While the fighting stopped on that fateful day, it took almost another 8 months to offically bring the war to an end, and with it the hope of a world without war cautiously began. How did the war end, and who did it affect? What was the outcome for the allies after the war, and what was the outcome for the central powers.
As the temperature drops and the leaves change color, there's something spooky in the New England air, reminding us that Halloween is nearly here. As we prepare our costumes and stock up on candy, we may catch a showing of Hocus Pocus on TV, or reread one of our favorite Harry Potter books. But while witches take on a more benign persona in today's pop culture, being accused of witchcraft was once a death sentence in New England. That's why we've chosen books that explore the history of witchcraft in New England and the Salem Witch Trials for our Halloween reading list. While we get in a spooky mood, they are an interesting but harrowing reminder of the New England's Puritan past and the effects of a real witch hunt on a society.