¡Feliz Cumpleaños Diego!

Diego RiveraDiego Rivera

Today marks the birthday of famed Mexican artist and revolutionary Diego Rivera (1886-1957). Born in Guanajuato in 1886, Rivera showed an interest in art from a young age, and by the time he reached his twenties he had become a well established painter. In 1907, Rivera left Mexico for Europe where he would remain for fourteen years. Rivera was heavily influenced by the Italian Renaissance style of painting known as the fresco form. Upon returning to Mexico, Rivera began using the fresco form in a number of his works. Feeling that it was important to bring art to the people where they lived and worked, Rivera painted murals in public buildings such as universities, hotels, schools, etc. These giant murals often depicted scenes of Mexican history, industrialization, and the worker’s struggle. In the early 1930s Rivera worked on commissions for a number of prominent American businessmen. One of these works included a mural entitled "Detroit Industry" commissioned by Henry Ford to be painted on walls of the Detroit Institute of Art. A tribute to the American industrial worker, the 27 panel mural depicts industrial life in the United States, and that at the Ford Motor Company in particular. Diego was also well known for his marriage to another prominent Mexican artist, Frida Kahlo. For more information on Rivera’s life and works, check out author Anne E. Neimark's biography entitled Diego Rivera : artist of the people. The 2002 film Frida also provides an entertaining view of Diego and Frida's tumultuous marriage. If you are intersted in seeing Rivera's Detroit Industry mural in person, you can check out a pass to the Detroit Institute of Art from the ADDL, for more information visit http://www.detroitadventurepass.org/index.php.

Dec. 6, 1947 - Everglades National Park, Florida dedicated by President Harry S Truman

"Here are no lofty peaks seeking the sky, no mighty glaciers or rushing streams wearing away the uplifted land. Here is land, tranquil in its quiet beauty, serving not as the source of water, but as the receiver of it. To its natural abundance we owe the spectacular plant and animal life that distinguishes this place from all others in our country." With these words, Truman formally dedicated Everglades National Park. This event culminated years of effort by a dedicated group of conservationists to make a national park in the Florida Everglades a reality. For a fascinating and comprehensive history of this amazing wetland, check out Michael Grunwald's The Swamp: The Everglades, Florida, and the Politics of Paradise. Thinking of visiting the park? Check out Hidden Florida Keys and Everglades or Adventure guide to the Florida Keys & Everglades National Park.

Studs Terkel American Treasure Gone at 96

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Most famous for his oral biographies, Studs Terkel, sage, humanitarian, philosopher, author, radio talk show host and television star for many years, died recently at age 96.

Division Street: America (1966) about urban conflict in the 1960s was his first best seller, followed by Hard Times: An Oral History of the Great Depression.

He perfected the oral biography form with Working: People Talk About What They Do All Day and How They Feel About What They Do and the Pulitzer Prize-winning ‘The Good War’: An Oral History of World War II.

Born in the Bronx, Mr. Terkel spent most of his life in Chicago and had several radio and television programs there for many years. His personality can only be described as effervescent and curious, he never failed to impart optimism and humor about the human condition.

Check out the Ann Arbor District Library Catalog to see our collection of works by Terkel.

Those Who Cannot Remember the Past are Condemned to Repeat It

history profhistory prof

Journalism is said to be the first draft of history. A 24 hour news cycle makes it a very rough draft.

The History News Network exists to help put events in context and exposes those that misrepresent history intentionally or because of ignorance.

Read what historians are saying about current events—scholars with a depth of knowledge who look to the past to interpret the present.

Gain a better understanding of current events and at the same time save yourself from condemnation with HNN!!

Crusader for human rights

Tomorrow, October 29, Archbishop Desmond Tutu will be the featured speaker at the Wallenberg Foundation lecture. Archbishop Tutu, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984, has been a tireless supporter of human rights in South Africa. He helped establish the the first Truth and Reconciliation Commission in South Africa which investigated abuses of human rights. Tutu emphasized the importance of justice as well as forgiveness in this process. His work reflects that of Raoul Wallenberg who risked his life to save thousands of Hungarian Jews during World War II. Every year, the Foundation honors a person who embodies Wallenberg's quest for peace and justice. Desmond Tutu's lecture will be at 7:30 in Hill Auditorium.

