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Fifty-five years ago, on August 9, 1974, Richard Nixon became the first American president to resign his office. Learn about what led to this historic event by checking out some of the Library's many resources on the topic.

All the President's men by 1944- Carl Bernstein
The final days by 1943- Bob Woodward

For over two hundred years, lighthouses have served as a beacon of light on American coastlines. The lighthouse symbolizes safety and security for ships and boats at sea. On August 7, 1789, Congress signed into law an act establishing federal control and support of lighthouses. But in 1939, the United States Coast Guard took over. Lighthouses have declined due to the expense of upkeep and modern navigational systems. The oldest lighthouse in the nation is the Boston Light on Little Brewster Island in Boston, Massachusetts. It was built in 1716 and is still operational. The Fort Gratiot Lighthouse is the oldest lighthouse in Michigan and it keeps watch over Lake Huron at the entrance of the St. Clair River. Want to learn more? Check out these resources about lighthouses from our collection!

Michigan's Haunted Lighthouses by Dianna Higgs Stampfler

Michigan has more lighthouses than any other state, with more than 120 dotting its expansive Great Lakes shoreline. Many of these lighthouses lay claim to haunted happenings. Former keepers like the cigar-smoking Captain Townshend at Seul Choix Point and prankster John Herman at Waugoshance Shoal near Mackinaw City maintain their watch long after death ended their duties. At White River Light Station in Whitehall, Sarah Robinson still keeps a clean and tidy house, and a mysterious young girl at the Marquette Harbor Lighthouse seeks out other children and female companions. Countless spirits remain between Whitefish Point and Point Iroquois in an area well known for its many tragic shipwrecks. Join author and Promote Michigan founder Dianna Stampfler as she recounts the tales from Michigan's ghostly beacons.

With rare archival blueprints and stories of daring adventure, Lighthouse captures the romance and awe-inspiring history of these isolated, life-saving towers, along with the incredible feats of engineering and invention it took to create them. Beginning in the 18th century and ending in the mid-19th century, this book examines these iconic buildings from every angle, chronicling the evolution of lighthouse design; the tremendous obstacles overcome during construction and upkeep; the thrilling tales of heroism and mercilessness of the seas; and the daily lives of the dedicated and often long-suffering keepers. With over 350 illustrations, this seasonless gift book provides the tales and original architectural plans for beloved lighthouses found throughout the world, including Eddystone, Sandy Hook, Montauk Point, Stannard Rock, Borkum Grosser, Green Point, Tillamook Rock, Cape Hatteras, Erie Harbor, and many more.

“D. A. Pennebaker was a groundbreaking documentary filmmaker best known for capturing pivotal moments in the history of rock music and politics, including Bob Dylan’s 1965 tour of England, the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival, and Bill Clinton’s first presidential campaign.” 

A decade ago on this day August 6, 2009, John Hughes passed away suddenly after suffering a fatal heart attack while on a walk in New York City during a visit with family. He was just 59 years old. Born in Lansing, Michigan and grew up in Grosse Pointe, Hughes began his career as an author of humorous essays and stories for the National Lampoon. He wrote and directed some of the funniest and most iconic movies capturing suburban teenage life in the 1980s and 1990s. Many of those films, now considered classics, would also launch careers of actors including Michael Keaton and members of the Brat Pack group. These films made a huge impression on our generation and in popular culture back then. And they're still relevant today. Enjoy!

