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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 …

Posted 5 months ago by

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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 6 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 …

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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 -- …

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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 7 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 …

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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 …

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Today in History: Kennedy Establishes the Peace Corps 

If you explore the Peace Corps website, and search for library or librarian among its "Stories", you will certainly find work being done to advance literacy and improve education throughout the world -- Moldova to Tanzania to Guyana. You'll read of heroic efforts by teachers to build and stock libraries; the essential relationship between libraries …

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Today in History: Gulf War Ground Offensive Begins 

Security is tight as a lid around New York City, given the build up of events. People are on edge, realizing that the U.S. is entering into serious warfare, despite all the questions raised. We find ourselves comforting friends and family who are concerned about overseas travel and the inevitable gridlock around the United Nations where …

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Today in History: St Valentine 

The rose is red, the violet's blue, The honey's sweet, and so are you. Thou art my love, and I am thine; I drew thee to my Valentine. The lot was cut and then I drew, And fortune said it should be you. -- traditional English nursery rhyme, A Valentine for You   Valentine of …

Posted 8 months ago by

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Today in History: Daylight Savings Time 

Although the clocks may not switch over until Sunday, March 12th, Daylight Savings Time has an anniversary on February 9th. In 1942, it was instituted by President Roosevelt as a measure to save on fuel during war time -- specifically by the whole nation for one full year -- and to be repealed almost three …

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News Display: First Groundhog Day 

It was the second morning of February. The woods and the fields were covered with snow. The wind blew from a cold gray sky. "This is the day!" said a voice from under the ground. "This is the day I make my prediction!..." -- Crockett Johnson, Will Spring Be Early or Will Spring Be Late? (New …

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News Display: Robert Burns’ Birthday 

MY father was a farmer upon the Carrick border, O, And carefully he bred me in decency and order, O; He bade me act a manly part, though I had ne'er a farthing, O; For without an honest manly heart, no man was worth regarding, O. Then out into the world my course I did …

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News Display: Iran Hostage Crisis Ends 

We occasionally see Barry Rosen around the neighborhood and remember back to his early days at Teachers College, when he worked out of a small office way in back of the fifth floor -- past the library's K-12 curriculum collections and microcomputer lab. Barry came to Teachers College to head up the Department of External Affairs, following …

Posted 9 months ago by

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Today in History: Remembering Margret Rey 

And, of course, there's Pretzel, the longest daschund in all the world, and winner of the blue ribbon at the dog show. "All the dogs admired him. All the people admired him. Only Greta didn't ..."  ah, the vivid memories of pre-kindergarten come to life, as puppy love takes center stage! All the children admire the …

Posted 10 months ago by

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Today in History: Gustav Flaubert Is Born 

Our introduction to the 19th century French novel is Madame Bovary, Flaubert's debut novel that focuses on a country doctor's wife who is bored, lives beyond her means, and suffers a scandalous, imperfect marriage. And so begins our love affair with the great classics, in which we read Balzac, de Maupassant, de Musset, Hugo, and …

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Today in History: 13th Amendment Is Ratified 

On December 6, 1865, Abraham Lincoln's Fourth Annual Message to Congress was printed in the Congressional Globe, and the thirteenth amendment to the United States Constitution was ratified by Georgia, the last state necessary to move things forward; months after the end of the Civil War, this signifiant legislation served to abolish slavery, for it …

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Today in History: William Shakespeare Marries Anne Hathaway 

Let me not to the marriage of true minds Admit impediments. Love is not love Which alters when it alteration finds, Or bends with the remover to remove. O no! it is an ever-fixed mark That looks on tempests and is never shaken; It is the star to every wand'ring bark, Whose worth's unknown, although …

Posted 10 months ago by

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