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Exploring Genealogy at the Westland Public Library

Are you new to genealogy and would like to know the basics? The Westland Public Library will be hosting a program for genealogy newbies on Thursday, August 6th at 7 pm. Kris Rzepczynski, genealogy librarian and expert from the Library of Michigan, will be presenting. Register by calling the adult reference desk at 734-326-6123.

Henry Ford and Fordlandia

Fordlandia : the rise and fall of Henry Ford's forgotten jungle city by Greg Grandin documents Henry Ford's 1927 purchase of a Connecticut-sized plot of land in Brazil for the purpose of growing rubber. The South American leaf blight and the advent of synthetic rubbers forced the company to abandon Fordlandia in 1945, long after Ford had poured millions of dollars and years of strenuous effort into the project. Grandin argues that this was more than an economic venture. It was a missionary application of Ford-style capitalism--high wages, humane benefits, moral improvement to a backward land.

A call for young writers ages 13-17

Do you love to write?  Are you looking for a way to win cool prizes and have you work published?  If so, you should check out the American Veteran, The Power of One Essay and Scholarship Project.  Teens are asked to write about a veteran who showed the ability to be a role model and has shown the "power of one" by making a difference in the lives of others.  For more details and the contest rules check out this link.

Happy 308th Birthday Detroit!

Did you know that Detroit was founded on July 24, 1701 by French explorer Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac? Commemorate the occasion with Madame Cadillac's Ghost by Janie Lynn Panagopoulos - a fun mystery about two kids left on their own to explore the Detroit Historical Museum (pictured left). If you get the chance, why not have your own adventure at the DHM? Admission is free during the month of July so it's definitely worth the trip!

Walter Cronkite

The man once known as "the most trusted man in America" passed away Friday at the age of  92. Walter Cronkite, the legendary journalist and TV news anchor for CBS, retired in 1981 after a long and distinguished career. Recruited by Edward R. Murrow,  Cronkite joined the network in the early 1950s after proving himself with his excellent coverage from Moscow during World War II.

To the Moon!

It's hard to believe but this Monday, July 20 celebrates the 40th anniversary of the first manned moon landing.

Go Like Hell: Ford, Ferrari and their battle for speed and glory...

A.J. Baime's Go Like Hell is a remarkable story of Henry Ford II's quest to beat Ferrari at Le Mans, racing's most glamourous and dangerous event. Ford, with the help of a young visionary Lee Iacocca and a former racing champion turned car builder, Carroll Shelby, entered the high stakes world of European racing in order to reinvent the company. Buckle your seat belt and go!

FLY ME TO THE MOON....40 YEARS LATER

It is remarkable that 40 years ago - prior to cell phones, Blackberry's, and laptops - the mission to send men to the moon was accomplished with astronauts who carried sliderules.   Astronaut Buzz Aldrin writes about his journey as the second man to step foot on the moon in his book, Magnificent Desolation.  It begins with his trip to the moon in 196

Statue of Liberty Reopens

This July 4 marks the reopening of the Statue of Liberty's crown, which has been closed since shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks. Lady Liberty was closed to visitors until 2004, when its base, pedestal, and outdoor observation deck reopened, but her crown has remained closed until now. Only three parties of 10 will be allowed inside at once - one climbing up, one climbing down and one in the crown - limiting the number of daily visitors to only about 250 people a day.

Dressing up: Canton women's clothing from 1880-1950

Have you ever wondered what your grandmother or great-grandmother would have worn when she was young? Well, wonder no more. Visit the Canton Historical Museum from June 20th through August 31st to see special occasion dresses from the late 1800s to the 1950s. The Canton Historical Museum is located on the corner of Canton Center Road and Heritage Park Drive. For more information visit their website.

D-Day Commemoration

This year marks the 70th anniversary of the Allied invasion of occupied France during World War II. The operation began on June 6, 1944 and was the largest single-day amphibious invasion of all time, with 160,000 troops landing on the Normandy coast. President Obama will attend the D-Day commemorative events in Normandy, France, this Saturday.

Lest We Forget Movies for Memorial Day

Memorial Day was established in 1868 following the end of the American Civil War as General Orders No. 11, Grand Army of the Republic Headquarters:

II. It is the purpose of the Commander in Chief to inaugurate this observance with the hope that it will be kept up from year to year, while a survivor of the war remains to honor the memory of his departed comrades. He earnestly desires the public press to call attention to this Order, and lend its friendly aid in bringing it to the notice of comrades in all parts of the country in time for simultaneous compliance therewith.

Over the past two centuries, wars continue to be fought, and Hollywood has immortalized them on film:

Celebrate Amelia Earhart

Did you know that today is the 77th anniversary of pilot Amelia Earhart's historic crossing of the Atlantic Ocean? On May 20, 1932, she set off across the ocean, heading for Ireland. It was a 2,026 mile flight that took 15 hours and 18 minutes! That's a long flight! She was the first woman to ever fly solo across the Atlantic. Remember Amelia and her bravery by reading this easy book just for beginning readers.
Photo courtesy of eLibrary

Pop Culture Universe

beatlesThe database "Pop Culture Universe" has overviews of every decade, from the 1960's to the 2000's and articles that cover cultural life from the 1870's "gilded age" to the present.  Anything concerning arts, film, fashion, food, drink, literature, politics, religion, sports, radio, television and technology from these decades are discussed.

The Transcontinental Railroad

One hundred and forty years ago an historic ceremony marked the beginning of a transportation revolution in the United States. During the Civil War, Congress had enacted legislation providing for the construction of a transcontinental line to be be built by two separate companies. In 1863 the Union Pacific Railroad began construction from Omaha, Nebraska, while the Central Pacific began at Sacramento, California.

MeL Michigana

In addition to Ancestry Library Edition and HeritageQuest, the library has another database that historians and genealogists may find helpful with their research. Mel Michigana, which has over 50,000 digitized items including photos, books, atlases, scrapbooks and oral histories, is just waiting to be discovered.  This database was the result of the collaborated efforts

Traveling Museum Features WWII POWs Held in the Midwest

The popular TRACES traveling buseum makes a return trip to CPL on May 22 from 9 a.m. to noon with the story of 372,000 German POWs held in U.S. Army-operated work camps in the Midwest during World War II. Learn how these men worked alongside U.S. citizen German immigrants to build roads, harvest crops and roof barns. Some POWs returned to the Midwest after the war to live.

Cleopatra's tomb

Archaeologists working near Alexandria, Egypt have found three chambers buried beneath a temple that may prove to hold the remains of Cleopatra and Marc Antony. Researchers believe that there is growing evidence that the queen's body was carried to the temple after her suicide so that she could be buried with Antony. The discovery was made with the use of underground radar.

The current state?????

Have you ever noticed the current state of the world and wondered...WHY?  Visit Daryl Cagle's Professional Cartoonist Index for a different view of today's events.

The "First Puppy" has arrived!

Now that Bo, the Obama family's new puppy has settled in at the White House, the time is right to look back at some of the former residents of the presidential home. White House Pets takes a look at the more than 400 pets that have lived there over the course of 200 years. Produced by Animal Planet,  the DVD is  a fascinating look at the bears, parrots, dogs, and cats that have roamed the halls of one of the most famous homes in history.