He allegedly wrote Ferris Bueller's Day Off in four days, Planes, Trains and Automobiles in three days, The Breakfast Club in two days, and Vacation in a week. He never went to film school or studied cinema. And he spent most of his incredible career in the Midwest, far from the Hollywood Hills. John Hughes was indeed one of the most prolific and successful filmmakers in Hollywood history. He helped launch the careers of Andrew McCarthy, Molly Ringwald, Anthony Michael Hall, Macaulay Culkin, and Judd Nelson. He made John Candy a household name. In this first illustrated tribute to the legendary filmmaker, author Kirk Honeycutt offers a behind-the-scenes look at the genius that was John Hughes--from his humble beginnings in direct mail to his blockbuster success with classics like Pretty in Pink, Sixteen Candles, Weird Science, and Home Alone. Honeycutt also explores the darker side of John Hughes: his extreme sensitivity, his stormy professional relationships, and the devastation Hughes experienced after the death of his closest friend, John Candy. Featuring fresh interviews with Matthew Broderick, Ally Sheedy, Judd Nelson, Steve Martin, and Jon Cryer, and a foreword from Home Alone director Chris Columbus, this is the must-read for fans of John Hughes.

John Hughes wrote and directed this quintessential 1980s high school drama featuring the hottest young stars of the decade. Trapped in a day-long Saturday detention in a prison-like school library are Claire, the princess (Molly Ringwald); Andrew, the jock (Emilio Estevez); John, the criminal (Judd Nelson); Brian, the brain (Anthony Michael Hall); and Allison, the basket case (Ally Sheedy). These five strangers begin the day with nothing in common, each bound to his/her place in the high school caste system. Yet the students bond together when faced with the villainous principal (Paul Gleason), and they realize that they have more in common than they may think, including a contempt for adult society. "When you grow up, your heart dies," Allison proclaims in one of the film's many scenes of soul-searching, and, judging from the adults depicted in the film, the teen audience may very well agree. Released in a decade overflowing with derivative teen films, The Breakfast Club has developed an almost cult-like status.

Neil Armstrong was born on this day, August 5. He would have been 89. On July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first men on the moon. It was back on May 25, 1961 that President Kennedy made a bold announcement before Congress to send an American safely to the moon and back before the end of the decade. At approximately 4:18 pm EDT, Neil Armstrong contacted NASA and said, "Houston, Tranquility Base here. The Eagle has landed." About 6 hours later, with more than a half billion people watching on their black-and-white tv sets, he climbed down the ladder from the lunar module and proclaimed, "That's one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind." If you want to learn about this great man, here's some resources to get you started!

When the alarm went off forty thousand feet above the moon's surface, both astronauts looked down at the computer to see 1202 flashing on the readout. Neither of them knew what it meant, and time was running out...ON JULY 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first humans to walk on the moon. One of the world's greatest technological achievements-and a triumph of American spirit and ingenuity-the Apollo 11 mission was a mammoth undertaking involving more than 410,000 men and women dedicated to winning the space race against the Soviets. Set amid the tensions of the Cold War and the upheavals of the sixties, and filled with first-person, behind-the-scenes details, Shoot for the Moon is a gripping account of the dangers, the challenges, and the sheer determination that defined not only Apollo 11, but also the Mercury and Gemini missions that came before it. From the shock of Sputnik and the heart-stopping final minutes of John Glenn's Mercury flight to the deadly whirligig of Gemini 8, the doomed Apollo 1 mission, and that perilous landing on the Sea of Tranquility-when the entire world held its breath while Armstrong and Aldrin battled computer alarms, low fuel, and other problems- James Donovan tells the whole story.

The first men who went to the moon by Rhonda Gowler Greene

In 1961, President John F. Kennedy issued a challenge to the nation: land astronauts on the moon by the end of the decade. The Apollo program was designed by NASA to meet that challenge, and on July 16, 1969, Apollo 11 lifted off from Kennedy Space Center carrying astronauts Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins, and Edwin Aldrin. Apollo 11's prime mission objective: "Perform a manned lunar landing and return." Four days after take-off, the Lunar Module "Eagle," carrying Armstrong and Aldrin, separated from the Command Module "Columbia," and descended to the moon. Armstrong reported back to Houston's Command Center, "The Eagle has landed." America and the world watched in wonder and awe as a new chapter in space exploration opened. Through verse and informational text, author Rhonda Gowler Greene celebrates Apollo 11's historic moon landing.

