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Celebrate Diwali

The Hindu Festival of Lights is celebrated on November 3 in 2013. We are celebrating this annual, joyful holiday on Wednesday, November 13 from 6:30 to 8:30 PM at the Canton Public Library. Please join us for food, dancing and song. The Festival of Lights, also known at Deepavali, is held in honor of Rama-Chandra, the seventh incarnation of the god Vishnu and is a triumph of light over dark, good over evil. Come hear, taste, smell and watch this happy celebration with your neighbors as the Indian community is showcased.

Gunfight at the O.K. Corral

It was on October 26, 1881 in Tombstone, Arizona that the infamous gunfight took place. Generally regarded as the most famous gunfight in the history of the American West, it is believed to have lasted all of thirty seconds. On one side were the cowboy outlaws Billy Clairborne, Ike and Billy Clanton, and Tom and Frank McLaury. Opposing them were Marshall Virgil Earp and his brothers Morgan and Wyatt, as well as Doc Holliday. Hollywood versions of the gun battle can be found in the films My Darling Clementine (1946), Gunfight at the O.K. Corral (1957) and Tombstone (1993). Find out what the fight was really all about and who survived by checking out some of the following books and dvds from the Library's collection:

The last gunfight: the real story of the shootout at the O.K. Corral and how it changed the American West by Jeff Guinn

And die in the West: the story of the O.K. Corral gunfight by Paula Mitchell Marks

British Historical Dramas

Three recent television dramas draw on British history for their inspiration. The White Queen, airing on Starz, is based on Philippa Gregory's historical novels about the Wars of the Roses - The White Queen, The Red Queen, and The Kingmaker's Daughter. PBS's The Hollow Crown combines four of Shakespeare's plays to tell the story of three kings who shaped English history - Richard III, Henry IV, and Henry V. The new CW series Reign chronicles the life of the teenage Mary, Queen of Scots. Enhance your viewing experience with some historical background on both the people and the events by checking out some of these titles from the Library's collection:

Blood sisters: the women behind the Wars of the Roses by Sarah Gristwood

Lancaster against York: the Wars of the Roses and the foundation of modern Britain by Trevor Royle

The Wars of the Roses by Alison Weir

Our Own Snug Fireside: Life during the Civil War

Join us on Saturday, November 16 from 2:00-3:00 PM for a peek into the world which no one alive today has witnessed first-hand. As living historians renowned for their knowledge on daily life of the mid-19th century, Larissa Fleishman and Ken Giorlando will draw you into their world of horses & carriages, oil lamps & candles, and hoop skirts & top hats as they bring back the everyday life of long ago.

"Our Own Snug Fireside” is a program for audiences of all ages which offers a first-hand look into the activities, chores, occupations, manners, etiquette, and clothing of a time from over one hundred and fifty years ago. Using replica artifacts, entertaining exchanges, fun filled facts, and a bit of humor our presenters will show what life was like during such an intense time in American History: The Civil War.

Mrs. Fleishman and Mr. Giorlando have been students of history for decades, and not only have intently studied the everyday life of our ancestors, but have also been involved in the practice of historical presenting and living history/reenacting for nearly as long. “Our Own Snug Fireside” is certainly a chance to see history come alive.

[Tatton Park Sept 201027 by DeviousWolf Photography is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0]

Who Killed JFK?

It has been 50 years since our 35th president John F. Kennedy was assassinated on November 22, 1963 in the Dealey Plaza in Dallas, Texas. The FBI and the Warren Commission concluded that Kennedy was killed by a lone gunman, Lee Harvey Oswald. In 1978, however, the US House Select Committee on Assassinations felt Kennedy's assassination was the result of a conspiracy. Today, 80% of Americans believe the FBI and Warren Commission investigations were flawed. Hear the rest of the story from former Department of Defense employee and Canton resident, Gerald Dodson. Join us on November 14 at 7:00 PM as we remember this tragic event in our history.

Lincoln: The Movie

We are honoring the 150th anniversary of the Gettysburg Address with an amazing Civil War traveling exhibit and a special showing of Lincoln. Directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Academy Award winner Daniel Day Lewis, this profoundly thought-provoking movie focuses on Lincoln's final months in office as he struggles to end the war, emancipate the slaves and reunite our country. Four score and seven years ago... please join us on November 20 at 6:00 PM to share this movie and a few snacks with friends and neighbors.

