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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.

Let's Explore!

Into the unknown: how great explorers found their way by land, sea, and air by Stewart Ross — Brave explorers have vivid stories to tell and they range from sailing on the oceans to landing on the moon. This book takes a fascinating look at the adventures of many great explorers. Fresh storytelling and unfolding cutaways and cross sections keep the reader engaged.

Pearl Harbor Remembered

Today marks the 70th anniversary of the surprise attack on Hawaii's Pearl Harbor by the Imperial Japanese Navy. The early morning attack on December 7, 1941 on the U.S. fleet stationed in the harbor, and at Hickam Field where 51 airplanes were on the ground, was the catalyst for the United States' entry into World War II. Nine ships were sunk and twenty-one were severely damaged and nearly half of the airplanes were destroyed or severely damaged. The death toll numbered 2,403: 1,177 from the battleship Arizona alone. It is estimated that there are about 8.000 survivors from the attack who are still alive.

Great Michigan Read 2011-2012

If you have read Kevin Boyle's Arc of Justice: A Saga of Race, Civil Rights, and Murder in the Jazz Age, the 2011-2012 Great Michigan Read try David Halberstram or Branch Taylor or one of the many documentaries about Civil Rights in America produced over the years.

Faith in the city: preaching radical social change in Detroit by Angela D. Dillard; with a foreword by Charles G. Adams

Race and remembrance: a memoir by Arthur L. Johnson

Happy Birthday Mark Twain!

Mark Twain, one of America's best-known and well-loved authors, was born on November 30, 1835. His works have been translated into hundreds of languages, and Hollywood continues to produce film adaptations of his books. The first volume of his autobiography was published in 2010 on the centenary of the author's death as he did not want some of his more scalding opinions and observations in print until he had been dead at least a century. The book was published by the staff of the Mark Twain Project — an archive that contains Twain's private papers.

Travels in Siberia

Travels in Siberia by Ian Frazier — In this dazzling Russian travelogue, many aspects of the storied, often grim region of Siberia, which takes up one-seventh of the land on earth are described. "Travels in Siberia" is also an account of Russia since the end of the Soviet Union and a personal reflection on the all-around greatness of Russia. Frazier takes us on a fascinating journey through Siberia's history, from the 13th-century invading Golden Horde to banished Decembrists of the 19th century, Stalin-era prison camps, and enduring rich mineral resources.

National Book Awards 2011 Announced

Videos and images from the November 15 award ceremony are now available on the National Book Foundation website. John Lithgow, actor, writer, and musician was NBA Dinner and Ceremony host.

Salvage the bones: a novel by Jesmyn Ward

The swerve: how the world became modern by Stephen Greenblatt

Inside out & back again by Thanhha Lai

Diwali Celebration Recap

On November 9, CPL hosted a Diwali Celebration program that featured traditional and contemporary Indian music, dance, food, and more — all centered around the festival of lights. If you couldn't make it that night, check out the video above and pictures below to get up to speed: