Biography

September 1, 1939. Hitler's armies invaded Poland, igniting the start of World War Ii.

September 2, 1666. The Great Fire of London began, raging for three days.

September 3, 1783. The Treaty of Paris, ending the Revolutionary War, was signed by John Adams, Ben Franklin and John Jay.

Anne Frank : the biography by Melissa Müller

August 1, 1944.  Anne Frank wrote her last entry into her diary. Three days later, Anne and her family were arrested and sent to Nazi concentration camps.

Columbus : the four voyages by Laurence Bergreen

August 3, 1492.  Christopher Columbus set sail from Spain, with three ships, the Nina, the Pinta and the Santa Maria.

August 6, 1945.  The first atomic bomb was dropped on the city  of Hiroshima, Japan  by the American B-29 bomber Enola Gay.

From elaborate Victorian cat funerals to a Regency era pony who took a ride in a hot air balloon, Mimi Matthews shares some of the quirkiest and most poignant animal tales of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Meet Fortune, the Pug who bit Napoleon on his wedding night, and Looty, the Pekingese sleeve dog who was presented to Queen Victoria after the 1860 sacking of the Summer Palace in Peking. The four-legged friends of Lord Byron, Emily Bront , and Prince Albert also make an appearance, as do the treasured pets of Alexander Pope, Samuel Johnson, and Charles Dickens. Less famous, but no less fascinating, are the animals that were the subject of historical lawsuits, scandals, and public curiosity.

Making Oscar Wilde by Michèle Mendelssohn

Witty, inspiring, and charismatic, Oscar Wilde is one of the Greats of English literature. Today, his plays and stories are beloved around the world. But it was not always so. His afterlife has given him the legitimacy that life denied him. Making Oscar Wilde reveals the untold story of young Oscar's career in Victorian England and post-Civil War America. Set on two continents, it tracks a larger-than-life hero on an unforgettable adventure to make his name and gain international acclaim.

July 1, 1867. The Constitution Act, 1867 is enacted,  uniting the three separate colonies of the Province of Canada, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick into a single Dominion within the British Empire called Canada.

The Constitution : an introduction by Michael Stokes Paulsen

July 2, 1788. The United States Constitution was ratified.

July 2, 1881. President James A. Garfield was shot as he entered a railway station in Washington, D.C. He died on September 19.

 

If you're looking for a readable memoir, browse this list of suggestions for your next read.

Between the world and me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
Also available in: e-book | audiobook | large print

For Ta-Nehisi Coates, history has always been personal. At every stage of his life, he's sought in his explorations of history answers to the mysteries that surrounded him -- most urgently, why he, and other black people he knew, seemed to live in fear. What were they afraid of?

This title can also be checked out in multiple copies for a book discussion.

When it came to her elderly mother and father, Roz practiced denial, avoidance, and distraction. But after her elderly mother's encounter with a ladder, the tools that had served Roz well through her parents' seventies, eighties, and into their early nineties could no longer be deployed. The themes here are universal: adult children accepting a parental role; aging and unstable parents leaving a family home for an institution; dealing with uncomfortable physical intimacies; managing logistics; and hiring strangers to provide the most personal care.

Explore the lives of many artists. The books below are found in our children's collections, but may appeal to wider audiences. Find more artists and art in our collections: just ask any librarian.

Describes how Van Gogh's insomnia, possibly a symptom of mental or phyical illness, allowed him to view the night sky while everyone else was asleep and influenced how he saw the world around him.

A story inspired by the life of the influential French master artist considers how he transformed his dreary childhood community in northern France through his expressions of color and form.

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