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So the 4th didn’t fall so that we got a 3-day weekend, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have fun this Wednesday! There are still tons of fun events happening throughout the area and the forecast is clear for tomorrow night’s fireworks! Here are our suggestions for how to enjoy a happy and healthy holiday:

The quintessential Boston 4th of July celebration is the Boston Pops performance and fireworks show on the Esplanade. Visit the official event website for a rundown of the schedule and more event details. CBS Boston has also put together a handy guide with viewing location suggestions and other useful tips. Our favorite tip? Go to the rehearsal concert tonight (Tuesday) to enjoy the music and find a less hectic spot to watch the fireworks on Wednesday.

For activities with an educational bent, head down to Boston Harborfest. Dedicated to celebrating Boston’s harbor and history, it’s the largest 4th of July festival in the country and features tons of activities and tours, some free and some paid.  Here’s the full schedule.

Don’t want to fight the crowds for Boston fireworks on the 4th? Newton and Waltham will also have fireworks displays on Wednesday 7/4 and Somerville with have them on Thursday 7/5. If you’re interested in going farther afield, here’s a list of all the fireworks displays planned for Independence Day celebrations in MA.

 

Wherever and however you decide to celebrate, we hope you have a happy, healthy, and safe Independence Day. And don’t forget to wear sunscreen!

If you ask most people when slavery was abolished in the United States, the closest you’ll get to an exact date is probably January 1, 1863, when the Emancipation Proclamation took effect. Drafted the prior September, President Lincoln used this document to “order and declare that all persons held as slaves within said designated States, and parts of States, are, and henceforward shall be free; and that the Executive government of the United States, including the military and naval authorities thereof, will recognize and maintain the freedom of said persons.”

Proclamation nonwithstanding, it is not as if slavery ended overnight. It is important to remember that the Civil War kept raging, the Presidential decree did not free all the slaves in the United States, and in the days before a 24/7 news cycle, word traveled slowly. June 19, 1865 is now commemorated as the day Major General Gordon Granger of the Union Army issued orders from Galveston, Texas announcing “The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free.” Despite the fact that more than two years had passed since the enacting of the Emancipation Proclamation, it was General Granger’s order that brought freedom to 250,000 slaves in Texas. Texas was a remote outpost on the American frontier, so many consider June 19th, or “Juneteenth” as the true end of slavery in the United States. Juneteenth was celebrated the next year, and celebrations continued and spread as the years went by, sometimes celebrated as “Emancipation Day.”

The stories surrounding Juneteenth are rich, and (of course) influenced by and reflected in the tumultuous state of race relations in past and present America. We invite readers to learn about Juneteenth from Henry Louis Gates, Jr., from the Atlantic‘s Vann R. Newkirk II, and from Jamelle Bouie at Slate. (Virtually) check out information about historical Juneteenth celebrations from the New York Public Library, and (literally) check out Ralph Ellison’s posthumously published novel about the complicated construction of race and identity in America.

While many Boston area Juneteenth celebrations took place over the course of last weekend, you can still enjoy special free Juneteenth programming Wednesday evening (6/20) at the Museum of Fine Arts. This multimedia event includes interactive art demonstrations, singing and dancing, and film screenings, and is open to all ages.

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June 17, 2018 is the 243rd anniversary of the Battle of Bunker Hill, an event we mark in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts as Bunker Hill Day. It falls on Father’s Day this year, so instead of watching war reenactments on the History Channel, why not take Dad out to bone up on some local history?

  • Celebrate the belated birthday of Bunker Hill Hero Joseph Warren today or any day (his birthday is June 11) with a trip to his namesake landmark the Warren Tavern, a fine establishment dating back to 1780 and frequented back in the day by Warren’s good friend, Paul Revere.
  • Kick off the weekend early and celebrate Flag Day by visiting Memorial Hall and joining the Abraham Lincoln Post 11, Grand Army of the Republic for a Flag Retirement Ceremony, Thursday June 14 at 6:00 pm.
  • Visit Charlestown on Saturday June 16 for Bunker Hill Family Fun Day. There will be music, art projects for kids, talks led by the excellent National Park Service Rangers, musket-firing demonstrations, and much more. And it’s free! All Dads love free things!
  • Visit the Bunker Hill Monument for the “Decisive Day” guided tour offered by the Boston National Historic Park, which departs daily every half hour.
  • Head out to Quincy to the Adams National Historical Park on Sunday June 17 for the special event “Bunker Hill to Penn’s Hill,” where you can learn about Abigail Adams and young John Quincy Adams, who watched the battle rage from ten miles away atop Penn’s Hill.

If you don’t have time to get out this weekend, here are the Top Ten Things You Should Know About Charlestown and the Battle of Bunker Hill according to our Head of Research & Instruction and Charlestown denizen, Becky Morin

1) The Battle of Bunker Hill was mostly fought on Breed’s Hill. That’s where the Monument is. Bunker Hill is actually taller and steeper, and is home to the lovely Saint Francis de Sales, a beautiful Roman Catholic church dedicated in 1862. If you don’t know which hill is which, we know you’re a tourist.

