AL governor proclaims July 14 'Go Set A Watchman' Day

Published: Jul. 13, 2015 at 2:58 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 10, 2015 at 2:58 PM CDT
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ALABAMA (WAFF) - To celebrate the book release of Alabama author Harper Lee's latest novel, Governor Robert Bentley announced on Monday that Tuesday, July 14, is proclaimed "Go Set a Watchman" Day in Alabama.

Lee's new novel will be released at midnight Monday.

"The release of 'Go Set a Watchman' is an exciting time for our state," Bentley said. "To join the national and international excitement surrounding the book, I have proclaimed Tuesday as 'Go Set a Watchman' Day in our state. Harper Lee is a great source of pride for our state, and the literary mark she has left on our state and nation should be commended. I am honored to issue this proclamation in recognition of her second book being released."

"To Kill a Mockingbird," published in July 1960, was Lee's first published novel. The novel focused on segregation, tolerance and the trial of a black man falsely accused of raping a young white woman during the Depression era in rural Alabama. The novel went on to become an international bestseller, and was adapted for the screen in 1962. Earning eight Academy Award nominations, the movie version of "To Kill a Mockingbird" won four awards, including Best Actor for Gregory Peck's portrayal of Atticus Finch. To date, "To Kill a Mockingbird" has been translated into 40 languages.

In 1997, by joint proclamation of the Legislature, Monroeville, Alabama, was designated as the "Literary Capital of Alabama" because of its history to produce many famous writers. The state of Alabama has a diverse and rich literary heritage, and is home to several Alabama-born authors.

Alabama Tourism Director Lee Sentell commented that the impact of Alabama authors is an important segment of the tourism economy.

"Harper Lee and other authors whose stories are set in Alabama are responsible for attracting many visitors who want to experience the towns they read about," Sentell said. "Literary tourism is a growing segment of our hospitality industry."

You can read a copy of Bentley's proclamation here.

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