The Civil War Battle of Gettysburg took place 150 years ago on July 1-3, 1863. Beginning on June 29 of this year, Gettysburg will begin nine days of commemoration of this key event in American history.
Some interesting facts about the battle: Union General George Meade commanded approximately 100,000 soldiers who fought against Confederate General Robert E. Lee’s more than 70,000 soldiers. Gettysburg had the largest number of casualties in the Civil War and it ended General Lee’s invasion of the North. At least 46,000 troops were left dead, wounded or missing.
Marcellus Jones, a member of the Illinois 8th Cavalry from Camp Kane, is widely regarded as the soldier who fired the first shot in the Battle of Gettysburg.
For more information see the Gettysburg 150th Anniversary official website for a list of events and programs.
The Library has a large collection of books and dvds on this topic. Check our online catalog or Ask Us! for assistance in finding materials. For online sources see our History Research Guide.
Richard III’s recently unearthed skull
Photo: AP/Leicester University
The recent discovery of the remains of Richard III and the unabated love of all things Downton Abbey has us answering lots of questions from Anglophiles lately. So, if you’re a lover of all things English, or even if you just like their TV shows, we can help.
Learn more about Richard III from Biography in Context, or check our online catalog for items on the Wars of the Roses. Have your library card handy in case you see something you want to put on hold!
Although not historically accurate, many people’s beliefs about Richard III come from Shakespeare’s history plays depicting the Wars of the Roses (“My kingdom for a horse!”). Of course we have lots of resources for and about the Bard. Here’s a little library trivia: Shakespeare is the only author to have his very own Dewey Decimal Classification number (822.33). We also have access to the wonderful Cambridge Shakespeare Survey Online. All you need is your library card.
Looking for something a little more trendy and suitably English while you’re waiting for Downton Abbey? Try the charmingly touching and funny true-to-life memoirs of Jennifer Worth about being a midwife in London’s East End. Call the Midwife is on DVD, CD, or in print. It’s got it all–a true story, a gritty and interesting setting, quirky and loveable characters–and, of course, the babies.
Whether your tastes run more to Shakespeare or modern memoir, we can help you Anglophiles find exactly what you want. Just ask us!
When did the term “First Lady” come into popular use when referring to the president’s wife? In the early days of the U.S. there was not a generally accepted title for the president’s wife. When Lucy Hayes, wife of the 19th president, Rutherford B. Hayes, accompanied her husband to San Francisco in 1877, the press referred to her as “The First Lady of the Land” and the title stuck.
Some First Lady trivia: Which First Lady was once the national president of the Girls Scouts? (Answer: Lou Hoover) Which First Lady was the first to earn a graduate degree? (Answer: Pat Nixon) Which First Ladies were divorcees when they married their husbands? (Answer: Florence Harding and Betty Ford)
To learn more about our First Ladies, check out the First Ladies’ National Library in Canton, Ohio, which was established when Hillary Clinton was our First Lady. The library is open for tours and workshops. It organizes events and exhibits. Michelle Obama is the library’s honorary chairwoman.
Our Library has many books on our First Ladies. More first lady biographies are available in our online resources, too. Check our online catalog or Ask Us!
Have you seen the new Spielberg movie Lincoln and want to know more about the events depicted in the movie? Are you trying to remember what you learned in American History way back when? We have lots of books about Lincoln, Mary Todd Lincoln, the Civil War, etc.
Team of Rivals: the Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln by Doris Kearns Goodwin is one of the sources used by the creators of the movie. 973.7 GOO)
A. Lincoln: a Biography by Ronald C. White Jr. is a comprehensive biography of the president. (B Lincoln)
Giant in the Shadows: the Life of Robert T. Lincoln is a biography of the Lincoln’s oldest and last surviving son. (B Lincoln)
Mary Todd Lincoln: a Biography by Jean H. Baker is a definitive account of the troubled former First Lady. (B Lincoln)
Tried by War: Abraham Lincoln as Commander in Chief by noted historian James McPherson is a study in how Lincoln worked with his military to defeat the Confederacy. (973.7 MCP)
Questions? Ask us!
We all studied about the War of 1812 in history class, but many of us know very little about this conflict. The 200th anniversary of the start of the war occurs this year, so perhaps this is a good time to remember what happened.
Did you know that Francis Scott Key was inspired to write “The Star-Spangled Banner” after soldiers at Fort McHenry in Baltimore raised an American flag to mark their victory over the British on September 14, 1814?
The British burned down the White House on August 24, 1814, and first lady Dolley Madison refused to leave the building until the Gilbert Stuart painting of George Washington had been saved. That painting hangs in the White House today.
The most famous American warship was the USS Constitution. You can visit this ship in Charleston, Massachusetts, near Boston.
Many important battles were fought in the midwest as the British sought to take control of the Great Lakes. Fort Dearborn, located where Chicago is now, was destroyed in the war.
If you’d like to read more about this conflict, we have a new reference set titled The Encyclopedia of the War of 1812 (REF 973.5203 ENC). For other books check our catalog, our History Research Guide, or Ask Us!
Check out the War of 1812 official website.