Michigan in the Civil War

More than 90,000 Michigan men — nearly a quarter of the state's male population in 1860 — served in the United States Civil War. Over 14,000 Michigan soldiers died in the service of their country — roughly 1 of every 6 who served. Michigan supplied a large number of troops and several generals, including George Armstrong Custer's Michigan Wolverine Cavalry. In all, Michigan fielded 31 Regiments of Infantry, 11 Regiments of Cavalry, 14 batteries of Artillery, 1 regiment of Sharpshooters, and 1 regiment of Engineers. Among the more celebrated units was the 24th Michigan Volunteer Infantry, which suffered heavy losses at the Battle of Gettysburg. To find out more about Michigan's Civil War history check out the following books, DVDs, and websites:

150th Anniversary of the Civil War

This year marks the 150th anniversary of the start of U.S. Civil War. The first shots were fired on April 12, 1861 at Fort Sumter in South Carolina's Charleston Harbor. It raged on for four more years until Robert E. Lee surrendered to Ulysses S. Grant on April 9, 1865 at Appomattox Courthouse, Virginia. You can learn about Michigan's involvement — by both the military and the civilians — through the eyes of Michigan's Senator Jacob M. Howard who represented Michigan in Congress from 1862 to 1871. The senator will be portrayed by David Tennies, a local Civil War historian and reenactor. Join us on Tuesday evening, June 14 from 7-8:30PM for what should be a fascinating encounter. No registration is required.

Life Among the Royals

If Prince William and Kate Middleton's upcoming wedding has piqued your interest in all things royal, then check out the following films and television series from the Library's collection. And don't forget to set your alarm clock for 6:00AM Friday morning to catch all of the festivities!

TV Series

Elizabeth I by HBO Films

Elizabeth R. Discs 1 & 2 by British Broadcasting Corporation

Monarchy. The complete series. Disc 1

The six wives of Henry VIII. Disc 1 by British Broadcasting Corp.

The Tudors. The complete first season, Discs 1 & 2 by Showtime Entertainment

Civil War Anniversary

This year marks the 150th anniversary of the start of the American Civil War. The first shots were fired on April 12, 1861 at Fort Sumter in South Carolina's Charleston Harbor. Confederate forces let by Brig. General P.G.T. Beauregard demanded the surrender of the fort and opened fire when the Union commander, Maj. Robert Anderson, refused. He was forced to evacuate the next day, however, and this battle became the first engagement of the war. It raged on for four more years until Robert E. Lee surrendered to Ulyssses S. Grant on April 9, 1865 at Appomattox Courthouse, Virginia. Since then there have been thousands of books written about the war, its causes and its aftermath — including many published this year to commemorate the anniversary. Some of the Library's new titles include:

Green Gardening

Join us at the Library on Tuesday evening, April 19 for a presentation by Jodi Cook, a local horticulturalist and green living advocate. Jodi will be speaking on how your garden impacts our environment, and how you can become a responsible caretaker while still having a beautiful garden. The program will take place in the Community Room from 7:00-8:30PM, as part of the Library's Earth Week celebration.

Take Me Out to the Ballgame!

Now that Spring is finally here and Opening Day is only a couple of weeks away, it's time to get back into the baseball swing of things! You can do that by watching some of the many great baseball themed films and documentaries in the Library's collection — or by reading up on your own Detroit Tigers. Batter up!

Feature Films

The Bad News Bears — In the orignal version, Walter Matthau is a grumbling beer-guzzling former minor-league pitcher who gets roped into coaching a band of half-pint misfits somewhat loosely called a team. (1979)

Bang the drum slowly — An unlikely friendship ignites between two baseball players. One is the team's ace pitcher and social charmer; the other is the catcher, a farm boy from Georgia who lacks sophistication. (1973)

2010 National Film Registry Inductees

The National Film Registry of The Library of Congress recently announced its list of inductees for 2010. Among the titles is George Lucas' 1967 short film which inspired the movie THX 1138. Established in 1989, the films are selected for their enduring importance to United States culture. Also included among the list of 2010 entries are:

Year 2010 Top Movie Picks

Adam — A romantic character study examining the obstacles to intimacy and the compromises we make in the name of love, Adam stars Hugh Dancy as a man living with Asperger's syndrome who does his best to reach out to his pretty new upstairs neighbor.

Avatar — Jake Sully is a former Marine who uses a wheelchair. But despite his broken body, Jake is still a warrior at heart. He is recruited to travel light years to the human outpost on Pandora, where a corporate consortium is mining a rare mineral that is the key to solving Earth's energy crisis.

The blind side — Taken in by a well-to-do family and offered a second chance at life, a homeless teen grows to become the star athlete projected to be the first pick at the NFL draft in this sports-themed comedy drama.

Environmental Documentaries

Although Earth Day is officially celebrated once a year - on April 22 - the Library has a great collection of environmentally-themed documentaries that are available all year round. From wildlife to climate change, from recycling to alternate energy, we have it covered! Check out just some of the titles below:

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