History

The Battle of New Orleans

On January 8, 1815, during the War of 1812, British forces suffered more than 2,000 casualties in their attack on New Orleans. The defending U.S. forces were led by General Andrew Jackson who became a national hero as a result. Ironically, neither side knew that the war had already ended two weeks before with the signing of the Treaty of Ghent.

The Battle of New Orleans by Robert V. Remini

Patriotic fire: Andrew Jackson and Jean Laffite at the Battle of New Orleans by Winston Groom

The pirates Laffite: the treacherous world of the corsairs of the Gulf by William C. Davis

Time is… Time was… January 2013

The North American International Automobile Show, known as the Detroit Auto Show around here, opens to the public on Monday, January 19. The first Detroit Auto Show was held in 1907. What began as a local show is now international in scope.

The car: the evolution of the beautiful machine by Rod Green

Merrily we roll along [videodisc]: The early days of the automobile by NBC News Productions

Motorcars of the classic era by Michael Furman

Wheels for the world: Henry Ford, his company, and a century of progress, 1903-2003 by Douglas Brinkley

Emancipation Proclamation 150th Anniversary

President Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863. It declared "that all persons held as slaves" within the rebellious states "are, and henceforward shall be free." Every advance of Union troops into the Confederacy expanded former slaves' freedom. Additionally, the Proclamation allowed black men into the military, and by the end of the Civil War almost 200,000 black soldiers and sailors had joined and fought for the Union cause.

Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation: the end of slavery in America by Allen C. Guelzo

Abraham Lincoln and the road to emancipation, 1861-1865 by William K. Klingaman

Year 2012 Top Non-Fiction Books Picks

Our favorite reads this year from the Adult and Children/Tweens/Teens Librarians:

Behind the beautiful forevers by Katherine Boo

We've got a job: the 1963 Birmingham Children's March by Cynthia Levinson

The righteous mind: why good people are divided by politics and religion by Jonathan Haidt

Quiet: the power of introverts in a world that can't stop talking by Susan Cain

Paris: a love story: a memoir by Kati Marton

I Spy

The recent film Argo  starring Ben Affleck tells the true but improbable story of a covert operation to save six Americans hiding in the Canadian Embassy during the 1979 Iran Hostage Crisis. The history of espionage is filled with many such hard to believe tales and the Library's collection has many great titles to pick from.

Double cross: the true story of the D-day spies by Ben Macintyre — What did a Polish patriot, a Peruvian party girl, a Serbian playboy, an eccentric Spanish chicken farmer, and a volatile dog-loving Frenchwoman have in common? These five spies formed the nucleus of the Double Cross system which tricked the Nazis into keeping an entire army waiting for a fake invasion, thus assuring the Allied success on D-Day.

Wild Bill Donovan: the spymaster who created the OSS and modern American espionage by Douglas C. Waller — A fascinating biography of the father of today's CIA.

History at the Movies

This year has seen several new films based or inspired on historical figures and events. Lincoln, Hitchcock, On the Road, Argo, and Hyde Park on Hudson are all either in theatres now — or soon will be. If you want to be an educated viewer try one of the titles below:

Team of rivals: the political genius of Abraham Lincoln by Doris Kearns Goodwin

Rise to greatness: Abraham Lincoln and America's most perilous year by David Von Drehle

Our Lincoln: new perspectives on Lincoln and his world by edited by Eric Foner

Spellbound by beauty: Alfred Hitchcock and his leading ladies by Donald Spoto

Great Reads for History Buffs

Armchair historians can't go wrong with this diverse list of recently published biographies and histories:

Thomas Jefferson: the art of power by Jon Meacham

The man who saved the union: Ulysses Grant in war and peace by H.W. Brands

The passage of power by Robert A. Caro

The Black Count: glory, revolution, betrayal, and the real Count of Monte Cristo by Tom Reiss

Rise to greatness: Abraham Lincoln and America's most perilous year by David Von Drehle

MLK, Jr Movie Marathon

Please join us on Monday, January 21st as we celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Dr. King changed all of our lives during the 1960's civil rights movement. Share stories of his life with the following films:

  • 12:00 Noon — Man of Peace in a Time of War
  • 1:15 PM — King: Go Beyond the Dream to Discover the Man
  • 3:00 PM — In Remembrance of Martin

What We're Reading November 2012

Thanksgiving Day kicks off a month of celebrations. May we suggest a movie, tips from Martha Stewart on Thanksgiving prepartions, a history, music to sooth, and a story about family.

Planes, trains and automobiles [videodisc] by Paramount Pictures

Martha's classic Thanksgiving [videodisc] by [presented by] Marth Stewart Living Omnimedia

Mayflower: a story of courage, community, and war by Nathaniel Philbrick

Thanksgiving [sound recording]: a Windham Hill collection

Thanksgiving night: a novel by Richard Bausch

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