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Learning at the Library

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Today in History: Obama Publishes Dreams from My Father 

Did you know that Barack Obama, son of a black African father, and white American mother -- and 44th president of the United States -- originally published Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance on July 18, 1995? A memoir that became a number one bestseller when it was reissued in 2004, …

Posted 3 days ago by

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Today in History: Burr Slays Hamilton in Duel 

Hamilton is all the rage, and if you are lucky enough to get tickets then let us know! While some win lottery tickets, others are fortunate to get them another way -- through a business or personal connection, or outright purchase at hundreds of dollars per seat. With music, lyrics, and book authored by Lin-Manual Miranda, this …

Posted 10 days ago by

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Today in History: The Salvation Army Is Founded 

Especially during the Winter holidays you'll notice the Salvation Army around town. A ringing bell on the corner of Lexington and 42nd street heralds donors -- festive windows, snowflakes falling with the scurry of shoppers, as workers shuffle their feet, braving the cold for hours on end. It's all about giving, and what better time of year? …

Posted 16 days ago by

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Today in History: Blondin Crosses Niagara 

When we think of high wire artists, Philippe Petit comes vividly to mind, for he gained fame when he walked between the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center on August 7, 1974. But did you know that Petit re-enacted in 1986 the amazing crossing of the Niagara River by Charles Blondin? On June 30, 1859, …

Posted 21 days ago by

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Today in History: Summer Solstice 

The sun hangs at meridian in a cloudless lake of sky And there is shimmering stillness everywhere; The hushed secrecy of leaves beneath this summer noon, The shining silence of white steeples in blue air. Nothing moves except a monster butterfly that floats Above the clumps of white and purple phlox, And one small humming-bird …

Posted a month ago by

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News Display: Harriet Beecher Stowe Is Born 

Did you know that Harriet Beecher Stowe was born on June 14, 1811 in Litchfield, Connecticut to the Reverend Lyman Beecher and Roxanna Foote Beecher? One of many children, Stowe became a student and then a teacher at Hartford Female Seminary which was founded by her sister Catherine. Harriet began writing stories for a Cincinnati …

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Today in History: World Environment Day 

With the recent U.S. federal government decision to pull out of the global climate change agreement, we look to historical concerns and current initiatives in our schools, communities, and cities, here and abroad. What constitutes a good quality of life, and why do certain factors in the environment affect the quality of life? How will environmental issues …

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Today in History: Big Ben Rings Out! 

If you are walking around Westminster, London at high noon, you will still be in for the sound; you can't help but stop and listen to the loud, symbolic chimes of one of the greatest clock bells in the world -- Big Ben made all the more remarkable in the digital age, where we have come to expect accuracy and …

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Today in History: Great Emigration Departs for Oregon 

Do you recall when you were first introduced to the Oregon Trail as a unit of study? Maybe you were in fourth grade and tasked with creating a diorama or model wagon? Or had to assume the character of a pioneer, write a letter, or visit the historic site? The Oregon Trail has long been an …

Posted 2 months ago by

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Today in History: Brown versus Board of Education 

Did you know that the Negro Education Club was alive and well at Teachers College in the 1920s? Mable Carney, Teachers College alumna and Head of the Department of Rural Education, 1917-1941, advocated for race relations? Or that Marion Thompson Wright, TC student, was the first Black historian to receive a doctorate at Columbia -- in 1941? An institution …

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Today in History: Dust Storm! Great Plains to Eastern Seaboard 

Drylongso's eyes lit up. He nodded, eagerly. "Earth's not made to heave up so, but to lie down, The ground stands up to teach folks not to plow the grasslands." "Seems so, said Lindy's dad. "There was a dust storm once, started in New Mexico and traveled as far as Washington, D.C. Folks had overused …

Posted 2 months ago by

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Today in History: May Day 

….Round them and above, Glitter, with dark recesses interposed, Casement, and cottage-roof, and stems of trees Half-veiled in vapoury cloud, the silver steam Of dews fast melting on their leafy boughs By the strong sunbeams smitten. Like a mast Of gold, the Maypole shines; as if the rays Of morning, aided by exhaling dew, With …

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Today in History: Library of Congress Is Established 

If you happen to stroll along First Street in our nation's capitol, you will stop dead in your tracks to admire the Thomas Jefferson Building, a grand example of the Beaux Arts; marble, granite, gold, bronze, and mahogany are among the fine materials used in a lead design by 19th century Washington architects, John L. Smithmeyer …

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Today in History: Great San Francisco Earthquake 

Caused by a slip on the San Andreas Fault, the great San Francisco Earthquake occurred around 5:15 am on April 18, 1906, with a magnitude of close to 8 on the Richter scale. The earthquake, which lasted less than one minute, devastated the city of San Francisco, with wide spread building collapses and fires -- …

Posted 3 months ago by

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Today in History: Titanic Hits an Iceberg 

Late in the evening of April 14, 1912, the RMS Titanic, a large and luxurious ocean liner that had departed from Southhampton, England four days earlier, struck an iceberg in the North Atlantic. The collision damaged the ship's hull, comprised of 16 compartments believed to be watertight; five compartments on the starboard side ruptured -- …

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Today in History: William Wordsworth Is Born 

OH there is blessing in this gentle breeze, A visitant that while it fans my cheek Doth seem half-conscious of the joy it brings From the green fields, and from yon azure sky. Whate'er its mission, the soft breeze can come To none more grateful than to me; escaped From the vast city, where I …

Posted 3 months ago by

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Today in History: U.S. Withdraws from Vietnam 

I never understood why my friend Mary wore a pewter-colored bracelet on her left wrist to school, until the day she explained its meaning; her older brother, a mere 18 year old boy, was drafted for service some months prior, and unfortunately taken by soldiers in the North. Where exactly, she did not know -- …

Posted 3 months ago by

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Today in History: The Black Death 

The Black Death or Bubonic Plague dates back to March 20, 1345 when, according to scholars at the University of Paris, there was "a triple conjunction of Saturn, Jupiter and Mars in the 40th degree of Aquarius." This deadly disease left 50 million people dead from a bacterium transmitted by the fleas of rats. Flu-like …

Posted 4 months ago by

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Today in History: Uranus Is Discovered 

In Greek mythology, Uranus is Father Heaven, brother of the sea god Pontus; husband of Earth Goddess, Gaia; and father of the Titans, members of the second generation of divine beings. Did you know that some of the moons surrounding Uranus are named after Shakespearian characters: Oberon and Titania, from A Midsummer Night's Dream; Ariel …

Posted 4 months ago by

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Today in History: Remembering Georgia O’Keeffe 

Fittingly dressed as one's biography, it is the day to present to the classroom. Babe Ruth, Marie Curie, and Queen Elizabeth file ceremoniously through the doors, but the school greeter -- cum artist-teacher, casts his eye quickly to the back of the entrance line and smiles in surprise, recognizing, recollecting, and yes, approving the choice. She sports a …

Posted 4 months ago by

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