200 years of fun

bicentennial almanac front coverThe Bicentennial Almanac
200 Years of America
Linton, ed.

Another book from Mary’s Swedish Death Cleaning Project.

This title really had me scratching my head. I was a cynical and naive kid back in the 1970s. I was a history fan, so I can only surmise that someone gave this to me as a gift. I doubt it was ever opened. If you were around back then, the whole country had bicentennial fever. Every product out there seemed to make a “Bicentennial” version of whatever was around.

Many events, especially the more shameful, are downplayed or are omitted. Almanacs are not to be considered comprehensive, but this book has very little meat. It would be useless to a student of American history. I think this book was probably cobbled together from other materials and sanitized for our protection.

I doubt this would be purchased for any library even at the time of publication. Mostly because it is really just a calendar with a sentence or two. I would like to think that a library would want a little content for their budget.



bicentennial almanac back cover

The year 1974


  1. Souvenirs don’t make for a long shelf life. Yes, starred and striped ’76! ‘s were on everything for a couple of years. It was all white noise by 7/4/1976.

  2. I was an adult when the Bicentennial came up. Craziness and Americana mingled to an alarming degree.

    Fire hydrants were painted up to resemble George Washington and schools awarded prizes for the ‘best’ examples. Grotesque dolls with heads made from dried apples were touted an an ‘authentic American folk craft’. To be frank, competitions for Halloween decorations were less scary.

    1. I was 7 years old in 1976, and man, I ate that bicentennial stuff up with a spoon. The thought of all that jingoism now, as an adult, is less appealing.

  3. I think I had that too! I think it was just a sanitized opportunity to celebrate 200 years without the (proper) qualifications we usually put in today.

  4. “Say, it’s only a paper earth
    Sailing over a cardboard sea
    But it wouldn’t be make-believe
    If you believed in me”

  5. Yep, I had this. Can’t remember whether it was the book given to me as a wedding present (odd, even if it was another history book). That wedding was in 1983, so I hope I am mistaken. But if I am, not a clue where this would have come from.

  6. The local Bicentennial parade is my earliest memory. I was two years old. I still have the plastic keychain the hometown bank threw as souvenirs!

    That front cover doesn’t look 70’s at all. If it wasn’t for the subject matter I would have guessed late 80’s or 90’s. The back cover is all 70’s, though.

    I could use this book, I guess, because I don’t remember the Apollo mission to the desert. Lovely full moon overhead for them to see by, at least.

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