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History

What Day was That?

Travel back in time and learn about some of the most memorable days in world history:

America's jubilee by Andrew Burstein — July 4, 1826

D-Day, June 6, 1944: the climactic battle of World War II by Stephen E. Ambrose — June 6, 1944

The day Kennedy was shot by Jim Bishop — November 22, 1963

The day Lincoln was shot by Jim Bishop — April 14, 1865

Day of infamy by Walter Lord — December 7, 1941

The day the American Revolution began: 19 April 1775 by William H. Hallahan — April 19, 1775

The day the war ended: May 8, 1945—victory in Europe by Martin Gilbert — May 8, 1945

Historical "What Ifs"

What if the Allied invasion of Europe on D-Day had failed? The Mayflower had not sailed? The Mongols had succeeded in conquering Europe? JFK hadn't been assassinated? Napoleon had invaded North America? The South had won the Civil War? Go back in time and reimagine history as it might have been with the following fascinating titles:

Almost America: from the colonists to Clinton: a 'what if' history of the U.S. by Steve Tally

Almost history: close calls, plan B's, and twists of fate in American history by Roger Bruns

The Confederate States of America: what might have been by Roger L. Ransom

Days of destiny: crossroads in American history: America's greatest historians examine thirty-one uncelebrated days that changed the course of history by general editors, James M. McPherson, Alan Brinkley; editor, David Rubel

You Are There!

Jump into the Wayback Machine and be there when history was being made!

Days of destiny: crossroads in American history: America's greatest historians examine thirty-one uncelebrated days that changed the course of history by general editors, James M. McPherson, Alan Brinkley; editor, David Rubel

Eyewitness to America: 500 years of America in the words of those who saw it happen by edited by David Colbert

Eyewitness to history by edited by John Carey

I wish I'd been there: twenty historians bring to life dramatic events that changed America by edited by Byron Hollinshead

I wish I'd been there, book two: European history by edited by Byron Hollinshead and Theodore K. Rabb

Meet the Women of the Civil War

Diamond Jubilee

England's Queen Elizabeth II celebrates her Diamond Jubilee this year, commemorating 60 years on the British throne. Her reign is the second longest for a British monarch after Queen Victoria who reigned for 63 years and 7 months. Princess Elizabeth was crowned on June 2, 1953 at Westminster Abbey after the death of her father George VI. Although she had been proclaimed queen when her father died in February, 1952, the official ceremony was not held until after a period of mourning for the late king.

The Golden Gate Bridge Turns 75

San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge turns 75 on May 27. On that day in 1937 over 200,000 people crossed the bridge on foot and roller skates. The bridge links the City of San Francisco with Marin County. Singer Tony Bennett immortalized the Golden Gate Bridge in the song "(I Left My Heart) In San Francisco". Construction on the bridge began on January 5, 1933 and ultimately cost $35million. Take a virtual walk across the bridge, read about the history of this world famous bridge, or watch the Golden Gate Bridge being constructed.

Golden Gate Bridge [videodisc] by a Ben Loeterman Productions, Inc. film

Two New Historical Dramas Debut

Fans of historical dramas will have two new productions to choose from on Monday, May 28. HBO is debuting Hemingway & Gellhorn at 9:00 PM and the History Channel will present its miniseries Hatfields & McCoys, also at 9:00 PM. Hemingway & Gellhorn stars Clive Owen as the author, and Nicole Kidman as the legendary foreign correspondent who became Hemingway's third wife. Considered one of the greatest war correspondents of the 20th century, Gellhorn reported on virtually every major conflict during her 60 year career, including the Vietnam War. Hatfields & McCoys stars Kevin Costner and Bill Paxton as Devil Anse Hatfield and Randall McCoy, two members of the families involved in the long running feud between the Hatfields of West Virginia and the McCoys of Kentucky.

Great Michigan Read 2012

To wrap up this year’s Great Michigan Read, the Michigan Humanities Council will host a grand finale event on Monday, June 25 in Traverse City. This finale will be held at the Dennos Museum Center and feature Arc of Justice author Kevin Boyle. This will be an amazing event, providing an opportunity to reflect on the conversations and discussions generated by the Great Michigan Read throughout Michigan.