Bunker Hill Monument and Col. William Prescott statue

By Siddharth Mallya. CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

2) Charlestown was actually not part of the City of Boston when the Battle took place. Charlestown is OLDER than Boston (as any proud Townie will gladly inform you), and did not become part of the City until 1874.

3) Charlestown is where Paul Revere’s Midnight Ride really kicked off. He was ferried in a rowboat from Boston, landing near the Charlestown Battery, where he picked up a horse from his friend Deacon John Larkin, a lifelong Charlestown resident.

4) There is debate as to why the Colonial forces fortified Breed’s Hill instead of Bunker Hill, although many think it is because Breed’s Hill is closer to Boston. The British had planned the siege to capture Bunker Hill, as they wanted to dig in fortifications on the area’s highest points.

5) It took the British three attempts to capture Breed’s Hill, even though their numbers were far greater than the Colonial forces.

6) Charlestown burned after the Battle, the first of two major fires to strike the community.

7) Proud Charlestown residents still fly the Bunker Hill Battle Flag.

Bunker Hill Flag

By DevinCook at English Wikipedia, via Wikimedia Commons

8) While the British defeated the Colonists at the Battle of Bunker Hill, they suffered severe casualties and the Siege of Boston came to a stalemate.

9) The Bunker Hill Monument (which you now know is on Breed’s Hill) is 221 feet tall and was completed in 1842.

10) Beloved French hero of the American Revolution, the Marquis de Lafayette, is said to be buried beneath a sprinkling of soil from Bunker Hill, procured by his son.

Want More?

http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/the-true-story-of-the-battle-of-bunker-hill-36721984/
http://charlestownhistoricalsociety.org/history/historic-timeline/
https://www.masshist.org/revolution/bunkerhill.php
https://memory.loc.gov/ammem/today/jun17.html

Here at Hirsh, we’re fans of unusual national holidays–particularly when there’s a sweet treat involved! May 31ist is National Macaroon Day, apparently, and since our Associate Director Debbie makes a mean macaroon, we wanted to share the recipe she uses. She got it from a friend, who uses this recipe from Food & Wine Magazine. With only 5 ingredients, it’s easy to put together and even easier to eat!

Coconut Macaroons
One 14-ounce bag sweetened shredded coconut
One 14 ounce can of sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 large egg whites
1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted (baker’s note: I use Callebaut)

  1. Preheat the oven to 350° and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. In a medium bowl, combine the coconut with the sweetened condensed milk and vanilla. In another bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the egg whites with the salt until firm peaks form. Fold the beaten whites into the coconut mixture.
  2. Scoop tablespoon-size mounds of the mixture onto the baking sheets, about 1 inch apart. Bake in the upper and middle thirds of the oven for about 25 minutes, until golden; shift the sheets from top to bottom and front to back halfway through baking. Transfer the baking sheets to racks and let the cookies cool completely
  3. Dip the bottoms of the macaroons into the melted chocolate, letting any excess drip back into the bowl. Return the cookies to the lined baking sheets. Drizzle any remaining chocolate on top and refrigerate for about 5 minutes, until set or leave some plain.

Before you bake, read up on the history of macaroons over on the UC Davis Integrative Medicine website.

Bon appetit!

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Fruit Bowls

https://pixabay.com/en/fruit-fruits-fruit-salad-frisch-2305192/

If you haven’t already, mark your calendars because Mother’s Day is this Sunday. Take a moment to say thank you to the women in your life who inspire you, help you grow and look out for you.

If you completely forgot that Mother’s Day was this weekend, we have some last minute ideas for you:

  • Rent Mother’s Day: Starring Jennifer Aniston, Kate Hudson, Julia Roberts and Jason Sudeikis, it’s a celebration of mothers everywhere that will make you laugh, cry and love as three generations come together in the week leading up to Mother’s Day.
  • Make a card for Mom using one of these quotes.
  • Forbes wrote an article containing last minute flower delivery sites.
  • The Today show wrote an article called: 42 last-minute Mother’s Day gifts that she’ll actually love

Finally, nothing competes with the gift of time. If you can’t take your mom (or moms or mother figures) to lunch, give her a call or stick a card in the mail. And to all our moms, Happy Mother’s Day!

Time flies, and we’re already wrapping up Fair Use Week, the annual event where we rally to educate and celebrate the provisions under the law that allow us to report the news, innovate in science, make art, create parody, and use works for scholarly interpretation.

Over the last few years, more and more questions have popped up regarding Fair Use and social media. Can you Instagram that logo? Can you Tweet that artwork? Can you share that book chapter on Facebook? Our favorite Fair Use Infographic offers some guidance, reminding us that “courts are much more likely to uphold a use as fair use if it is transformative, meaning that it adds something new, with a different character, expression, meaning or message, or function.” So what does that mean in the land of ‘grams, tweets, snaps, and shares?

A 2016 case, Lenz v. Universal Music Corp., ruled that copyright holders must consider Fair Use before before attempting to remove or suppress online content. But what is “transformative” in the social media landscape? It appears grabbing a photo from Flickr and tweeting it to make a statement about refugees (as Donald Trump, Jr. did) doesn’t count. How about posting hyperlinks to copyrighted materials? That’s an evolving issue.

