The red, white and blue is ever evident in the newly published America’s Patriotic Holidays, An Illustrated History by John Wesley Thomas and Sandra Lynn Thomas.
Here is a true flag-waving volume with more than 690 patriotic images in dazzling color stretching form President’s Day to Veteran’s Day. There is a full range of items visually presented in the book, including postcards, magazine covers, postal covers, song sheets, songbooks, vintage photographs, engravings, posters and even crate labels.
All of the major federal holidays in the United States are covered with rich illustrations and detailed text. There are absorbing details of the birthdays of presidents, such as George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. The book also traces the likes of Lady Liberty, Betsy Ross, and Uncle Sam. It also pays tribute to the American soldiers who have died in wartime as well as the First Responders of 9/11.
In their introduction, the two authors note, “The emergence of America as the world’s strongest democracy had its underpinnings through the unselfish behavior of simple rough-hewn patriots in the mid-18th century.”
Section one of this quality book includes a chapter on American patriotic music, including what is billed as the first known American-published patriotic music, which appeared in a 1768 issue of The Boston Gazette. That section also provides a chapter on America’s more famous patriotic figures.
Section two presents chapters on Independence Day, President’s Day, Memorial Day, Veteran’s Day, Columbus Day, Labor Day and Flag Day.
The book’s authors have also written Thanksgiving: An Illustrated History and St. Patrick’s Day & Irish Collectibles. They also collect patriotic holiday memorabilia, among other things. They are California residents and avid hikers.
America’s Patriotic Holidays, An Illustrated History by John Thomas and Sandra Thomas, softcover, color illustrations, $29.99 plus shipping from Schiffer Publishing, www.schifferbooks.com.
Book reviews by Robert Reed, Antique and Collectible News Service, PO Box 204, Knightstown, IN 46148