On July 14, 1789, the people of Paris rose up and marched on the Bastille, a state prison that symbolized the absolutism of the French monarchy. The storming of the Bastille symbolizes liberty, democracy and the struggle against oppression. Learn more about this historic event on our page of links.
The Fourth of July is celebrated as Independence Day, in honor of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence by the Second Continental Congress on July 4, 1776. It is considered to be the birthday of the United States of America, and is celebrated with parades, fireworks, speeches, patriotic music and the American flag. Find ideas for celebrating Independence Day on our page of links.
Ramadan is the ninth month of the Muslim calendar, the time of year when it is believed that the Holy Quran was received by the Prophet Muhammad. The month is marked by fasting during the daylight hours, and prayer and studying of the Quran. When the fast ends on the first day of the month of Shawwal, it is celebrated for three days in a joyous holiday called Id-al-Fitr, the Feast of Fast Breaking. Find out more about this important observance on our page of links.
Juneteenth, also called Freedom Day or Emancipation Day, is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States. June 19th was chosen because it was on this day in 1865 “that the Union soldiers, led by Major General Gordon Granger, landed at Galveston, Texas with news that the war had ended and that the enslaved were now free.” General Granger read aloud General Order No.3 which stated, “The people of Texas are informed that in accordance with a Proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free. This involves an absolute equality of rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and free laborer.”
Celebrations of Juneteenth waned during much of the twentieth century, but there was a resurgence of interest beginning in the 1980s’s. Juneteenth is now an official state holiday or observance in 39 states.
The Battle of Bunker Hill was fought on June 17, 1775 in Charlestown, Mass. The Continental Army lost the battle, but inflicted heavy casualties upon their British foes. Despite its name, the battle actually was fought primarily on neighboring Breed’s Hill, where the Bunker Hill Monument, built in 1843, now stands.
Learn more about this famous Revolutionary War battle and its observance on our page of links.