As of right now, the best advice we can offer is to treat anything you do in the online environment as you would in the offline environment. Consider the Four Factors before you post, consider sourcing images from some of the fantastic Open Access and Creative Commons resources out there, and when in doubt, contact a librarian!

We hope you enjoyed Fair Use Week 2018!

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John Stephen Dwyer [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], from Wikimedia Commons

Friday, February 16th marks  the first day of the Chinese Calendar and the beginning of the Year of the Dog.  For the next two weeks, there will fireworks, feasts, family reunions and parades to celebrate the Lunar New Year. There are also a great many traditions associated with the Lunar New Year that are centuries old, such as the hanging of traditional ‘new years’ poems, cleaning the home, the receiving new clothes and getting one’s haircut.

And because our campus is located very conveniently in Chinatown, be sure to check out the Chinese New Year Parade! It’s the largest annual celebration in Boston’s Chinatown with lion dancers, music, and firecrackers—and if you haven’t tried the plethora of food options in our neighborhood, what a better time to venture out and celebrate? This year’s parade will be held on Sunday, February 25, 11:00 am starting at the John F. Fitzgerald Surface Road . Here’s some more information about the festivities in Boston. 

If you are celebrating Lunar New Year, we wish safe travels and  much joy and prosperity this year! 恭贺新禧  Happy New Year!

Further reading:

“Celebrating the Chinese New Year now — and Chinatown always” (Boston Globe – February 13, 2017)

About the Lunar New Year

Chinese New Year Traditions

Stories about Chinese New Year (National Public Radio)

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Election Day is fast approaching, this year falling on November 7th (AKA the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November, as dictated by Congress in 1845).

It’s not a Presidential election year, but there is plenty going on in Massachusetts. Unsure of what’s going down in your town? Check the website of the Secretary of the Commonwealth to see if elections are going on where you live, and to get more information on local races.

Remember, if you need to vote with an absentee ballot, November 6th at noon is the deadline to request one, and the completed ballot must be returned by the close of polls on Election Day.

We could do worse than to follow the example of our 32nd First Lady, first chair of the UNHCR, and the inaugural chair of the Presidential Commission on the Status of Women (pictured above, voting).

Remember, if you need to see if you are registered to vote, register online, or find your polling place, the Secretary of the Commonwealth has you covered.

So get out there and be like Eleanor! VOTE!

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As we wrap up our celebration of Open Access Week, this is a great time to think about what Open Access can mean to researchers, to scholars, and to our local, national, and international communities. Librarians promote publication in Open Access journals to enable collaboration with like-minded researchers and to raise research visibility, but there are many reasons to wade into the Open Access waters. One of the most compelling is to increase knowledge of science, research, and medicine outside the Ivory Tower.

Think about how easy it is access the latest research in highly regarded journals from the comfort of the Library, or from home (if you go through the proxy server) as a student, faculty, or staff member of Tufts University. But how many times have you tried to access a scientific study from off-campus and run into a paywall? How many times has a newspaper or blog made a claim about a health benefit or some groundbreaking research, only to link out to a journal you can’t access? Think about everyone NOT studying at or employed by a college or university…where do they get their scientific information?

Turns out, the Pew Research Center recently published a study about how Americans consume science news, and they report that 66% of Americans “actively seek out and directly consume” news about science, and the overwhelmingly popular source of that information is outlets like newspapers and television news programming. However, many of these consumers feel that news media does a poor job covering scientific topics (41%) and that some of those reasons include: hasty reporting of findings that may not hold up, oversimplification, overreporting of conflicting viewpoints, and coverage of findings that are not important.

If you work in or study health sciences, you watch this play out on the evening news every day, usually regarding whether or not red wine will make you live forever, if chocolate replaces working out, if coffee will kill you, or if you actually need to floss your teeth (Note: please keep flossing). But who do Americans blame for this? Most participants in the Pew Study blamed the news media, but nearly a quarter (24%) blamed poor scientific reporting on the “way science researchers publish.”

Well well well. We might not be able to change every newscast and every newspaper, but a major way to improve scientific communication is to publish research that EVERYONE can read. For free. Open Access! Think of all the questions that can be answered when patients and health care providers outside of colleges and universities can access quality research free of charge. Think of the advances when researchers can find, use, and reinterpret data without copyright restrictions or paywalls.

Check out the Scholarly Publishing and Access Resources Coalition’s reasons to support open access to aid scientific communication here: https://sparcopen.org/open-access/.

Pumpkin flavored everything is here, the leaves have changed color, the air is cooler – it’s hard not to love October in New England. With Halloween fast approaching, we thought you might want to take a look at some things you can do to get yourself in the mood.

New events are still being added, check out the Boston Calendar or the Boston Discovery Guide for more city happenings. If you’re willing to drive a little and want to go pumpkin picking, check out this of Massachusetts pumpkin patches. Happy October!

https://pixabay.com/en/halloween-halloweenkuerbis-carved-1798080/

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