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Invictus

Opening in the Detroit area tomorrow, the film Invictus tells the inspiring true story of how newly elected South African president Nelson Mandela joined forces with the captain of South Africa’s rugby team, to help unite their country. Knowing that his nation remained racially divided - as well as economically - in the wake of apartheid, Mandela and team captain Francois Pienaar used the universal language of sport to rally South Africa’s underdog rugby team to an unlikely run to the World Cup Championship

Fall of the Berlin Wall

Thousands of visitors, including dignitaries and world leaders, are in Berlin today to mark the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. The Wall divided the city and Germany into East and West for three decades until it was brought down on November 9, 1989. Today's celebration will include concerts, fireworks and the symbolic collapse of a wall of oversize dominoes that has been set up in the area where the Wall once stood. It will be toppled later today - just like the Wall was 20 years ago.

National American Indian Heritage Month

In 1990 President George H. W. Bush approved a joint resolution designating November 1990 National American Indian Heritage Month. Similar proclamations have been issued each year since 1994. The National Register of Historic Places has put together a list of sites promoting the history and culture of Native Americans. The following Special Collection is designed to highlight some of the library's many resources about Native Americans.

General Reference

Historical Dictionary of North American Archaeology edited by Edward B. Jelks: This comprehensive guide to mainly prehistoric sites, cultures and artifacts in the United States and Canada features some 1800 signed entries by 151 expert contributors.

American Indians edited by Harvey Markowitz: This three-volume set, arranged alphabetically in an encyclopedia style, highlights hundreds of important characters, events, places and concepts in Native American culture. Also included are a timeline, addresses of educational institutions, agencies, museums as well as statistical information.

Soupy Sales

The legendary TV personality Soupy Sales passed away this past week at age 83 after a long illness. Anybody who grew up in the Detroit area in the 50s and 60s certainly remembers his zany television program Lunch with Soupy which began airing on WXYZ-TV (Channel 7) in 1953. White Fang and Black Tooth were two of the more memorable characters from that show. And don't forget about the pies! Sales himself once estimated that he took about 9,000 pies to the face during his long career.

The Mystery of 2012

According to the plot of a new film being released on November 13, the world will come to an end on December 21, 2012. Supposedly based on the fact that the Mayan calendar "runs out" after that date, there has been a slew of books, articles and websites devoted to this phenomenon - as well as the aforementioned film 2012. So what's it really all about?

Great Michigan Read

This year's selection for the Great Michigan Read is the memoir Stealing Buddha's Dinner by Bich Minh Nguyen. Sponsored by the Michigan Humanities Council, this is the second year for the statewide program which inspired more than 500 programs and events in 2008. Stealing Buddha's Dinner chronicles the author's migration from Vietnam to the United States in 1975 and her life growing up in Grand Rapids in the 1980s. Nguyen will embark on a five-city author tour on October 13-17, with stops scheduled for Lansing, Grand Rapids, Midland, Traverse City and Plymouth. She will speak at the Penn Theatre on Saturday, October 17.

Homer & Langley

E.L. Doctorow's latest novel Homer & Langley is based on the true story of the Collyer brothers, notorious for their compulsive hoarding in the first half of the 20th century. The two unemployed siblings lived together for thirty years in their New York City home, where they obsessively collected items such as newspapers, books, furniture, chandeliers, and musical instruments, while at the same time setting booby traps in the hallways to protect against intruders. Their amazing story is often cited as an example of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.

Hollywood comes to Library's rescue

According to an article in the Detroit Free Press, Hollywood is coming to the aid of the McGregor Library in Highland Park, Michigan. The library was forced to close in 2002 because the city couldn't afford to keep it open. Actor Danny Glover will reportedly star in a film - titled Highland Park - which will tell the story of the struggle to reopen the library. Significant restoration will be done on the building as part of the film project, and it is hoped that this will eventually lead to the library reopening.

Hispanic Heritage

National Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated from mid-September through mid-October each year. The resources in this Special Collection provide an introduction to the culture, identity and direction of the diverse population that is Hispanic.

Culture

Arte Latino: Treasures From the Smithsonian American Art Museum by Jonathan Yorba: This book documents 50 Latino artists from the U.S. and Puerto Rico as they explore their identity and influence on U.S. culture over the past two centuries through various media.

Edward M. Kennedy

Senator Edward M. Kennedy passed away early this morning after a long battle with cancer. He was 77. Kennedy, nicknamed "Ted," and known as the "Lion of the Senate" was first elected to represent Massachusetts in 1962. He is one of only six senators in U.S. history to serve more than 40 years. Throughout this time he played major roles in the passage of such landmark legislation as the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and the 1993 Family and Medical Leave Act. He has also been one of the Senate's foremost champions of health care reform. Speaking to reporters after hearing the news of Kennedy's death, President Obama called him "not only one of the greatest senators of our time, but one of the most accomplished Americans ever to serve our democracy."

National Inventors Month

This is the month for all your great ideas for a "better mousetrap" to be considered once again! Started in 1998 by the United Inventors Association of the USA, the Academy Of Applied Science and Inventors' Digest Magazine, August has been designated as National Inventors Month, celebrating invention and creativity.

Get the Facts about Health Care Reform

Confused about the debate over health care reform? President Obama has unveiled a new "Reality Check" site to help you get the facts on this very important issue. The site has fact sheets, videos, and links to related sites such as Health Reform.gov. It also allows users to receive updates via Twitter and Facebook.

The Summer of '69

Do you remember Hurricane Camille? Woodstock? Apollo 11? The Manson Murders? The Stonewall Riots? If so, do you remember what all of these history making events have in common? They all occurred in the Summer of 1969. For an overview of some of these events check out CNN's Special page. For a perspective on the entire year you can also read Rob Kirkpatrick's recent book 1969: the Year Everything Changed. Or check out Wikipedia's timeline for a day-by-day breakdown of this seminal year in American history.