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Armed with his camera, notepad, and '73 Super Beetle, an Army journalist sets his sights on being in Washington D.C., Philadelphia, and NYC, all on July 4, 1976, so to witness how far we have come and how far we have to go.

The Book

After the festivities of the Kentucky Derby in 1976, Army Specialist Desi McKoy juggles his duties as a photo-journalist at the Fort Knox weekly newspaper with his quest for his own version of the 'Pursuit of Happiness’ in the year marking the 200th Anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence.


Throughout his pursuit, he encounters many different people, including Emily, a newly minted graduate of the University of Kentucky, hitchhiking musicians who are looking to be part of a protest in Philadelphia, and Penny Bright, a member of the United States Army band at Fort Knox. 


On the Fourth of July, Desi attends a Washington D.C. breakfast event hosted by Emily's father. Emily has doubts about her own independence as they head towards New York, while Desi is determined to get a sense of the mood of "We the People of the United States" on the American Bicentennial. He also has to figure out where he will be spending the night if he makes it to New York City that day.


Through their various experiences, some of the characters discover that true "Patriots" are those who seek to help make the United States what it is capable of becoming, more than just a vessel in a turbulent world, but a sanctuary capable of encouraging the aspirations of all its citizens.

Whether you can recall the Bicentennial with your own memories or not, you will get to ride along with Army Specialist Desi McKoy and experience a moment when a decade of planning at the federal and state levels came together with the participation of millions of people of all backgrounds to celebrate. In the words of John Warner, the Administrator of the American Revolution Bicentennial Administration, the celebration proved that “America was alive and well in 1976.”

Bicentennial Trifecta

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Bicentennial Trifecta


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"We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."

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