More October Films

"The true-life tragedy of Evelyn Nesbit (1884-1967) supplies the framework for French director Claude Chabrol's latest romantic thriller" -A Girl Cut in Two, writes John Anderson of The Washington Post.

The story of Evelyn Nesbit is one of glamour, money, romance, madness, and murder. Famous by her sixteenth birthday in 1900, Gibson Girl Evelyn Nesbit was the most photographed woman of her era, an iconic figure who set the standard for female beauty. Women wanted to be her. Men wanted her. When her jealous millionaire husband, Harry K. Thaw, killed her lover--celebrity architect Stanford White, she found herself at the center of the "crime of the century" and the scandal that marked the beginning of a national obsession with youth, beauty, celebrity, and sex.

Author Paula Uruburu's American Eve : Evelyn Nesbit, Stanford White, the Birth of the "It" Girl, and the Crime of the Century (2008) is highly recommended for further reading on this sensational episode in our cultural history. Filmgoers might also want to check out the The Girl in the Red Velvet Swing, a 2007 reissue of the 1955 film that dramatized the Nesbit/Thaw/White triangle.

New Additions to Ann Arbor Historical Signs Collection

Standard Oil, 1973Standard Oil, 1973

The Ann Arbor Historical Signs Collection in pictureAnnArbor just got bigger. We've recently added over 100 new photos, bringing our portrait of 1970's Ann Arbor up to 570 images. These new additions include many businesses from Main, Maple, and East Liberty. We've also reorganized the collection to help you browse through all of the photos more easily. If you happen to want to look at a specific street or find a specific business, just enter those words into our Image Gallery Search at the bottom of any image gallery page and see what pops up.

Ann Arbor Historical Signs is a collection of photographs taken by the Ann Arbor Sign Inspector. Mostly taken in the 1970's, the collection gives a rich picture of the businesses and goings-on in Ann Arbor 35 years ago.

October 14, 1964 - Nobel Peace Prize awarded to Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Have you ever wondered about the Nobel Prizes? We all know them as a mark of prestige, but where did those world-famous awards come from and who decides the winners? Check out The Nobel Prize : A History of Genius, Controversy, and Prestige and wonder no more. Burton Feldman relates the lively history of the awards, touring their century-long existence forward from the will of dynamite mogul Alfred Nobel. Readers will learn about the quirky preferences of the award committees, winners who really didn't deserve to win, losers that should have been winners, and amusing bits of Nobel trivia (like the awarding of the prize in medicine to the inventor of the lobotomy). For details on Martin Luther King, Jr. and his award, the AADL has a GIANT collection of MLK materials for you to peruse. Enjoy!

Campaign Commercials

I Like IkeI Like Ike

Tired of all the presidential campaigning that's been going on for so incredibly long? Take a break from all the political ads with some...um, political ads. The Museum of the Moving Image has created an online exhibit that charts the history of presidential ads on television, beginning with Dwight Eisenhower's first commercials 56 years ago. The Living Room Candidate contains over 300 commercials from the last 15 presidential elections, with analysis of the themes that pop up over and over, election after election. Let yourself be charmed by 1952's singing cartoons or reminded that attack ads and calls for change as strategies to win elections are not recent inventions.

Noteworthy October Biopics @ a Theater Near You

GeorgianaGeorgiana

Based on the biography of Georgiana (Spencer), Duchess of Devonshire by Amanda Foreman, The Duchess is the story of an extraordinary woman who rose to fame by staying true to her passion in a world of protocol, gossip, and social rules - and paid the price. (The New York Times review)

Flash of Genius is adapted from a 1993 New Yorker article by John Seabrook, about a lone crusader doing battle with the big bad establishments - in this case, Ford and Chrysler.

In 1967, Dr. Robert W. Kearns, an electrical engineer and college professor invented and patented the intermittent windshield wiper, only to watch Ford steal the idea two year later for its redesigned Mustang. Read an early review from the Traverse City Film Festival's sneak preview of this Oscar-worthy film, starring Greg Kinnear.

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