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The Constitution

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

The Preamble to the U.S. Constitution consists of this single sentence that introduces the document and its purpose. The Constitution is the supreme law of the United States of America and is the oldest written national constitution still in force. Completed on September 17, 1787, with its adoption by the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, it was later ratified by special conventions in each of the thirteen United States.

Labor Day

This legal holiday is celebrated in the United States on the first Monday of every September. The first Labor Day celebration dates back to a parade in New York on Tuesday, September 5, 1882. More than half the states were celebrating Labor Day by 1893, but it wasn't made a national holiday until June 28, 1894, when President Grover Cleveland signed it into law.

Books

Reference

Historical encyclopedia of American labor by edited by Robert Weir and James P. Hanlan

Labor conflict in the United States: an encyclopedia by edited by Ronald L. Filippelli — editorial assistant, Carol Reilly

US Labor History

Bread--and roses: the struggle of American labor, 1865- 1915 by Milton Meltzer — illustrated with contemporary prints & photographs — Using diaries, newspaper reports and other source material, the author shows the industrialization of America and the workers' struggle for higher working standards.

Child labor: an American history by Hugh D. Hindman — This book considers the issue of child labor as a social and economic problem in America from an historical perspective — as it was found in major American industries and occupations, including coal mines, cotton textile mills and sweatshops, in the early 1900s.

100 Best Nonfiction Books

Time Magazine has just revealed their list of the 100 Best Nonfiction Books. The list is comprised of their choices of the most influential nonfiction books written in English since 1923 (when Time Magazine first published), and are taken from all categories, including biorgraphy, history, politcs, health, business, sports and culture. While lists like these are always subject to debate, it is certainly a starting point for some great reading. Although the Library doesn't own every title, a majority can be found throughout our various collections:

Autobiography / Memoir

The autobiography of Alice B. Toklas by Gertrude Stein

Black boy: (American hunger): a record of childhood and youth by Richard Wright; with a forward by Edward P. Jones

Dreams from my father: a story of race and inheritance by Barack Obama

Time Marches On

History is full of days and years which have special meaning. 1492? Columbus discovered America. 1776? America declared its independence. 1929? The stock market crashed. We all learned about these significant dates in school. However, these are just some of the years in history worth remembering - for better or for worse.

The National Jukebox

The Library of Congress recently unveiled a fantastic new site called the National Jukebox which makes historical sound recordings available to the public free of charge. Included are more than 10,000 recordings orginally made by the Victor Talking Machine Company between 1901 and 1925 that were originally issued on labels now owned by Sony Entertainment. Available selections come from several genres including classical, blues, ragtime, jazz, religious, spoken word and even yodeling and whistling! The database will be increased on a regular basis with contributions from other Sony-owned labels such as Columbia and Okeh.

Eating Green

Looking for tasty, fresh ingredients? A smaller grocery bill? A smaller carbon footprint? A smaller waistline?

25 Great Summer Songs

Now that summer is officially here it's time to groove to some of the season's best tunes from summers past. Check out our list and add your own!

Remembering Peter Falk

Actor Peter Falk, best known for his role as the rumpled cop on the television series Columbo, died Thursday in Beverly Hills, California at the age of 83. He was a five-time Emmy winner for the career-defining role as an absent-minded detective who always got his man. In addition to television, Falk appeared in numerous films and received successive Academy Award nominations for Murder, Inc. and Pocketful of Miracles. He also appeared in the critically acclaimed A Woman Under the Influence and the family favorite The Princess Bride.

Detroit Windsor International Film Festival

moviesel.jpgWednesday, June 22 is the opening night for the 2011 Detroit Windsor International Film Festival, which will take place on Wayne State University's campus. Running through Sunday, the 26th, the festival will screen a variety of short films, documentaries, and music videos. Now in its fourth year, the festival includes several films with local interest. "Cornertore" — about life in a party store on Six Mile Road — and "Fordson: Faith - Fasting - Football" — about an Arab-American high school football team from Dearborn — are just two of the entries with Detroit area ties. A Tech Fair for aspiring filmmakers will also be held on June 25 from 11:30AM to 4:00PM. Tickets for the festival are $5. For more information call (313) 222-8879.

Michigan in the Civil War

More than 90,000 Michigan men — nearly a quarter of the state's male population in 1860 — served in the United States Civil War. Over 14,000 Michigan soldiers died in the service of their country — roughly 1 of every 6 who served. Michigan supplied a large number of troops and several generals, including George Armstrong Custer's Michigan Wolverine Cavalry. In all, Michigan fielded 31 Regiments of Infantry, 11 Regiments of Cavalry, 14 batteries of Artillery, 1 regiment of Sharpshooters, and 1 regiment of Engineers.

150th Anniversary of the Civil War

This year marks the 150th anniversary of the start of U.S. Civil War. The first shots were fired on April 12, 1861 at Fort Sumter in South Carolina's Charleston Harbor. It raged on for four more years until Robert E. Lee surrendered to Ulysses S. Grant on April 9, 1865 at Appomattox Courthouse, Virginia. You can learn about Michigan's involvement — by both the military and the civilians — through the eyes of Michigan's Senator Jacob M. Howard who represented Michigan in Congress from 1862 to 1871. The senator will be portrayed by David Tennies, a local Civil War historian and reenactor. Join us on Tuesday evening, June 14 from 7-8:30PM for what should be a fascinating encounter. No registration is required.

More Stories Behind Everyday Things

Discover the intriguing stories behind caviar, rubber, barbed wire, the electric chair and the color blue — among others!

Books

Bananas: an American history by Virginia Scott Jenkins — Before 1880, most Americans had never seen a banana, but by 1910 bananas were so common that the streets were littered with their peels.

Transitioning

Canton resident Roger Myers, CEO and President of Presbyterian Villages of Michigan, will share critical information for seniors and their caregivers as they transition to new stages in their lives. Join him at 2:00-3:00PM on May 20 to learn about the best options available, and to benefit from his expertise on this timely topic. No registration is required.

Life Among the Royals

If Prince William and Kate Middleton's upcoming wedding has piqued your interest in all things royal, then check out the following films and television series from the Library's collection. And don't forget to set your alarm clock for 6:00AM Friday morning to catch all of the festivities!

TV Series

Elizabeth I by HBO Films

Elizabeth R. Discs 1 & 2 by British Broadcasting Corporation