Today we honor the life of Martin Luther King Jr., the civil rights leader who would have turned 84 this year. A federal holiday to honor King, who was assassinated in April 1968, was first observed in 1986. Congress also designated it a national day of service in 1994.
April 4, 1968: Martin Luther King Jr.'s death and transformation of America by Michael Eric Dyson
At Canaan's edge: America in the King years 1965-68 by Taylor Branch
Once every four years, Americans enter into a months-long national spectacle — often with bitter battles, high drama, mudslinging, and hilarious blunders. At the end of all of this discourse, we ultimately entrust the leadership of our country to the victor. Although, the election of George Washington as the country's first president was a foregone conclusion, the campaigns to follow were usually anything but. This Special Collection provides a guide to those individuals elected to lead our country, as well as a look at how the Presidential campaign has evolved in the last 200 years. As we observe Inauguration Day 2013, this is a good time to immerse yourself in some presidential history.
The NFL playoffs are in full swing and Super Bowl 47 is right around the corner. While you're waiting, catch up on some of the lives of some of the sport's greatest players and coaches — both past and present:
Moving the chains: Tom Brady and the pursuit of everything by Charles P. Pierce
Namath: a biography by Mark Kriegel
On January 8, 1815, during the War of 1812, British forces suffered more than 2,000 casualties in their attack on New Orleans. The defending U.S. forces were led by General Andrew Jackson who became a national hero as a result. Ironically, neither side knew that the war had already ended two weeks before with the signing of the Treaty of Ghent.
The Battle of New Orleans by Robert V. Remini
Elvis Presley was born on January 8, 1935 in Tupelo, Mississippi. He would have turned 78 this year. A multi-dimensional performer, Elvis' diverse talents are on display in the many recordings and movies that he left behind:
Careless love: the unmaking of Elvis Presley by Peter Guralnick
The artist written and directed by Michel Hazanavicius — An actor famous for his roles in silent films forms a relationship with an actress who is headed for fame in the new era of sound films.
The avengers written and directed by Joss Whedon — Iron Man, the Hulk, Thor, and Captain America assemble together for the very first time ever in this epic, action-packed blockbuster.
The best exotic Marigold Hotel directed by John Madden — A group of British retirees decide to outsource their retirement to a newly renovated hotel in Jaipur, India, that is being marketed as a retirement residence - but when they arrive, they find it to be in less luxurious condition than they had imagined.
The big year directed by David Frankel — Three men put their lives and careers on hold in an attempt to set a new record for the number of bird species spotted during a year.
The cabin in the woods directed by Drew Goddard — Five college friends head for a cabin in a remote forest and through a tattered diary left behind by a former inhabitant, begin to discover the deadly truth behind their lodging.
The dark knight rises directed by Christopher Nolan — Wi
Set in an Edwardian country house in the early 20th century, the popular PBS series Downton Abbey centers on the Crawley family, their servants and their life at their grand country home. As the first season began, the death of the Crawley heir aboard the Titanic, set in motion a succession of changes for both the family and the servants. The second season moved forward to the years 1916-17 and portrayed the effect that World War I has on all of their lives.
President Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863. It declared "that all persons held as slaves" within the rebellious states "are, and henceforward shall be free." Every advance of Union troops into the Confederacy expanded former slaves' freedom. Additionally, the Proclamation allowed black men into the military, and by the end of the Civil War almost 200,000 black soldiers and sailors had joined and fought for the Union cause.
Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation: the end of slavery in America by Allen C. Guelzo
The recent film Argo starring Ben Affleck tells the true but improbable story of a covert operation to save six Americans hiding in the Canadian Embassy during the 1979 Iran Hostage Crisis. The history of espionage is filled with many such hard to believe tales and the Library's collection has many great titles to pick from.
Double cross: the true story of the D-day spies by Ben Macintyre — What did a Polish patriot, a Peruvian party girl, a Serbian playboy, an eccentric Spanish chicken farmer, and a volatile dog-loving Frenchwoman have in common?
The National Film Registry of The Library of Congress has just announced its list of inductees for 2012. Established in 1989, the films are selected for their enduring importance to United States culture. For a history of the Film Registry you can watch the fascinating documentary These amazing shadows: the movies that made America. Titles available in the Libary's collections can be found below. The entire list — complete with film history — can be found here.
3:10 to Yuma [videodisc] — Starring Glenn Ford and Van Heflin (1957)
This year has seen several new films based or inspired on historical figures and events. Lincoln, Hitchcock, On the Road, Argo, and Hyde Park on Hudson are all either in theatres now — or soon will be. If you want to be an educated viewer try one of the titles below:
Team of rivals: the political genius of Abraham Lincoln by Doris Kearns Goodwin
Rise to greatness: Abraham Lincoln and America's most perilous year by David Von Drehle
Armchair historians can't go wrong with this diverse list of recently published biographies and histories:
Thomas Jefferson: the art of power by Jon Meacham
The man who saved the union: Ulysses Grant in war and peace by H.W. Brands
The passage of power by Robert A. Caro
Nominees for the 2013 Grammy Awards were announced recently. The winners will be revealed February 10, 2013 at the 55th Grammy Award Show. In the meantime you can find the nominees for the major categories in the Library's collection:
Channel orange [sound recording] by Frank Ocean — Album of the Year
El Camino [sound recording] by the Black Keys — Album of the Year
Babel [sound recording] by Mumford & Sons — Album of the Year
Blunderbuss [sound recording] by Jack White — Album of the Year
The month of December is filled with many different holiday celebrations — Hanukkah, Christmas and Kwanzaa are just some of the special observances this month. Learn more about all these holidays through the many resources at the Canton Public Library. This Special Collection can help get you started!
The American book of days by Christianson, Stephen G — A day-by-day record of American history from January 1 through December 31. For each of the 366 days of the year (including February 29), several substantial essays explore significant events of military, scientific, ethnic, or cultural significance.
The book of the year : a brief history of our seasonal holidays by Anthony F. Aveni — Discusses the origins and modern development of our holidays and provides an entertainng glimpse into their evolution.