Long Shadow is broad but rich in historical perspective, specifically in reference to the First World War shaping the 20th century. Informative, insightful, and certainly well worth looking through since August 2014 will mark the hundredth anniversary of the outbreak of the First World War.
Prepare to hear a lot about the Magna Carta over the coming months. This year marks the 800th anniversary of the signing of one of the most important documents in Western law and government. Without a doubt there will be many references to it in the media.
On June 15, 1215 King John of England signed a document that guaranteed certain fundamental rights to his English subjects as demanded by a group of powerful barons.
Specific rights that were born in the Magna Carta are
- trial by jury
- due process
- habeas corpus
- equality under the law
View an old discolored and tattered copy of the Magna Carta at National Geographic Eyewitness to History online.
Each source will lead you to other sources. Remember, if you are looking at these sources from outside the library you will be prompted to enter your library card number before going to the website.
On May 10, 1933, German students (with official encouragement) burned an estimated 25,000 books in a symbolic act meant to “purify” Germany of Jewish influence. The Nazis would continue to burn books throughout their reign, both in their country and in the countries they invaded, in an attempt to stamp out any thought they deemed dangerous to National Socialism, ultimately destroying over 100 million volumes. People around the world reacted in outrage and horror, and in the US, groups of librarians, citizens, politicians, writers, and publishers came together to fight back. Through organized book donation drives and the invention of an entirely new book format—the Armed Services Edition—these fighters in World War II’s “War of Ideas” put 132 million books in the hands of American servicemen and their allies. Their work inspired an entire generation with a love of reading and enshrined books like Betty Smith’s A Tree Grows in Brooklyn and F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby as American classics. When Books Went to War tells their unforgettable story.
When we think of 1940, World War II may be one of the first events to come to our minds, but that's not all that was happening in the world at that time. Our reference materials make it easy for you to dig back into our past and, not only learn about the war, but see what else was happening in April 1940. Here are just a few highlights:
- On April 7, 1940 Booker T. Washington (pictured above) became the first African American to be featured on a U.S. postage stamp.
- Dr. John Enders announced the isolation of the mumps virus in April 1940, which made serums and vaccines possible. See what else was going on with health and medicine in the 1940's.
- In the months before Germany's blitzkrieg in May 1940, WWII in Europe came to a standstill which became known as the Phony War. This lull gave Germany the opportunity to replenish their supplies and equipment and prepare for their next strike.
- Back in the United States, students at University of California, Berkeley held a strike for peace.
- The first electron microscope, which weighed almost 700 pounds, was demonstrated in Philadelphia, PA.
- April 29, 1940 was the first broadcast of The Bell Telephone Hour on NBC Radio. This program featured a variety of musicians and entertainment and ran for 18 years.
- This month marked the first time Robin appeared as Batman's sidekick in an issue of Detective Comic.
Our world has come a long way in just 75 years. It makes you wonder what discoveries and developments are in store for us in 2090, only 75 years from now.
In this fascinating book, film producer Paul Fischer combines interviews, research, and first-hand investigation to tell the strange story of Kim Jong-Il’s kidnapping of South Korea’s leading director and his star actress ex-wife. Obsessed with film since he was a child, Kim Jong-Il used North Korea’s Ministry for Propaganda to build his power within the regime, making the only movies that the isolated North Korean people were allowed to view. As Kim’s ambitions eclipsed his country’s limited filmmaking ability, he decided to recruit new talent—forcibly.
Choi Eun-Hee was South Korea’s biggest and most beloved star; Shin Sang-Ok, her director ex-husband, ran the largest film production company in South Korea. Kim kidnapped both in 1978, and after torturing Shin into compliance, the two began making films for North Korea’s captive audience. With success—their films played to packed theaters for months and won international awards—came the opportunity to escape via a chase straight out of a spy novel.
A must-read for anyone interested in the history and culture of North Korea.
One of our reference databases that I find most interesting is Daily Life Through History. It allows you to revisit past times and places throughout history and learn what a typical day was like for the people living there, including details of their home life, diets, and common ceremonies. Here are some examples of the great stuff you can explore:
- The location of Cahokia: It was a settlement in the Southeast/Midwest region of North America during the years 900-1500 AD. It was about the size that London is today and was populated by the Mississippian culture, who constructed mound dwellings and excelled at stone carving, pottery, woodwork, weaponry, and agriculture.
- Sports and recreation during the Han Dynasty: During this dynasty, which reigned from 260-220 BC, people commonly enjoyed activities such as archery, fencing, boxing, equestrian activities, and even an early version of tug of war. Their sports and physical education were strongly influenced at that time by military training practices.
- Education in British and Dutch Africa: The database discusses African education mainly during the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries and explained that young children primarily learned about traditions, customs, and cultures by observing and imitating their elders. Upon their initiation into adulthood, they began a period of more formal education.
- Food and drink in Victorian England: The working class and rural laborers in the early 1800's had diets that consisted mainly of bread, potatoes, and tea with bacon added for flavoring once or twice a week. Middle and upper class families enjoyed a more diverse menu which could include vegetable-marrow soup, lemon dumplings, boiled mackerel, and macaroni and cheese.
If you've got a time period or culture that you're interested in, you should definitely check out this database to learn more about how the people actually lived.
Billie Breslin has an incredible gift. She can identify any flavor, no matter how subtle, with just one taste. Follow Billie as she moves to New York City to pursue a career in food journalism at the well known Delicous! Magazine. Away from her family and feeling out of place in a new city, Billie learns to find total comfort in her eclectic coworkers.
I love reading. I love food. I especially love reading about food. Delicious! is a fun read and is filled with so many twists I never expected. It's a story with a rich history, intriguing characters, and I guarantee your mouth will water more than once.
Teaching Shakespeare this year? Do your students need motivation to delve into the Elizabethan world for a project? Consider World of Shakespeare Reference Book. As a picture book for middles, teens and adults, the book contains fun images and inticing facts in an easy-to-use format, without the overwhelming drama of a Shakespeare play. Grades 6-12.
“To meet one’s Waterloo” has become a phrase in popular culture meaning a decisive defeat. It's fitting this term has endured because The Battle of Waterloo is considered a history-changing battle. In 1815, Napoleon Bonaparte escaped from the island of Elba, where he had been exiled. He immediately headed to France to reunite the French army, which was always fiercely loyal to him, and to expand the French Empire. Although considered one of the greatest military minds in history, the author indicates Napoleon made some questionable moves and interesting assumptions at Waterloo.
Bernard Cornwell artfully sets the stage for this epic battle and details the events as they unfold. The author’s use of primary sources (letters from the soldiers) gives the reader a vivid account of the brutality of the battle that cost the lives of over 65,000 people. This is an exceptional account that will satisfy anybody with an interest in the Battle of Waterloo.
Shrouded in fantasy, the Biltmore Estate in Ashville, North Carolina vividly comes to life in Serafina and the Black Cloak, exciting young readers about American history. Names like Vanderbilt jump off the page mingling with despicable villians and a magical forest. Get your students interested in history through this fictional twist on a very real past. Grades 6-8.