July Holidays: U.S. Independence Day, International Non-Binary People's Day, and International Moon Day

Welcome to our digital exhibit celebrating holidays in July. This page is a companion to the physical display in the Harvard Kennedy School Library, last available in July 2022. Many of the resources listed here are also available online, accessible to Harvard Key holders. Harvard affiliates can request print materials to pick up at the Harvard library of your choice via HOLLIS.

U.S. Independence Day - July 4

U.S. Independence Day commemorates the 1776 ratification of the Declaration of Independence, when the Second Continental Congress proclaimed the Thirteen Colonies' freedom from subordination under Britain. One of the first major acts of the American Revolution, the Declaration has been hailed by politicians and historians as a moral standard guiding the country. Its second sentence has become particularly well-known:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

Given this framework, the books in this display highlight the perspectives of groups who have needed to keep advocating for their equality and rights long after the Declaration was ratified.

International Non-Binary People's Day - July 14

International Non-Binary People's Day celebrates people whose gender identities are not encompassed by the traditional gender binary of man and woman. There is a world of variation among people who identify as non-binary and/or genderqueer. For example, some identify as trans while others do not, some undertake medical intervention while others do not, and some reject gender identity altogether. Non-binary people also have a variety of sexual orientations, just as cisgender people do.

International Non-Binary People's Day also raises awareness and encourages advocacy around the social discrimination and systemic barriers non-binary people face around the world. For example, most countries do not recognize non-binary as a legal gender, which means most non-binary people do not have official identification that matches their gender identity.

The books in this display highlight the direct experiences of people who identify as non-binary and/or genderqueer.

International Moon Day - July 20

First proclaimed by the UN General Assembly in 2021, International Moon Day commemorates the first human landing on the moon in 1969. During the Apollo 11 mission, U.S. astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first humans to step on the Moon, as a worldwide audience watched in awe via live TV broadcast. The landing marked a key victory for the U.S. against the Soviet Union in the Space Race, and more broadly in the Cold War. While Richard Nixon was president for the first Moon landing, John F. Kennedy began dramatically expanding the U.S. space program in 1961 after the Soviet Union launched the Sputnik satellite into orbit. JFK also successfully rallied much of the U.S. public behind the goal of landing the first person on the Moon.

The books in this display highlight the historical context of Apollo 11 - including JFK's role - as well as the experiences of astronauts after they returned to Earth.

U.S. Independence Day

A People's History of the United States: 1492-Present cover

A People's History of the United States: 1492-Present

Read eBook @ Harvard Library [HarvardKey required]

"Since its original landmark publication in 1980, "A People's History of the United States" has been chronicling American history from the bottom up, throwing out the official version of history taught in schools--with its emphasis on great men in high places--to focus on the street, the home, and the, workplace. Known for its lively, clear prose as well as its scholarly research, "A People's History" is the only volume to tell America's story from the point of view of--and in the words of--America's women, factory workers, African-Americans, Native Americans, the working poor, and immigrant laborers."

An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States cover

An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States

Read eBook @ Harvard Library [HarvardKey required]

"Today in the United States, there are more than five hundred federally recognized Indigenous nations comprising nearly three million people, descendants of the fifteen million Native people who once inhabited this land. The centuries-long genocidal program of the US settler-colonial regimen has largely been omitted from history. Now, for the first time, acclaimed historian and activist Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz offers a history of the United States told from the perspective of Indigenous peoples and reveals how Native Americans, for centuries, actively resisted expansion of the US empire."

An African American and Latinx History of the United States cover

An African American and Latinx History of the United States

Read ebook @ Harvard Library [HarvardKey required]

"In precise detail, Ortiz traces this untold history from the Jim Crow-esque racial segregation of the Southwest, the rise and violent fall of a powerful tradition of Mexican labor organizing in the twentieth century, to May 1, 2006, International Workers' Day, when migrant laborers-Chicana/os, Afro-Cubanos, and immigrants from nearly every continent on earth-united in resistance on the first "Day Without Immigrants." Incisive and timely, [this book] is a bottom-up history told from the viewpoint of African American and Latinx activists and revealing the radically different ways people of the diaspora addressed issues still plaguing the United States today."

