November 24, 2017

Today in History: Alcatraz Island

Today in History–August 11–the Library of Congress features Alcatraz Island in San Francisco Bay. On this date in 1934 a group of federal prisoners arrived at the newly opened Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary, designed as a high-security, escape-proof fortress. Before that, the island had been used to house military prisoners. Alcatraz is an English version of the Spanish name—Isla de los Alcatraces (Isle of the Pelicans)—given by Juan Manuel de Ayala following his 1775 exploration. Later, it was … [Read more...]

Today in History: Duke Kahanamoku – Surfing & Swimming

Today in History–August 11–the Library of Congress features swimmer Duke Kahanamoku, also known as the "father of international surfing", who broke the world record in the 100-yard freestyle swim by 4.6 seconds in Honolulu Harbor on this day in 1911. Kahanamoku went on to win numerous gold and silver medals in several Olympic Games and helped to repopularize surfing as a sport. Find out more by visiting the Today in History section, the click the links below to access more primary … [Read more...]