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History

Time Travel to the Sinking of the Titanic

History is Not Boring!

A Thousand Letters Home

A Thousand Letters Home is the result of a treasurer-trove of left-behind letters. Author Teresa Irish compiles her father's personal stories as a WWII solider serving in Europe. These thoughtful, charming letters tell the story of war, love and life. Join us for this very special evening of sharing memories onThursday, July 12 at 7:00 PM.

What Life Was Like in the Past

Another Time, Another Place

Find out what life was like growing up in bygone days:

Big Russ and me: father and son: lessons of life by Tim Russert — South Buffalo, N.Y. in the 1950s

Defending Baltimore against enemy attack: a boyhood year during World War II by Charles Osgood — Baltimore in the 1940s

A girl named Zippy: growing up small in Mooreland, Indiana by Haven Kimmel — Mooreland, Indiana in the 1960s

Hotel kid: a Times Square childhood by Stephen Lewis — New York City in the 1930s

The life and times of the last kid picked by David Benjamin — Small-town Wisconsin in the 1950s

The life and times of the thunderbolt kid: a memoir by Bill Bryson — Iowa in the 1950s

Time Travel to the Great Battles of the Civil War

In Old New York

Take a walk back in history to the New York City of the 1870s, '80s and '90s where you will encounter the Astors and Vanderbilts, Diamond Jim Brady, Boss Tweed, Stanford White, and Teddy Roosevelt:

American passage: the history of Ellis Island by Vincent J. Cannato

The architect of desire: beauty and danger in the Stanford White family by Suzannah Lessard

The blizzard of '88 by Mary Cable

Boss Tweed: the rise and fall of the corrupt pol who conceived the soul of modern New York by Kenneth D. Ackerman

Commissioner Roosevelt: the story of Theodore Roosevelt and the New York City police, 1895-1897 by H. Paul Jeffers

Consuelo and Alva Vanderbilt: the story of a daughter and a mother in the Gilded Age by Amanda Mackenzie Stuart

Presidential Time Travel

Travel back through America's history and learn more about America's 44 presidents and their families:

America's first families: an inside view of 200 years of private life in the White House by Carl Sferrazza Anthony

Dear First Lady: letters to the White House by [compiled and edited] by Dwight Young and Margaret Johnson; foreword by Helen Thomas

First fathers: the men who inspired our Presidents by Harold I. Gullan

First ladies: from Martha Washington to Michelle Obama by Betty Boyd Caroli

First mothers: the women who shaped the presidents by Bonnie Angelo

A funny thing happened on the way to the White House: humor, blunders, and other oddities from the presidential campaign trail by edited and with an introduction by Charles Osgood

What Day was That?

Travel back in time and learn about some of the most memorable days in world history:

America's jubilee by Andrew Burstein — July 4, 1826

D-Day, June 6, 1944: the climactic battle of World War II by Stephen E. Ambrose — June 6, 1944

The day Kennedy was shot by Jim Bishop — November 22, 1963

The day Lincoln was shot by Jim Bishop — April 14, 1865

Day of infamy by Walter Lord — December 7, 1941

The day the American Revolution began: 19 April 1775 by William H. Hallahan — April 19, 1775

The day the war ended: May 8, 1945—victory in Europe by Martin Gilbert — May 8, 1945

The War of 1812 Anniversary

This year marks the 200th anniversary of the beginning of the War of 1812. It was on June 18, 1812 that the United States declared war on Great Britain, and although it is arguably one of America's least remembered wars, it was during this time that many legendary battles were fought, heroes made, and memorable events occurred. It was during this war that the British burned the White House and First Lady Dolley Madison helped to save several valuable items — such as George Washington's portrait and original drafts of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. It was during this war that Francis Scott Key wrote the Star Spangled Banner at Fort McHenry. It was during this war that the infamous Battle of New Orleans was fought, making a national hero of Andrew Jackson. It was also during this war that several crucial battles were fought in the Great Lakes Region, including the surrender of the Detroit to the British. The causes for the conflict were many, including attempts by the British to restrict U.S. trade, and the desire by Americans to expand their territory — specifically into Florida and Canada. Hostilities came to an end on December 24, 1814 with the signing of the Treaty of Ghent.

