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History

American Revolution

The "shot heard round the world" fired at Lexington, Massachusetts on April 19, 1775 began the War for American Independence. On July 4, 1776 the Continental Congress unanimously declared the independence of the Thirteen Colonies from Great Britain, and embarked on the war that ended eight and a half years later on September 3, 1783 with the Treaty of Paris.

Books: Reference

American Eras: The Revolutionary Era, 1754-1783 edited by Robert J. Allison (1998)

Founding the Republic: A Documentary History edited John J. Patrick (1995)

State Book

Who Knew?
Michigan has an officially recognized state book titled "The Legend of Sleeping Bear" by Kathy-Jo Wargin and Gijsbert van Krankenhuyzen. Read the book and earn a drawing slip for Summer Reading which qualifies for a non-fiction read about Michigan. Good Luck!

Polish-American Night at Comerica Park

Major League Baseball and the Detroit Tigers are teaming up to celebrate the country's Polish heritage at Comerica Park on Friday, May 28. The festivities will begin at 5:30PM prior to the Tigers' game with the Oakland Athletics which will begin at 7:05. This marks the 40th consecutive year that Polish-American Baseball Night has been observed in Detroit. The celebration will include Polka dancing and the singing of the Polish national anthem, as well as a special ceremony honoring volunteers and Polish fraternal organizations.

Michigan Week

Michigan Week is celebrated this year from the 16th through the 22nd of this month. This annual tribute began in 1954 as a way to promote state pride among citizens, and to celebrate the state's rich heritage. The Library can help you learn more about Michigan's history, its tremendous natural resources, and its beautiful sights to visit and enjoy.

Explore Canton's History

Interested in your community or state's history? The Canton Historical Society is having a general meeting tonight, with featured speaker Jennifer Huff. The topic is the school district busing plan that was to affect metro Detroit in the early 1970s, and while you're at the museum you can check out the quilting exhibit. For more information, visit the Historical Society's events page on their website. Before the meeting, stop by the library to find more information about race relations in Detroit or other metropolitan busing proposals. You can also check out materials on Canton's history.

Older Americans Month 2010

Age Strong! Live Long! is the focus of the Administration on Aging's Older Americans Month 2010. National Aging Services Network of state, tribal, Area Agencies on Aging such as The Senior Alliance, and community services providers such as Canton Seniors Center offer a wide variety of activities in May and throughout the year. Via AOA:

This year’s Older Americans Month theme — Age Strong! Live Long! — recognizes the diversity and vitality of today’s older Americans who span three generations. They have lived through wars and hard times, as well as periods of unprecedented prosperity.

Michigana: Sources In U.S. History Online

Michigan eLibrary (MeL) has a new addition to the growing collections on the Michigana database. Michigana: Sources in U.S. History Online features primary documents regarding many topics including Native Americans, railroads, and frontier life. It's another great source for Michigan and U.S. history!

Mark Twain

April 21 is the 100 year anniversary of the death of Mark Twain (November 24, 1832 - April 21, 1910). A keen observer of human nature, Twain's stories portray America as it became a nation. An American humorist, lecturer, essayist, and author, several of Twain's books have been adapted for the screen including The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Life on the Mississippi, and a present-day version of The Prince and the Pauper.

Immigration, Islam, and Identity: A Conversation with Eli Eteraz

Children of Dust a memoir written by Ali Eteraz reveals Islamic fundamentalism and madrassa life in rural Pakistan, the culture shock of moving to the U.S., and a journey of reconciliation to the modern Middle East. Author Ali Eteraz will speak on Wednesday, April 21st, 2010 at 12:00pm in the University of Michigan's Hatcher Graduate Library, Gallery - Room 100 (use Diag entrance).

Award Winning Military History

Memorial Day was originally known as Decoration Day because it was a time set aside to honor the nation's Civil War dead by decorating their graves. It was first widely observed on May 30, 1868, to commemorate the sacrifices of Civil War soldiers. Here is a list of award winning military history by year with links to other related book awards.

For a shorter list, see the bookmark entitled "Books About WWII" listed under our nonfiction bookmarks or to view films with war settings, see "Feature Films about WWII" listed under our "Movies" bookmarks.

