History

March 1, 1781. The Articles of Confederation were ratified by Congress. Under the Articles, Congress was the sole governing body of the new American national government, which consisted of the 13 original states. They remained in effect throughout  the Revolutionary War, until the U.S. Constitution was adopted in 1789.

March 1, 1932. The 20-month-old son of  Charles A. Lindbergh was kidnapped from his home in Hopewell, New Jersey.

March 1, 1974.  Seven former high-ranking officials of the Nixon White House  - including former chief of staff, H.R. Haldeman, top aide John Ehrichman, and former attorney general, John Mitchell - were indicted for conspiring to obstruct the investigation into the Watergate break-in.

March 4, 1933.  Newly elected President Franklin D. Roosevelt took office and delivered his first inaugural address. Attempting to restore public confidence during the Great Depression, he stated, "Let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself."" Roosevelt went on to be reelected to three more terms as president.

The First Amendment to the Constitution reads as follows:

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

On December 15, 1791 the Bill of Rights (the first ten amendments to the Constitution) was ratified by Virginia, thus meeting the requirement of being ratified by three-fourths of the state legislatures. The freedom of the press is essential to democracy.  In the words of President Barack Obama: "Journalists give all of us as citizens the chance to know the truth about our countries, ourselves, our governments. That makes us better, it makes us stronger, it gives voice to the voiceless,  it exposes injustice, and holds leaders like me accountable."

Learn more about this essential American right and it's importance in America's history from some the following resources in the Library's collection.

20 More Great Reads for Black History Month

Death of a king: the real story of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s final year by Tavis Smiley with David Ritz

 

 

 

 

 

Children of fire: a history of African Americans by Thomas C. Holt

 

 

 

 

Say it loud: great speeches on civil rights and African American identity by edited by Catherine Ellis and Stephen Drury Smith

 

Stokely: a life by Peniel E. Joseph

 

 

 

 

Across that bridge: life lessons and a vision for change by John Lewis ; with Brenda Jones

 

 

 

 

Washington's "Farewell"  was published at the end of his second term and was reprinted in newspapers across the country. The President began the letter during his first term intending to retire but was persuaded by Hamilton and Jefferson to run for a second. By the end of that term he was the object of scurrilous press attacks and alarmed by the growing partisan bitterness. Fearful for the country's future, Washington pled with his countrymen to resist hyper-partisanship and foreign alliances.

Frederick Douglass in Brooklyn by Frederick Douglass
My life, my love, my legacy by Coretta Scott King

Two extraordinary women-Coretta Scott King, wife of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Dr. Betty Shabazz, wife of Malcolm X-come to life in this film. After their husbands' tragic assassinations, they developed a unique friendship spanning three decades as they carried on the Civil Rights movement while supporting their families as single mothers. Through their strength and dignity, they became role models for millions of women.

Celebrating the spirituality, courage, and intellectual achievements of African Americans, Autobiography of a People traces the history of the African American experience - from the Middle Passage to Emancipation, from the Civil War to Vietnam, from the Little Rock Nine to the Million Man March - by telling the story in the words of the men and women who lived it.

Following ratification by the state of Virginia, The Bill of Rights became law on December 15, 1791. Comprised of the first 10 amendments to the Constitution, they were written by James Madison in response to requests from several states for greater constitutional protection for individual liberties. The First Amendment reads as follows:

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

Learn about the long history of dissent in America by checking out some of the following resources available in the Library's collection.

In World War II, more than 110,000 Japanese-Americans were forced into relocation camps across the US. This film traces the lives of the 16,000 people who were sent to two camps in southeast Arkansas, one of the poorest and most racially segregated places in America. It explores the reactions of the native Arkansans who watched in bewilderment as their tiny towns were overwhelmed by this huge influx of outsiders. Through interviews with the internees and local citizens, the program explores how it affected the local communities, and the impact this history had on the issues of civil rights and social justice in America then and now.

Peter O'Toole was supremely talented, a unique leading man and one of the most charismatic actors of his generation. Described by his friend Richard Burton as "the most original actor to come out of Britain since the war," O'Toole was also unpredictable, with a dangerous edge he brought to his roles and to his real life. With the help of exclusive interviews with colleagues and close friends, Robert Sellers' Peter O'Toole: The Definitive Biography paints the first complete picture of this complex and much-loved man. The book reveals what drove him to extremes, why he drank to excess for many years and hated authority, but it also describes a man who was fiercely intelligent, with a great sense of humor and huge energy. Giving full weight to his extraordinary career, this is an insightful, funny, and moving tribute to an iconic actor who made a monumental contribution to theater and cinema.
 

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author Richard A. Serrano's new book American Endurance: The Great Cowboy Race and the Vanishing Wild West is history, mystery, and Western all rolled into one. In June 1893, nine cowboys raced across a thousand miles of American prairie to the Chicago World's Fair. For two weeks they thundered past angry sheriffs, governors, and Humane Society inspectors intent on halting their race. Waiting for them at the finish line was Buffalo Bill Cody, who had set up his Wild West Show right next to the World's Fair that had refused to allow his exhibition at the fair. The Great Cowboy Race occurred at a pivotal moment in our nation's history: many believed the frontier was settled and the West was no more. The Chicago World's Fair represented the triumph of modernity and the end of the cowboy age. Except no one told the cowboys. Racing toward Buffalo Bill Cody and the gold-plated Colt revolver he promised to the first to reach his arena, nine men went on a Wild West stampede from tiny Chadron, Nebraska, to bustling Chicago. But at the first thud of hooves pounding on Chicago's brick pavement, the race devolved into chaos. Some of the cowboys shipped their horses part of the way by rail, or hired private buggies. One had the unfair advantage of having helped plan the route map in the first place. It took three days, numerous allegations, and a good old Western showdown to sort out who was first to Chicago, and who won the Great Cowboy Race.
 

No single sea battle has had more far-reaching consequences than the one fought in the harbor at Hampton Roads, Virginia, in March 1862. The Confederacy, with no fleet of its own, built an iron fort containing ten heavy guns on the hull of a captured Union frigate named the Merrimack. The North got word of the project when it was already well along, and, in desperation, commissioned an eccentric inventor named John Ericsson to build the Monitor, an entirely revolutionary iron warship—at the time, the single most complicated machine ever made. Abraham Lincoln himself was closely involved with the ship’s design. 

Killer instinct : a novel by Joseph Finder
Also available in: audiobook | large print

Jason Steadman is a thirty-year-old sales executive living in Boston and working for a electronics giant, a competitor to Sony and Panasonic. He's a witty, charismatic guy who's well liked at the office, but he lacks the "killer instinct" necessary to move up the corporate ladder. To the chagrin of his ambitious wife, it looks as if his career has hit a ceiling. Jason's been sidelined.But all that will change one evening when Jason meets Kurt Semko, a former Special Forces officer just back from Iraq. Looking for a decent pitcher for the company softball team, Jason gets Kurt, who was once drafted by the majors, a job in Corporate Security. Soon, good things start to happen for Jason - and bad things start to happen to Jason's rivals. His career suddenly takes off. He's an overnight successOnly too late does Jason discover that his friend Kurt has been secretly paving his path to the top by the most "efficient" - and ruthless - means available. After all, Kurt says, "Business is war, right?"But when Jason tries to put a stop to it, he finds that his new best friend has become the most dangerous enemy imaginable. And now it's far more than just his career that lies in the balance.A riveting tale of ambition, intrigue, and the price of success, Killer Instinct is Joseph Finder at his best.

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