Tickets are available for $35 and $100. More information is available at the Michigan Humanities Council. For immediate event updates, keep an eye out on the Council's Facebook page.

History of Journalism

May 3 has been designated as World Press Freedom Day in recognition of a "free, pluralistic and independent press" and its essential part of a democratic society. Indeed, the purpose of journalism, said Chicago newspaper columnist Peter Finley Dunne in the early 1900s, is to "comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable." Although modern journalists have often been the targets of severe criticism, it is also true that throughout the centuries, and even today, journalism has been a force for making America a better place to live.

Joan of Arc

The 600th year celebration of the birth of Joan of Arc is being celebrated in 2012. Born in France in 1412, she is considered a national heroine and one of the country's patron saints. Nicknamed the "Maid of Orleans", she was a peasant girl who claimed divine guidance when leading the French army to several significant victories during the Hundred Year's War. Captured by the enemy, she was tried for heresy and burned at the stake when she was only 19. Twenty five years later the pope cleared her name and declared her a martyr. She was beatified in 1909 and canonized in 1920.

Joan of Arc: a Penguin life by Mary Gordon

Honor Flight Michigan - The Legacy Project

Join us in honoring the Legacy of Michigan's World War II heroes and Honor Flight Michigan who provided their trips of a lifetime. The family-friendly documentary will tug at your heart and make you swell with pride for our fathers and grandfathers, a generation of heroes. Please bring Dad or Grandpa along on Thursday, May 3 at 7:00 PM to watch this documentary, hear stories from the people who created the organization and the veterans who lived it.

Family History

Do you know anything about your family history?  For example, many families have  descendants that came to America through Ellis Island in New York. April 17 is "Ellis Island Family History Day." More immigrants were processed on this day in 1907, than any other day in history. The statue of liberty was the first glimpse of America for millions of immigrants. Ellis island has a unique and interesting history as America's immigration station with a lot of family history to offer.

Book and Author Luncheon

Kevin Boyle, historian and author of Arc of Justice, will be appearing at Fox Hills' banquet center on Tuesday, May 29 at Noon for the 26th annual Friends of the Library Plymouth-Canton-Northville-Novi Book and Author Luncheon.

Reserve your seats, which are available using this request form, starting April 15.

Titanic's 100th Anniversary

April 15, 2012 marks the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the luxury liner RMS Titanic. The largest ship afloat in the world at the time — and widely believed to be "unsinkable" — the Titanic left Southampton, England on her maiden voyage to New York City on April 10. Four days later, the ship collided with an iceberg late in the evening of April 14, and sank in the Atlantic Ocean at approximately 2:20 in the morning of the 15th.

Before We Celebrate, Let Us Commemorate

For the past few years, the Canton Public Library has held a donation drive to commemorate Memorial Day by helping service men and women. Once again we will be collecting donations, this year for the VA Hospital of Ann Arbor , but there are many other rewarding ways to observe Memorial Day, including:
  • Visiting cemeteries and placing flags or flowers on the graves of our fallen heroes
  • Visiting war memorials
  • Flying the U.S. Flag at half-staff until noon
  • Participating in a National Moment of Remembrance at 3:00 PM to pause and reflect upon the true meaning of the day
  • Attending a parade
  • Watching a patriotic movie or reading a patriotic book
Check out websites like [White House] Joining Forces, where you can actually send a message of thanks to a military family and get other ideas for showing appreciation. Also, be sure to visit the library's displays on Memorial Day and the history behind some of our military traditions.

Memorial Day Supply Drive to Benefit Veterans

Before we celebrate Memorial Day, let's commemorate. Please help CPL as we collect items to be donated to the VA Hospital of Ann Arbor for distribution to homeless veterans. Donations will be appreciatively accepted beginning Thursday, May 10 through Thursday, May 31 at the Reception Desk.
Suggested donations include:
  • Rolls of Lifesavers (or other hard candy)
  • Rice Krispies bars (or granola bars, etc.)
  • Plastic utensils (knives, forks, spoons)
  • Napkins
  • Ritz snack mix (or other trail mix)
  • Easy-open cans of tuna, chicken or other meats
Other general requests include $5-10 gift cards to Wendy's or McDonald's; cans of coffee (regular or decaf); prepaid telephone calling cards; new crossword puzzles and word search books.