The Ghost Army

In June of 1944, an exceptional U.S. Army unit went into action in Normandy. Its weapons included hundreds of inflatable tanks and a one-of-a-kind collection of sound effects records, and it carried out its battlefield mission without firing a shot. The unit was officially called the 23rd Headquarters Special Troops, but it was known to its men as The Ghost Army. Members of The Ghost Army adhered to a decades-long gag order; many never told their families about their extraordinary military service. Now the Ghost Army is here! Sixty-five years after this top-secret group went into action, the University of Michigan’s Hatcher Library will unveil the first public exhibit of this captivating group of materials documenting The Ghost Army. This exhibit is available during library hours.

History of the Irish in Detroit Now Available

The Gaelic League and Irish-American Club of Detroit turns 90 this year. Whether your roots stem from Eire or you just know you were Irish in another life, you'll want to check out its pictorial history, A Glimpse of Irish Detroit: through the eyes of the Gaelic League, now available just in time for St. Paddy's Day.

Lincoln in the Courtroom with Judge Ron Lowe

Join us as Judge Ron Lowe, 35th district court judge in Plymouth, shares his characterization of Abraham Lincoln as a courtroom lawyer.  We can compare Lincoln's courtroom to our modern day courtrooms as portrayed in Scott Turow's "Presumed Innocent", the Everyone's Reading selection and original courtroom thriller.
Monday, February 22nd at 7:00 pm in the library community room.  Join the community dialogue by joining in the community read of "Presumed Innocent."

How'd They Do That?

How'd They Do That? is another cool history series that just hit our shelves! It examines how people lived hundreds of years ago. If you've ever wondered what people used to do when they got sick or how they had fun, this is the series for you. It covers everywhere from Ancient Persia to Colonial America. Look for these books on the Children's New Bookshelf today!

Happy Birthday, Hershey's Chocolate Company!

If you’re a chocolate lover, February 9 is no ordinary day — it’s the day that Hershey’s Chocolate Company was founded in 1894. Hershey’s was started by Milton S. Hershey, the son of a Mennonite family who had little formal education but went on to become one of the richest men in America. By 1905, Hershey had built a state-of-the art factory to mass-produce chocolate bars, wafers and other delicious delectables. By 1907, his company had cracked the code and created what would become their best-selling product: the Hershey’s kiss. Coincidentally (or not!), Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, so celebrate by getting your sweetie some Hershey’s kisses and checking out a book about this American original.
2010 BookLetters LLC)

Cool Book Series Alert!

If you've ever been interested in the history of famous Wonders of the World, check out Elizabeth Mann's series. Covering structures from the Taj Mahal to the Brooklyn Bridge, there's all sorts of cool information and beautiful photos/artwork in these books. Look for them today on the Children's Department New Bookshelf!

Great Michigan Read: Stealing Buddha's Dinner

The Great Michigan Read program selection is Stealing Buddha’s Dinner by Bich Minh Nguyen and this month the University of Michigan Library is hosting the Michigan Humanities Council’s traveling exhibit, Their Journey: Vietnamese in Michigan, which is on display February 1-24, 2010 (University of Michigan Hatcher Graduate Library, Ann Arbor) as well as a live webcast conversation on February 10 with Professor Peter Ho Davies and

A Personal View of the Bible

On Sunday, February 21 at 2:00PM in the University of Michigan's Hatcher Graduate Library (Room 100/Gallery) Curator Kathryn Beam will share her personal memories of how the exhibit History of the Bible from Ancient Papyri to King James came to be and what the process has meant to her in Sharing a Personal View of the Bible Exhibit.

Sponsored by the University of Michigan Special Collections Library.

Trivia Resource

If you've ever been interested in the meaning behind a particular country or state's flag, the World Book Encyclopedia of Flags is for you. Covering everywhere from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe, this series provides brief country and state histories, along with detailed information about flags. It's pretty cool to figure out that a colorful stripe or star on a country's flag represents more than just a nifty decoration! Happy Reading!

Howard Zinn, Historian, Civil Rights Activist, Educator, Dead at 87

Howard Zinn (1922 – 2010) an American historian and Professor of Political Science at Boston University from 1964 to 1988, died on Wednesday, January 27, 2010. He was the author of more than 20 books. Zinn was active in and wrote extensively about the African-American Civil Rights Movement 1955-1968, civil rights and civil liberties and peace movements. In his best-selling A People's History of the United States, "he concentrated on what he saw as the genocidal depredations of Christopher Columbus, the blood lust of Theodore Roosevelt and the racial failings of Abraham Lincoln.