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1940 Census Information Now Available

The 1940 Census was released to the public this morning by the National Archives. Originally taken in April, 1940, the information is now available for the first time after a mandatory 72-year waiting period. The Federal government requires that a census is to be taken every ten years so that the apportionment of members of the House of Representatives can be accurately determined.

The Great Michigan Read 2011-2012

The Great Michigan Read 2011-2012 is drawing to a close. This year's selection has inspired displays and discussions across the states in public libraries and schools. The author, Kevin Boyle, received his undergraduate degree from University of Detroit-Mercy and his doctorate from University of Michigan. He is presently teaching at Ohio State University. Arc of Justice won the National Book Award in 2004 and was named Michigan Notable Book in 2005.

Celebrating Extraordinary Women Throughout History

Marie Curie. Eleanor Roosevelt. Susan B. Anthony. Elizabeth I of England. Florence Nightingale. These remarkable women are well known to most of us, but there are many others in history just as remarkable whose names may not be as recognizable. In honor of Women's History Month we should all make some time to learn about them by reading some of the many biographies to found in the library's collection:

Bella Abzug: how one tough broad from the Bronx fought Jim Crow and Joe McCarthy, pissed off Jimmy Carter, battled for the rights of women and workers, rallied against war and for the planet, and shook up politics along the way: an oral history by Suzanne Braun Levine and Mary Thom — Bella Abzug, American lawyer, congresswoman and social activist

Jane Addams and the dream of American democracy: a life by Jean Bethke Elshtain — Jane Addams, American social reformer, suffrage leader and the first woman to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize

Anna of all the Russias: the life of Anna Akhmatova by Elaine Feinstein — Anna Akhmatova, Influential Russian poet

Blame it on the Moon?

Next month on April 14th, the world will mark the 100th anniversary of the tragic sinking of the Titanic. It was one of the 20th century's worst disasters that claimed over 1500 lives. On that night, Titanic was speeding towards New York Harbor to arrive a day early. The icy North Atlantic sea was calm making icebergs harder to spot and the collision was inevitable. So, why blame the moon? The moon was in rare alignment with the sun and those influences produced abnormally high tides which caused glaciers in Greenland to break and float into shipping waters. Intrigued? Stop by our Titanic display, or read more at the Discovery Channel site, or look at library's copy of the April issue of Sky & Telescope.

Target Family Reading: St. Patrick's Day Fun

Children, ages 4-9 with a caregiver, join us Tuesday, March 13 from 7:00-8:00 PM to celebrate all things green. We will sing some festive songs, share some lucky tales, create some golden crafts and enjoy some green treats. This St. Patrick's Day themed program is supported by Target and the Friends of the Canton Public Library and each family will receive a special St. Patrick's Day book to add to your home collection. Registration begins Tuesday, February 28, 2012.

Reliable George

George did it by Suzanne Tripp Jurmain ; illustrated by Larry Day — Do you ever get nervous about a big job you have been asked to do? George Washington did. Americans wanted George to be the first President of the United States, and George didn't want to do it. He was nervous about this huge job and all that it entailed. But George was a humble and reliable man, and he put aside his own feelings to help his new country when they needed him. A true hero, George Washington's birthday is on February 22.

89 Years Ago

On February 16th in 1923, Howard Carter, an English archaeologist entered the tomb of King Tutankhamen (know to most as King Tut). Inside the tomb was a coffin made of gold containing the mummified body of King Tut. Despite the rumors that a curse would betide anyone who disturbed the tomb, all the treasure found inside were cataloged and removed. These treasures can been seen in the traveling exhibit, "Treasure of Tutankhamen".

Black History Month

We owe the celebration of Black History Month to Dr. Carter G. Woodson, the son of slaves who went on to earn a Ph.D. from Harvard. He launched Negro History Week in 1926 in order to bring national attention to the contributions of blacks throughout American history. Woodson chose the second week of February for this recognition because it marks the birthdays of two men whose lives greatly influenced the black American population — Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass. The celebration evolved into Black History Month in 1976.

