While the 2020 Fourth of July celebration won't be the same as last year, you can still feel patriotic with an assortment of online events and activities. Perhaps you've had to reconsider parties, attend favorite events online, or forgo gatherings entirely. The pandemic may have changed our holiday celebration but there are always new discoveries to be made. Whether you are an intrepid explorer or an introvert, the Mechanics' Institute staff has collected the following July 4th activities, reads, and virtual events for you to enjoy wherever and whenever you choose.
Digital Reading/Listening from the MI Library
Franklin & Washington: The Founding Partnership by Edward J. Larson
Mayflower Lives: Pilgrims in a New World and the Early American Experience by Martyn Whittock
Bill O'Reilly's Legends and Lies by David Fisher
Thomas Paine: Enlightenment, Revolution, and the Birth of Modern Nations by Craig Nelson (eAudiobook)
Watch Independence Day Films on Kanopy with your Library Card
Independence (Part of the PBS series “Freedom: A History of US”)
Tour a National Historic Site Virtually
Mount Vernon - The virtual tour of George Washington's beautiful colonial home in Mt. Vernon, VA is free, including 360-degree views in each room.
Statue Of Liberty - While not quite as awe-inspiring as being there in person, the SOL virtual tour contains captivating facts about the history of this American landmark.
Smithsonian National Museum of American History - A treasure chest of educational viewings and lectures can be found here, including online exhibitions on transportation, the American presidency, and American industry.
NASA - Bring outer space into your home with a full menu of activities and events premiering June 26 and continuing through July on NASA TV (instructions are on the website).
Philadelphia - Visit the City of Brotherly Love virtually! Experience the sights, sounds, and history of one of America's oldest cities, including 360-degree photos, videos, and narration.
Virtual Fireworks and Other Celebrations
Foster City Parks and Recreation - One of the few cities in California to move nearly all its holiday events online, Foster City's website features a virtual pet contest, curbside pancake breakfast, home decorating contest, and more.