Today we honor the life Martin Luther King, Jr., the civil rights leader who would have turned 88 this year. A federal holiday to honor King, who was assassinated in April, 1968 was first observed in 1986. Congress also designated a national day of service in 1994.

This Friday the hotly anticipated film The Post opens at area theaters. Set in 1971, the film tells the story of Daniel Ellsberg, and the race to publish the Pentagon Papers, which exposed a massive government cover-up about the U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War spanning three decades. Starring Meryl Streep as Washington Post publisher, Katherine Graham,  and Tom Hanks as editor Ben Bradlee, it was directed by Steven Spielberg. For some background on this historic period, check out some of the Library's resources.

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January 1, 1660. Samuel Pepys began writing his famous diary in which he chronicled life in London  - including the Great Plague during 1664 and 1665, and the Great Fire of 1666.

January 1, 1863. The Emancipation Proclamation was issued by President Abraham Lincoln, freeing the slaves in the states rebelling against the Union.

January 1, 1892. Ellis Island was opened in New York Harbor. Over 20 million immigrants were processed there until it closed in 1954.

Montag, a regimented fireman in charge of burning the forbidden volumes, meets a revolutionary school teacher who dares to read. Suddenly he finds himself a hunted fugitive, forced to choose not only between two women, but between personal safety and intellectual freedom.

Set against the futuristic landscape of totalitarian Britain, this is the story of a young working-class woman, Evey, who is rescued from a life-and-death situation by a masked man known only as 'V.' Incomparably charismatic and ferociously skilled in the art of combat and deception, 'V' ignites a revolution when he urges his fellow citizens to rise up against tyranny and oppression.

An insane general triggers a path to nuclear holocaust that a war room full of politicians and generals frantically try to stop.

The PBS series Victoria returns on January 14, 2018. You can learn more about this historic monarch in the meantime by checking out some of the many resources available at the Library.

Victoria : a life by A. N. Wilson

An undercover MI6 agent is sent to Berlin in the midst of the Cold War to investigate the murder of his fellow agent.

The fantastic journey of Belle, a bright, beautiful, and independent young woman who is taken prisoner by a beast in his castle. Despite her fears, she befriends the castle's enchanted staff and learns to look beyond the Beast's hideous exterior and realize the kind heart and soul of the true Prince within.

When a wounded Union soldier is taken in by the headmistress of an all girls school in Virginia, he romances each of the women one by one with shocking consequences..