May 29, 2015

Today in History: Wild Bill Hickok

Life and marvelous adventures of Wild Bill, the scout

Today in History–May 27–the Library of Congress features James Butler "Wild Bill" Hickok, born on this date in 1837 in Illinois. Hickok was involved in the Kansas free state movement and was a scout and spy for the Union during the Civil War. Later he held a number of positions in law enforcement. Find out more by visiting the Today in History section, then click the links below to access more resources related to this legendary marksman. "Wild Bill" Hickok images Life and Marvelous … [Read more...]

Today in History: Bill “Bojangles” Robinson & Tap Dancing

Portrait of Bill Robinson

Today in History–May 25–the Library of Congress features Bill "Bojangles" Robinson, born on this date in 1878. Orphaned in early childhood, Robinson started dancing at a young age and went on to become a legendary jazz tap dancer. Learn more about this mesmerizing entertainer by visiting the Today in History section, then click the links below for primary sources related to Robinson and tap dancing. Bill "Bojangles" Robinson Was Born from America's Library Bill "Bojangles" Robinson … [Read more...]

Today in History: Johns Hopkins

Ceiling detail, the Johns Hopkins University seal, at the William H. Welch Medical Library, the library of the Johns Hopkins Hospital

Today in History–May 19–the Library of Congress features Johns Hopkins, born in Maryland on this date in 1795. Hopkins had to quit school at age 12 to work the family farm but he went on to become a very successful businessman. He used his fortune—$7 million at the time of his death—to found Johns Hopkins University and Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland. Find out more about this this man and his legacy by visiting the Today in History section, then check out related primary … [Read more...]

Today in History: Mary McLeod Bethune

Mary McLeod  Bethune

Today in History–May 18–the Library of Congress features educator and political leader Mary McLeod Bethune, who died on this date in 1955. After attending schools in South Carolina, North Carolina and Chicago, Illinois, Bethune taught for 10 years. In 1904 she opened the Daytona Educational and Industrial School for Negro Girls in Florida, which later merged with the all-male Cookman Institute and became Bethune-Cookman University. Learn more about this erudite woman by visiting the Today in … [Read more...]

Primary Source Spotlight: Albert Einstein

Albert Einstein memorial

"Albert Einstein lived here" April 19, 1955 political cartoon by Herb Block (scroll down page to read curator's note) Albert Einstein image set Albert Einstein historical newspaper coverage through 1922 Letter from Albert Einstein to Roman Totenberg on October 27, 1935 Legislation related to Albert Einstein Fellowship Albert Einstein science reference guide includes links to his 1905 papers, bibliography and recommended websites Library of Congress blog posts Einstein’s … [Read more...]

Primary Source Spotlight: Jewish American Resources

Die Toire

Jewish American Heritage Month proclamations & legislation PSN Jewish American source sets Happy Hanukkah Religious Freedom Touro Synagogue Aaron Copland Gertrude Stein Sophie Tucker Featured Source: Leonard Bernstein illustrated letter guided primary source analysis activities American Memory collections The Hannah Arendt Papers Emile Berliner and the Birth of the Recording Industry The Aaron Copland Collection Yiddish Playscripts Prints & Photographs … [Read more...]

Today in History: Charles Darwin & Teaching Evolution

Darwin

Today in History–May 5–the Library of Congress features the controversy surrounding teaching Charles Darwin's theory of evolution. On this date in 1925 John Scopes was arrested for teaching evolution in a Tennessee public  high schools. Originally conceived as both a test case and a publicity stunt, Scopes went to trial and was found guilty. Later, the Tennessee Supreme Court acquitted Scopes but upheld the law prohibiting the teaching of evolution. Learn more about this infamous trial by … [Read more...]

Today in History: Manhattan Island

New York: a birdseye view from the harbor, showing Manhattan Island in its surroundings

Today in History–May 4–the Library of Congress features Manhattan Island. On this date in 1626, Dutch colonist Peter Minuit arrived on the wooded island at the behest of the Dutch West India Company. Minuit later "purchased" the island from resident Algonquin Indians for the equivalent of $24.  The town of New Amsterdam, located at the southern end of the island, was renamed New York City after it was seized by the British in 1664. Find out more about Manhattan Island by visiting the Today in … [Read more...]

Primary Source Spotlight: Patricia Smith

Patricia Smith

This is My Story: Getting to Know Patricia Smith From the Catbird Seat blog February 9, 2015 Patricia Smith's "Words That Force Us to Look" From the Catbird Seat April 22, 2013 Library Awards Patricia Smith the Bobbitt National Prize for Poetry December 22, 2014 Patricia Smith Bookfest bio Patricia Smith: 2009 National Book Festival webcast Necessary Utterance: Poetry as Cultural Force 2013/05/01 webcast Patricia Smith from the Poetry Foundation Patricia Smith from Modern … [Read more...]

Today in History: Billy Bitzer & the Biograph Company

Billy Bitzer seated at movie projector

Today in History–April 28–the Library of Congress features Billy Bitzer, who on this date in 1899, filmed the short comedy Stealing a Dinner for the American Mutoscope & Biograph Company. Bitzer was a great pioneer of early film and shot thousands of movies, including the infamous The Birth of a Nation. Find out more by visiting the Today in History section, then follow the links below to view some of these early films and more related resources. "Billy" Bitzer films Stealing a … [Read more...]