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Thursday, 14 June 2018

Flag Day, Preservation In4, Bunker Hill, 10 Facts about Petersburg, and More

Flag Day, Preservation In4, Bunker Hill, 10 Facts about Petersburg, and More

Two months after the shelling of Fort Sumter and the official beginning of the American Civil War, the town of Hartford, Connecticut, had an idea. Concerned with how to shore up support for the Union cause, townspeople proposed an idea to the editor of Hartford Evening Press, Charles Dudley Warner, who would later co-author The Gilded Age with Mark Twain. Their idea was to create a holiday honoring the flag of the Union for the 14th of June, the same day the Second Continental Congress had adopted Betsy Ross’ flag for its new army. The idea proved popular, and was quickly adopted by other nearby towns, but it wasn’t until after the war ended that Americans from across the country began to adopt the flag as a symbol of something more than military identification. The Stony Hill School in Wisconsin held the day's first official observation in 1885, and from there it took off, with celebrations in Illinois, Pennsylvania, New York, and even Washington state in the West.

While not an official federal holiday, Flag Day did gain national recognition in 1916, the eve of America’s entry into the First World War, another period of anxiety and uncertainty for the nation. That year, President Woodrow Wilson sent out a proclamation recognizing the June 14th date. Ideas to alter the tradition still continued; President Franklin Roosevelt proposed a “United Nations Day” in 1942 to replace Flag Day in a show of solidarity with our World War Two allies, but Flag Day has continued at the president’s discretion almost every year since.

How people celebrate Flag Day depends largely on their local traditions. Parades are common, especially in places historically associated with the flag. The Betsy Ross House in Philadelphia and the Mary Pickersgill House in Baltimore each have their own special observances. But the American Battlefield Trust would like to offer an alternative. This year, we would like you to considering taking yourself or your friends and family to some of the special places across the country where people in the past served, fought and died under the flag. There, you cannot only learn about why and how they fought, but also walk the same paths they walked and see the same land they saw in their final moments. This Flag Day is your chance to understand and appreciate what these citizen-soldiers and those who aided them saw in the American flag, and help us or our partners across the country preserve these special places.

In4: Preserving Civil War History

Nearly seven generations have supported battlefield preservation over the past 150 or more years, beginning with the veterans right out of the Civil War. Our new "In4" video provides a look at the ongoing fight to preserve America’s hallowed Civil War battlegrounds, from veterans themselves, to the “Golden Age” of preservation, to our fight today.

In4: Bunker Hill

This year marks the 243rd anniversary of the Battle of Bunker Hill, and the end of any hope of reconciliation between England and her colonies. While the battle was a tactical victory for the British, it proved to be a sobering experience, sustaining more than twice the casualties that the Americans had incurred. Bunker Hill demonstrated that inexperienced Continental militia could stand up to British troops in battle, a feat that hadn't been thought possible. Learn more about the June 17, 1775, event with our In4 video.

10 Facts about the Petersburg Campaign

June 15th marks the anniversary of the start of the Battles and Siege of Petersburg - a particularly complex and broad series of actions that spanned 292 days of combat, maneuver, and trench warfare over hundreds of square miles. The battles and siege involved more than 180,000 soldiers and produced some 60,000 casualties. Here are 10 facts about these events.

We need your voice!

Stories from people like you make a big impact on future members. We would be grateful if you could help raise awareness of the American Battlefield Trust and post a brief story of your experience with us. GreatNonprofits.org is known as the "people's choice" awards for outstanding nonprofits. We would like to be honored in their 2018 Top-Rated List. A review is easy to write and only takes 3 minutes. All content will be visible to potential supporters. Please consider writing a review today.

Annual Conference Photo Book

Did you join the American Battlefield Trust in Newport News for our Annual Conference in June? Now you can relive the memories with our keepsake photo book. You can order a book of our favorite photos from now until June 25th. The price for each book is $15.00.

Father's Day Giving

This Father’s Day, honor a father in your life and make a gift in his honor or memory. You can choose to honor him by making a donation to save a battlefield or support a history educator. Then choose one of our e-cards to share your gift with the father you’re honoring or send it to his family!

American Battlefield Trust