International Non-Binary People's Day

Life Isn't Binary: On Being Both, Beyond, and In-Between cover

Life Isn't Binary: On Being Both, Beyond, and In-Between

"Much of society's thinking operates in a highly rigid and binary manner; something is good or bad, right or wrong, a success or a failure, and so on. Challenging this limited way of thinking, this ground-breaking book looks at how non-binary methods of thought can be applied to all aspects of life, and offer new and greater ways of understanding ourselves and how we relate to others. Using bisexual and non-binary gender experiences as a starting point, this book addresses the key issues with binary thinking regarding our relationships, bodies, emotions, wellbeing and our sense of identity and sets out a range of practices which may help us to think in more non-binary, both/and, or uncertain ways."

Nonbinary: A Memoir cover

Nonbinary: A Memoir

Read eBook @ Harvard Library [HarvardKey required]

"A revealing memoir from a pioneering industrial musician and visual artist who inspired generations of outsiders, rebels, and risk-takers In a memoir spanning decades of artistic risk-taking, Genesis P-Orridge, the inventor of 'industrial music,' founder of Throbbing Gristle and Psychic TV, and world-renowned artist takes us on a journey through creativity and destruction, pleasure and pain. Genesis's unwillingness to be stuck--in one place, in one genre, or in one gender--will be an inspiration to the newest generation of trailblazers and nonconformists."

Gender Queer: A Memoir cover

Gender Queer: A Memoir

Read eBook @ Harvard Library [HarvardKey required]

"In 2014, Maia Kobabe, who uses e/em/eir pronouns, thought that a comic of reading statistics would be the last autobiographical comic e would ever write. At the time, it was the only thing e felt comfortable with strangers knowing about em. Now, Gender Queer is here. Maia's intensely cathartic autobiography charts eir journey of self-identity [...]. Started as a way to explain to eir family what it means to be nonbinary and asexual, Gender Queer is more than a personal story: it is a useful and touching guide on gender identity--what it means and how to think about it--for advocates, friends, and humans everywhere." - SLJ

International Moon Day

American Moonshot: John F. Kennedy and the Great Space Race cover

American Moonshot: John F. Kennedy and the Great Space Race

"On May 25, 1961, JFK made an astonishing announcement: his goal of putting a man on the moon by the end of the decade. In this engrossing, fast-paced epic, Douglas Brinkley returns to the 1960s to recreate one of the most exciting and ambitious achievements in the history of humankind. American Moonshot brings together the extraordinary political, cultural, and scientific factors that fueled the birth and development of NASA and the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo projects, which shot the United States to victory in the space race against the Soviet Union at the height of the Cold War."

Apollo's Legacy: Perspectives on the Moon Landing cover

Apollo's Legacy: Perspectives on the Moon Landing

"...space historian Roger D. Launius explores the many-faceted stories told about the meaning of the Apollo program and how it forever altered American society. The Apollo missions marked the first time human beings left Earth's orbit and visited another world, and thus they loom large in our collective memory. Many have detailed the exciting events of the Apollo program, but Launius offers unique insight into its legacy as seen through multiple perspectives. He surveys a wide range of viewpoints and narratives, both positive and negative, surrounding the program."

Moondust: In Search of the Men Who Fell to Earth cover

Moondust: In Search of the Men Who Fell to Earth

"The Apollo moon programme has been called the last optimistic act of the twentieth century. Over a strange three-year period between 1969 and 1972, twelve men made the longest and most eccentric of all journeys. Of the astronauts who walked on the moon only nine are still alive. One day in the near future there will be none: no one on earth will have known the giddy thrill of gazing back at us from another world. In Moondust Andrew Smith sets out to find and interview the remaining moonwalkers in order to learn how their lives, and ours, were changed for ever by this surreal adventure."