Canton Seniors Book Discussion: March 28, 2012

Canton Seniors Book Discussion group will meet on Wednesday, March 28 from 2:00-3:00 PM in Canton Public Library's Group Study Room A. We are reading:

The immortal life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot — Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa. She was a poor Southern tobacco farmer who worked the same land as her slave ancestors, yet her cells-taken without her knowledge-became one of the most important tools in medicine. The first "immortal" human cells grown in culture, they are still alive today, though she has been dead for more than sixty years.

Happy 175th Anniversary Michigan

Guess what? Our beloved mitten state is celebrating a major milestone Thursday — 175 years of Statehood! Time does fly, doesn't it? We've seen both good and bad events in our historical journey through time, plus we have given birth to numerous famous people. On this date in 1837, President Jackson signed the bill that officially made us the 26th state in the union. There are lots of ways you can celebrate this momentous occasion including baking a cake shaped like Michigan, take pictures of your neighborhood, write what you love about our great state, or check out some of our wonderful materials on Michigan.

If You Like Downton Abbey

Set in an Edwardian country house in 1912, the popular PBS series Downton Abbey centers on the Crawley family, their servants and their life at their grand country home. However, the death of the Crawley heir aboard the Titanic, sets in motion a succession of changes for both the family and the servants. The second season — which began on PBS on January 8 — has moved forward to the years 1916-17 and portrays the effect that World War I has on all of their lives. This Emmy Award winning series is written by Julian Fellowes and stars Hugh Bonneville, Maggie Smith, and Elizabeth McGovern. If you enjoy this period of history try some of the following titles.

Books

The American heiress: a novel by Daisy Goodwin — Traveling abroad with her mother at the turn of the twentieth century to seek a titled husband, beautiful, vivacious Cora Cash suddenly finds herself Duchess of Wareham, married to Ivo, the most eligible bachelor in England.

Below Stairs — The Classic Kitchen Maid's Memoir That Inspired "Upstairs, Downstairs" and "Downton Abbey" by Powell, Margaret — The remarkable true story of a woman who served in one of the great houses of England as a kitchen maid.

Celebrate MLK, Jr and Black History Month

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal.

These wise words were spoken by Martin Luther King, Jr. in his famous I have a dream speech on August 28, 1963. There are many ways to celebrate this remarkable, loving man and his dream. Visit the Cherry Hill Village Theater on January 16 at 5:30 PM for a presentation entitled Martin Luther King, Jr., Building Bridges.

At the Canton Public Library, we celebrate during Black History Month with a performance by the Canton Christian Fellowship Praise Choir on Thursday, February 2 and a visit from local author Carol Mull on Thursday, February 9 when she will discuss her new book, The Underground Railroad in Michigan.

North Korea's Kim Jong Il

The death of North Korea's controversial leader, Kim Jong Il, was announced earlier this week by DRPK state television. Although North Korean legend claimed that Kim was born on Mount Paekdu — a cherished Korean site — Soviet records indicate that he was born in Siberia in 1941. His father Kim Il Sung was a guerilla fighter who became a communist leader in Korea in 1945 after the defeat of Japan in World War II. After the Korean peninsula was divided into two states — the North, administered by the Soviets — and the South by the United States, the stage was set for the beginning of the Korean War. After the North invaded the South in 1950, three years of bloodshed ensued, killing millions and leaving the peninsula permanently divided to this day. Kim Jong Il became the country's "Dear Leader" in 1994 upon the death of his father. Kim Jong Il was widely criticized throughout the world for devoting much of his country's resources on building up its nuclear arms arsenal, while at the same time his countrymen were suffering from a prolonged famine. His youngest son, Kim Jong Un, has been designated as his successor.

Rogue regime: Kim Jong Il and the looming threat of North Korea by Jasper Becker

Under the loving care of the fatherly leader: North Korea and the Kim Dynasty by Bradley K. Martin

Vaclav Havel

Vaclav Havel, the longtime dissident who later became the leader of the Czech Republic passed away December 18 at the age of 75. Havel was better known as a poet and playwright when he led his nation through the bloodless Velvet Revolution in 1989 that toppled the decades long Soviet regime in Czechoslovakia. Havel later went on to serve as president of Czechoslovakia from 1989 to 1992. After the federation peacefully split into two states he served as president of the Czech Republic from 1993 to 2003. The other state became Slovakia. Among those expected to be at his Friday funeral are Bill Clinton, U.S.