Historical "What Ifs"

What if the Allied invasion of Europe on D-Day had failed? The Mayflower had not sailed? The Mongols had succeeded in conquering Europe? JFK hadn't been assassinated? Napoleon had invaded North America? The South had won the Civil War? Go back in time and reimagine history as it might have been with the following fascinating titles:

Almost America: from the colonists to Clinton: a 'what if' history of the U.S. by Steve Tally

Almost history: close calls, plan B's, and twists of fate in American history by Roger Bruns

The Confederate States of America: what might have been by Roger L. Ransom

Days of destiny: crossroads in American history: America's greatest historians examine thirty-one uncelebrated days that changed the course of history by general editors, James M. McPherson, Alan Brinkley; editor, David Rubel

You Are There!

Jump into the Wayback Machine and be there when history was being made!

Days of destiny: crossroads in American history: America's greatest historians examine thirty-one uncelebrated days that changed the course of history by general editors, James M. McPherson, Alan Brinkley; editor, David Rubel

Eyewitness to America: 500 years of America in the words of those who saw it happen by edited by David Colbert

Eyewitness to history by edited by John Carey

I wish I'd been there: twenty historians bring to life dramatic events that changed America by edited by Byron Hollinshead

I wish I'd been there, book two: European history by edited by Byron Hollinshead and Theodore K. Rabb

Travel Back in Time to Pre-Civil War America

Meet the Women of the Civil War

Diamond Jubilee

England's Queen Elizabeth II celebrates her Diamond Jubilee this year, commemorating 60 years on the British throne. Her reign is the second longest for a British monarch after Queen Victoria who reigned for 63 years and 7 months. Princess Elizabeth was crowned on June 2, 1953 at Westminster Abbey after the death of her father George VI. Although she had been proclaimed queen when her father died in February, 1952, the official ceremony was not held until after a period of mourning for the late king.

The Golden Gate Bridge Turns 75

San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge turns 75 on May 27. On that day in 1937 over 200,000 people crossed the bridge on foot and roller skates. The bridge links the City of San Francisco with Marin County. Singer Tony Bennett immortalized the Golden Gate Bridge in the song "(I Left My Heart) In San Francisco". Construction on the bridge began on January 5, 1933 and ultimately cost $35million. Take a virtual walk across the bridge, read about the history of this world famous bridge, or watch the Golden Gate Bridge being constructed.

Golden Gate Bridge [videodisc] by a Ben Loeterman Productions, Inc. film

Two New Historical Dramas Debut

Fans of historical dramas will have two new productions to choose from on Monday, May 28. HBO is debuting Hemingway & Gellhorn at 9:00 PM and the History Channel will present its miniseries Hatfields & McCoys, also at 9:00 PM. Hemingway & Gellhorn stars Clive Owen as the author, and Nicole Kidman as the legendary foreign correspondent who became Hemingway's third wife. Considered one of the greatest war correspondents of the 20th century, Gellhorn reported on virtually every major conflict during her 60 year career, including the Vietnam War. Hatfields & McCoys stars Kevin Costner and Bill Paxton as Devil Anse Hatfield and Randall McCoy, two members of the families involved in the long running feud between the Hatfields of West Virginia and the McCoys of Kentucky.

Great Michigan Read 2012

To wrap up this year’s Great Michigan Read, the Michigan Humanities Council will host a grand finale event on Monday, June 25 in Traverse City. This finale will be held at the Dennos Museum Center and feature Arc of Justice author Kevin Boyle. This will be an amazing event, providing an opportunity to reflect on the conversations and discussions generated by the Great Michigan Read throughout Michigan.

Tickets are available for $35 and $100. More information is available at the Michigan Humanities Council. For immediate event updates, keep an eye out on the Council's Facebook page.