May 30, 2017

Primary Source Spotlight: Flight & Planes

The Dream of Flight online exhibition With Wings as Eagles: From Fantasy to Flight (primary source sets documenting the history of flight) Today in History: Wright Brothers First Flight Plane images Airplane images Select airplane newspaper coverage New York Times & New York Tribune 1916-1919 Airplane historic newspaper coverage through 1922 Airplane flight historic newspaper coverage through 1922 Airplane books & reports Colonel Roosevelt is invited to fly in … [Read more...]

Today in History: Billy Bitzer & the Biograph Company

Today in History–April 28–the Library of Congress features Billy Bitzer, who filmed the short comedy Stealing a Dinner for the American Mutoscope & Biograph Company on this date in 1899. 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 Dinner from … [Read more...]

Today in History: Christmas

Today in History–December 25–the Library of Congress features Christmas. Although the exact origins of this holiday are uncertain, the Christian church in Rome observed the Feast of the Nativity on this date in the year 336. Today, Christmas celebrations include both religious and secular traditions. Discover more by visiting the Today in History section, then click the links below to access primary sources related to Christmas. Christmas image set Featured Images Christmas Children’s … [Read more...]

Primary Source Spotlight: Film & Video

Film & video collections America at Work, America at Leisure: Motion Pictures 1894-1915 American Variety Stage: Vaudeville and Popular Entertainment 1870-1920 Before and After the Great Earthquake and Fire: Early Films of San Francisco 1897-1916 Buckaroos in Paradise: Ranching Culture in Northern Nevada 1945-1982 Civil Rights History Project Coptic Orthodox Liturgical Chant and Hymnody Fifty Years of Coca-Cola Television Advertisements Great Conversations in Music … [Read more...]

Today in History: Electricity

Today in History–September 30–the Library of Congress features electricity. On this day in 1882, the first hydroelectric central station in the world began operation on the Fox River in Appleton, Wisconsin.  This and other hydroelectric plants provided inexpensive electricity, spurring industrial growth in many regions of the country around the turn of the 20th century. Find out more by visiting the Today in History section, then click the links below to uncover more primary source treasures … [Read more...]

Today in History: The Gish Sisters

Today in History–June 4–the Library of Congress features Dorothy and Lillian Gish, sisters and early film stars. On this day in 1968, Dorothy (Elizabeth) died in Rapallo, Italy. The sisters got their start in film in 1912. Dorothy was a working actress for more than 50 years and Lillian for 75 years, appearing in her final film in 1987 at the age of 93. Learn more about these long-lived thespians by visiting the Today in History section, then clicking the links below to access related … [Read more...]

Today in History: Robert E. Peary

Today in History–May 6–the Library of Congress features explorer Robert E. Peary, born on this date in 1856. Trained as a civil engineer, Peary first traveled to Nicaragua in 1884 to survey a route for a canal. In 1886, Peary ventured north and began his polar expeditions in Greenland, where he and his assistant Matt Henson learned arctic survival skills from the Inuit. Shortly before Peary announced his success in reaching the North Pole in 1909, Dr. Frederick A. Cook (a companion from an 1891 … [Read more...]

Today in History: Charleston, South Carolina

Today in History–February 18–the Library of Congress features Charleston, South Carolina, which surrendered control to Union forces on this date in 1865. Learn more about this southern city that played a leading role in the events leading up to the Civil War by visiting the Today in History section, then follow the links below to numerous related primary sources. Charleston maps Charleston images Charleston chain-gang (film) Charleston sheet music Charleston songs & oral … [Read more...]

Today in History: The Birth of a Nation

Today in History–February 8–the Library of Congress features the controversial silent film, The Birth of a Nation, which premiered on this day in 1915. Although the film advanced the art of cinema, it did so by telling a story with a skewed, racist vision of U.S. history. Protested by many, the film was ultimately a great commercial success. Find out more by visiting the Today in History section and then clicking the links below. The Birth of a Nation poster Perfect song; Love strain from … [Read more...]

Today in History: A Visit from St. Nicholas

Today in History–December 24–the Library of Congress features the famous poem, "A Visit from St. Nicholas" penned by Clement C. Moore on this day in 1822. Today the poem is best known as "Twas the Night Before Christmas". Find out more about Moore and his famous tale by visiting the Today in History section, then click the links below to access primary sources related to Santa Claus. Featured Source: Why I Believe in Santa guided primary source analysis activity A reprint of the first … [Read more...]