Cuban Missile Crisis Anniversary

Last year marked the 50th anniversary of one of the most pivotal moments of the Cold War. For 13 days in October 1962, the United States and the former Soviet Union engaged in a political and military standoff over the installation of nuclear-armed Soviet missiles in Cuba — just 90 miles off the U.S. coast. President John F. Kennedy notified the country about the presence of the missiles in an historic television address on October 22, 1962. It was during this speech that he explained his decision to enact a naval blockade around Cuba. Because of this many, people believed the world was on the brink of nuclear war. Disaster was averted, however when Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev agreed to remove the missiles in exchange for the U.S. not invading Cuba, and also removing U.S. missiles from Turkey. The confrontation was officially ended on October 28, 1962.

Maximum danger: Kennedy, the missiles, and the crisis of American confidence by Robert Weisbrot

One minute to midnight: Kennedy, Khrushchev, and Castro on the brink of nuclear war by Michael Dobbs

Exploring America

In the spirit of Columbus Day read about some of the other explorers who ventured out in search of new worlds:

Amerigo: the man who gave his name to America by Felipe Fernández-Armesto

Henry Hudson: dreams and obsession by Corey Sandler

La Salle: a perilous odyssey from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico by Donald S. Johnson

Over the edge of the world: Magellan's terrifying circumnavigation of the globe by Laurence Bergreen

Champlain's dream by David Hackett Fischer

Hernando de Soto: a savage quest in the Americas by David Ewing Duncan

The Great Chicago Fire

The Great Chicago Fire burned from Sunday, October 8 to Tuesday, October 10, 1871. The fire started in or around a barn on DeKoven Street, but despite the fact that the O'Leary family lived in the area, the legend of Mrs. O'Leary's cow kicking over a lantern is probably just that - a legend. More than 300 people died in the fire, 100,000 were left homeless, and four square miles of the city were destroyed. Although the Chicago fire, perhaps, the most well known from in American history, there have been significant fires in other major cities as well - Boston, Pittsburgh and Detroit included. To learn more about them check out Seven Fires: the Urban Infernos that Shaped America.

The great fire by Jim Murphy

Smoldering city: Chicagoans and the Great Fire, 1871- 1874 by Karen Sawislak

City of the century: the epic of Chicago and the making of America by Donald L. Miller

City of big shoulders: a history of Chicago by Robert G. Spinney

October Birthdays

Read about some of the fascinating people who were born in the month of October!

Home: a memoir of my early years by Julie Andrews — October 1

Keeping faith: memoirs of a president by Jimmy Carter — October 1

The life of Graham Greene by Norman Sherry — October 2

Buster Keaton: cut to the chase by Marion Meade — October 4

Chester Alan Arthur by Zachary Karabell — October 5

Rocket man: Robert H. Goddard and the birth of the space age by David A. Clary — October 5

This little light of mine: the life of Fannie Lou Hamer by Kay Mills — October 6

Italian-American Heritage Month

About 5.5 million Italians immigrated to the United States between 1820 and 2004. The greatest surge occurred between 1880 and 1920 when more than 4 million Italians came to America. October is the time to celebrate the many achievements and contributions of Americans of Italian descent in all walks of life.

California Statehood

California was admitted to the United States on September 9, 1850. Originally colonized by the Spanish in the 17th century, it became part of Mexico in 1821. In 1846, a group of American settlers declared an independent California Repulic shortly after the beginning of the Mexican-American War. The California Gold Rush of 1848 led to a huge increase in Califronia's population and started an economic boom. Some of the many figures connected to the state's rich and complicated history include Sir Francis Drake, Junipero Serra, John Fremont, Leland Stanford, Upton Sinclair, and William Randolph Hearst. Learn more:

School Days

Now that school has begun for another year, this would be a good time to learn about some extraordinary teachers both past and present:

A schoolteacher in old Alaska: the story of Hannah Breece by edited and with an introduction and commentary by Jane Jacobs

Nothing daunted: the unexpected education of two society girls in the West by Dorothy Wickenden

The water is wide by Pat Conroy

Teacher man: a memoir by Frank McCourt

Beyond the miracle worker: the remarkable life of Anne Sullivan Macy and her extraordinary friendship with Helen Keller by Kim E. Nielsen

In the sun's house: my year teaching on the Navajo reservation by Kurt Caswell ; afterword by Rex Lee Jim

The March on Washington, 1963

The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom took place in Washington, D.C. on August 28, 1963. One of the largest political rallies for human rights in U.S. history, it was the site of Martin Luther King's historic I Have a Dream speech. In a year marked by racial unrest and numerous civil rights demonstations, Dr. King pleaded to "let freedom ring."

Nobody turn me around: a people's history of the 1963 march on Washington by Charles Euchner

Behind the dream: the making of the speech that transformed a nation by Clarence B. Jones and Stuart Connelly

The dream: Martin Luther King, Jr., and the speech that inspired a nation by Drew D. Hansen

The 1963 civil rights march by Scott Ingram