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

It's International Assistance Dog Week! From August 4 through August 11, we celebrate service dogs who help those with disabilities. Service dogs help individuals become more independent so they can live their best life. A service dog is highly trained. They may assist with basic tasks like helping to open a door or bringing the phone to the owner or alerts others if the owner is in distress. It takes as long as two years to train a service dog. Interested? Explore the American Kennel Club's article on Service Dog Training 101 or check out these resources from our collection!

In this spectacular memoir, Luis and Tuesday brought their healing mission to the next level, showing how these beautifully trained animals could assist soldiers, veterans, and many others with mental and physical disabilities. They rescued a forgotten Tuskegee airman, battled obstinate VA bureaucrats, and provided solace to war heroes coast-to-coast. As Luis and Tuesday celebrated exhilarating victories, a grave obstacle threatened their work. Luis made great progress battling his own PTSD, but his physical wounds got so bad that he was wheelchair-bound. He needed to decide whether to amputate his leg and carry on with a bionic prosthesis. Even as he struggled with dramatic emotional and physical changes, ten-year-old Tuesday was lovingly by his side through it all. Luis' death in December 2016 was another terrible tragedy of the invisible wounds of war. This book was his last letter of love to his best friend, Tuesday, and to veterans, readers, friends, and fellow dog lovers everywhere. Never more timely than now, Tuesday's Promise is an inspiring story of love, service, teamwork, and the remarkable bond between humans and canines.

Honeybees are responsible for pollinating crops and producing honey that provide one third of the food we eat. National Honey Bee Day recognizes the contribution of honeybees and how much of a positive impact they have on our world. Honeybees are amazing. They can fly for miles, defend their hive against predators, and survive harsh weather conditions. But they are vulnerable to climate change. National Honey Bee Day aims to raise public awareness to not the flight of the bumble bee but their plight. Interested in bees or beekeeping? Here are some resources to inspire any bee enthusiast. 

A Practical Guide to an Enjoyable HobbyBee keeping isn't just for the professional farmer--bees can be kept in any situation from simple backyards and rooftops to large expanses of farmland. Discover whether honey beekeeping is right for you, and find out everything you need to know to keep and acquire bees in this updated guide. Honey Bee Hobbyist, 2nd Edition will help novice beekeepers fully understand this exciting pastime. Dr. Norman Gary, a world-renowned honey bee expert and enthusiast, counsels beginners on all things honeybee related. He takes readers from finding bees and housing them to collecting honey and using their produce for pleasure and possible profit. With more than 100 fascinating color photographs and tips and tricks acquired over half a century of beekeeping, this practical handbook is your first step toward a wonderful and rewarding lifelong hobby.Honey Bee Hobbyist, 2nd Edition will show you how to: Start your own hive; Understand the life and times of honey bees; Care for your bees in each season and at every stage of life; Expand your apiary; Keep your neighbors happy; Educate others about bees; Get the most out of your new hobby.

More than a guide to beekeeping, this handbook features expert advice for:

  • Setting up and caring for your own colonies
  • Selecting the best location to place your new bee colonies for their safety and yours
  • The most practical and nontoxic ways to care for your bees
  • Swarm control
  • Using top bar hives
  • Harvesting the products of a beehive and collecting and using honey
  • Bee problems and treatments

What's New in the guide? Information for urban bees and beekeepers such as:

  • Using your smoker the right way 
  • Better pest management
  • Providing consistent and abundant good food 
  • Keeping your hives healthy

With this complete resource and the expert advice of Bee Culture editor Kim Flottum, your bees will be healthy, happy, and more productive. 

 

If you enjoyed reading about Luciana Vega, the American Girl of the Year who goes to space camp in 2018, you might enjoy these other books about astronauts, space adventures, and robots.

Fiction

Lily Lupino yearns to be an astronaut, so when KosmoKidd crash-lands in her Brooklyn kitchen in 1949, she will do almost anything to prove herself to him and his crew.

Celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing by watching some of these fascinating films on the race to be the first to the moon.

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