Today in History: Duke Ellington

Today in History: Duke Ellington

Today in History–April 29–the Library of Congress features jazz great Duke Ellington, born on this date in 1899. Ellington started to play piano at age 7 and wrote his first song–Soda Fountain Rag–at age 15. By his late teens, he was earning enough money to help his parents move into a better house. Ellington’s musical versatility was astounding and…

Featured Source: Father & Son from Hamlet

Featured Source: Father & Son from Hamlet

Curator description: Bernard Brussel-Smith studied art at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia and the New School for Social Research in New York. During the 1940s and 1950s, Brussel-Smith established himself as America’s foremost wood engraver. In this scene from Hamlet, Polonius, chief minister of the evil King Claudius, gives advice to his…

Today in History: Louis Jordan

Today in History: Louis Jordan

Today in History–December 21–the Library of Congress features saxophonist Louis Jordan, debuted two popular singles on rhythm and blues (R&B) charts on this date in 1946. With a style that combined jazz and blues, Louis Jordan & His Tympany Five launched 54 singles in the 1940s, 18 of which songs reached number one. Learn more about this talented musician…

Today in History: Jackie Robinson

Today in History: Jackie Robinson

Today in History–October 11–the Library of Congress features baseball great Jackie Robinson, who threw out the ceremonial first pitch of the second game of the 1972 World Series game on this day. The game also featured a commemoration of the 25th anniversary of breaking the color line, which Jackson did in 1947 when he debuted with the Brooklyn Dodgers. He finished…

Today in History: Thurgood Marshall

Today in History: Thurgood Marshall

Today in History–October 2–the Library of Congress features Thurgood Marshall, sworn in as Supreme Court Justice on this day in 1967; he was the first African American to serve. President Lyndon B. Johnson said of Marshall’s appointment, “the right thing to do, the right time to do it, the right man and the right place.” Prior to becoming a…

Today in History: Raymond Loewy

Today in History: Raymond Loewy

Today in History–March 22–the Library of Congress features industrial designer Raymond Loewy, who presented his designs for a sleek roadster he called the Avanti to the Studebaker Corporation on this day in 1961. Loewy designed cars for other companies too as well as locomotives and a wide assortment of both industrial and consumer products. Learn more about “father of…

Today in History: Leontyne Price

Today in History: Leontyne Price

Today in History–February 10–the Library of Congress features singer Leontyne Price, born on this date in 1927. This opera star earned 20 Grammy awards and the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Learn more about Price by visiting the Today in History section, then click the links below to access primary sources about opera from across the Library. Leontyne Price Born from America’s Library Leontyne Price image set…

Today in History: Dizzy Gillespie

Today in History: Dizzy Gillespie

Today in History–January 6–the Library of Congress features jazz great Dizzy Gillespie, who died on this date in 1993. Learn more about the terrific trumpeter-composer-bandleader who was one of the key figures in modern jazz music by visiting the Today in History section, then click the links below for related primary sources. Dizzy Gillespie from America’s Library Dizzy Gillespie, Carl Van Vechten image set Dizzy Gillespie, William…

Today in History: Ralph Bunche

Today in History: Ralph Bunche

Today in History–December 9–the Library of Congress features Nobel Peace Prize winner Ralph Bunche, who died on this date in 1971. This trailblazing U.S. diplomat took over as mediator of the Palestine mission in 1948 and successfully negotiated an end to the first Arab-Israeli War the following year. In addition to his work with the United Nations, Bunche served as…

Today in History: Rosa Parks Arrested

Today in History: Rosa Parks Arrested

Today in History–December 1–the Library of Congress features Rosa Parks, arrested for civil disobedience on this day in 1955. Find out more about this brave woman who helped spark the U.S. civil rights movement by visiting the Today in History section, then follow the links below to access more related primary sources and resources. Rosa Parks arrest photo Rosa Park’s recollections…