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.
Wonder what the rock ‘n’ roll life is really like? Read all about it in one of these new rock tell-alls.
My Cross to Bear by Gregg Allman (B Allman)
Waging Heavy Peace: a Hippie Dream by Neil Young (781.66 YOU)
The John Lennon Letters by John Lennon (781.66 LEN)
Who I Am: a Memoir by Pete Townshend (781.66 TOW)
Rod: the Autobiography by Rod Stewart (B Stewart)
Cyndi Lauper: a Memoir by Cyndi Lauper (781.64 LAU)
For other titles or biographical works, check our online catalog, biography subject guide, or Ask Us!
Posted in Arts, Biographies, Books, Music
Tagged biography, Cyndi Lauper: a Memoir by Cyndi Lauper, gossip, My Cross to Bear by Gregg Allman, rock stars, Rod: the Autobiography by Rod Stewart, The John Lennon Letters by John Lennon, Waging Heavy Peace: a Hippie Dream by Neil Young, Who I Am: a Memoir by Pete Townshend
Singer/Songwriter Emilia Dahlin
CC Photo by: Ctd 2005 via Flickr
If you’re a crooner, a diva or a wedding singer, we’ll make you want to sing about our resources.
Photo: Chance Agrella
Sheet music: We’ve got hundreds and hundreds of books of sheet music (classical, rock, pop, historical, patriotic, and Christmas carols, to name a few). Don’t see the song you need for your instrument? Music can be a little tricky to search, so just ask!
Instruction: We have books, CDs and DVDs on mastering everything from piano to ukelele. You can even take music appreciation online (see Universal Class).
Shopping: If you need a new cello, piano, or guitar, we have books to help you buy the right instrument, or even build your own.
Online: Check out our Naxos sheet music database to download sheet music–legally! While best for classical pieces, it has a great feature for singers–transpose (change the key) online before you print most pieces. Hobbies & Crafts database features thousands of articles (with pictures) on everything from mixing your music in a studio to violin restoration.
Listening: Of course we have thousands and thousands of CDs, plus streaming and downloadable music. There are books to help you choose your next great listen or to learn about music styles and history. Don’t forget DVDs of musical performances, and all of the concerts at the library, too!
Seeking inspiration? Check out print or online biographies of musicians.
Whether you like to dabble or are trying to make it as a musician, let’s make beautiful music together.
Posted in Biographies, Databases, Education, Hobbies & Crafts, Music
Tagged Freegal, instruction, instruments, library, music, musicians, Naxos, recordings, scores
The American Library Association released a list of books in April that included these titles: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, Gossip Girl by Cecily von Ziegesar, Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, and Alice by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor.
What do these books have in common? They were included in the ALA’s list of the 10 most frequently challenged books of 2011.
Banned Books Week extends from September 30 – October 6. This will be the 30th anniversary for this event. The American Library Association promotes everyone’s freedom to read. Choose a book and celebrate your freedom to read.
Do you want to check out the accuracy of the claims and counterclaims that you are hearing during this contentious political season? Here are some sources that will help you:
FactCheck.org is a project of the Annenberg Public Policy Center.
PolitiFact.com is a Pulitizer Prize-winning project of the Tampa Bay Times.
VoteSmart.org, founded by former Presidents Jimmy Carter and Gerald Ford and others, is a nonprofit, non-partisan educational organization.
U.S. Congress Votes Database shows the voting records going back to 1991 for all the members of Congress.
For additional information, check out our subject guide on government and politics and the 2012 Elections topic page or Ask Us!
Are you wondering why the Republicans had their convention first this year? Is there a rule about which party goes first?
Since 1956, back when Eisenhower was the president, the party that held the White House has traditionally gone second, so this year the Democrats have their convention after the Republicans.
During the years 1864 to 1956, the Democrats had their convention after the Republicans, with the one exception of 1888 when the Democrats went first.
There is no mention of conventions in the Constitution, and conventions have evolved over the years, along with the process of selecting nominees. The first nominating convention in American history occurred in 1831, when the anti-Masonic Party held their convention in Baltimore. The Democrats and National Republicans followed with conventions in 1832.
Questions? Ask Us! Interested in government and politics? Check out our subject guide and the 2012 Elections topic page.
Attribution: Some rights reserved by different2une
Once in a blue moon we do a post about the blue moon.
August 31st will be the second full moon this month, or what’s now commonly referred to as a blue moon. I’d assumed this was based on ancient folklore, but it’s actually a fairly recent definition.
Sky & Telescope says that calendar-based definition is a mistake, but ironically it’s a mistake that likely arose with a Sky & Telescope article in 1946, and which was later popularized on the radio.
Other definitions of “blue moon” refer to a rare occurrence, an actual description of the moon (due to volcanic particles or other odd phenomena that may make the moon appear to be blue), or the third of four full moons in a season.
To learn more about blue moons and their folklore and definitions, we recommend the Library of Congress’ Everyday Mysteries page, and EarthSky’s interesting site.
Are you starting the college application process and need info on colleges, financial aid, the dreaded ACT and SAT tests, and more? The library has many resources in print and online that can help you.
A good place to start is the library’s online catalog or you can browse the shelves in the 370 area. For online resources try our topic guide on colleges which includes practice tests, information on scholarships, and more.
Questions? Ask Us!
We are setting records for hot weather this summer, and our poor gardens are certainly showing it. Wondering how to keep your yard and gardens alive despite watering restrictions and hot, dry weather?
We have several books in our gardening collection that might help you.
Success with Water-Saving Gardens by Graham Clarke provides lots of tips on how to garden in adverse conditions. The book has numerous illustrations plus an A-to-Z list of low-water plants. (635.9525 CLA)
The low-water no-water garden: gardening for drought and heat the Mediterranean way by Pattie Barron shows how to garden in today’s hotter and drier conditions. She uses the Mediterranean garden as a model because these plants are, by nature, drought-proof and work in the increasingly dry, hot summers we are experiencing. (635.9525 BAR)
The dry gardening handbook: plants and practices for a changing climate by Olivier Filippi helps gardeners create gardens that will thrive despite water shortages and dry conditions. (635.9525 FIL)
For additional books on gardening check our online catalog, Hobbies & Crafts Resource Center or Ask Us!
Every Olympic Games we meet new athletes and some are remembered for their outstanding performances on the field, while others are remembered for their interesting personal stories.
Is your neighbor an Olympian? If you’d like to pull for our local heroes and heroines, check out the NBC site, which features our Illinois Olympians. Or meet the whole team on the Team USA site.
Doug Mills The New York Times
Did you notice that our Illinois contingent has more women than men? That’s in line with the American team, where for the first time, women are the (slight) majority, and the favorites for gold in gymnastics, soccer, and for lots of swimming events.
Image: Associated Press
The New York Times has a fascinating site about American Olympians who competed in the 1948 games in London, most of whom are in their 80s and 90s. The first Olympics after WWII, London was still recovering. Their stories are amazing. Listen to each athlete tell a story, and make sure to click on the little pictures to expand them. I love seeing everyone then and now!
Interested in up-to-the minute results, athlete bios, and information about the various games? Assuming you’re not lucky enough to be in London, take a look at our “Hot Topic” about the Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games.