Local Car Historian Bob Elton Presents A Brief History of Chrysler Corporation

Monday July 7, 2008: 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm -- Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room

The story of Chrysler Corporation is an epic story of bold, ambitious men, horrible mismanagement, bad luck, gritty perseverance and the will to never say die.

Local car historian Bob Elton presents a fascinating introduction to this once great auto empire. This lecture holds particular relevance, considering the current economic outlook facing automakers today.

This event is held in conjunction with the Main Street Area Association’s July 11 Rolling Sculpture Car Show and cosponsored by the Main Street Area Association. Mr. Elton is one of the founders of the Rolling Sculpture Car Show. Check that out this Friday to see some amazing automobiles.

Fabulous Fiction Firsts #116

Lauren Groff's "exuberant" debut The Monsters of Templeton* is a "fantastically fun read, a kind of wild pastiche that is part historical novel and part mystery, with a touch of the supernatural thrown in for good measure".

Pregnant and troubled, archaeology student Wilhelmina (Willie) Upton slinks home to Templeton, N.Y., after a disastrous affair with her professor, on the very day a long-feared sea monster surfaces in Lake Glimmerglass, quite dead. When Vi, Willie's flower-child mother let slip that Willie's father is in fact a respected citizen in town rather than a nameless hippie from Vi's commune days, Willie dives headlong into untangling the roots of the town's greatest families and her father's identity.

Brilliantly incorporating accounts from generations of Templetonians — as well as characters borrowed from the works of James Fenimore Cooper, who named an upstate New York town Templeton in The Pioneers, Groff, a native of Cooperstown(on which Templeton is based), will delight readers with Willie's sharp wit, literary/historical references and lore.

* = Starred Reviews

As for justice, he was "Supreme."

Today, July 2, is the birthday of Thurgood Marshall, Supreme Court Justice from 1967 until his death in 1993. Marshall was a champion for justice even from his days as a young lawyer when he sued the University of Maryland for racial discrimination in not admitting a black student as he had not been admitted a few years earlier. He went on to become the legal director of the NAACP where he won the landmark case of Brown Vs. the Board of Education in 1954, legally ending segregation in public schools. Marshall went on to argue and win 14 of the 19 cases he argued before the Supreme Court.

Laika

In Laika, Nick Abadzis beautifully and compassionately tells the sad tale of Sputnik II and Laika, the Russian dog who became Earth's first space traveler. Abadzis carefully blends fact with fiction to show the human side of the overtly political Soviet Space Program of the 1950s. Unfortunately, we all know that Laika's story does not have a happy ending. There was never a plan for her return. Abadzis takes full advantage of the affordances of comics storytelling, using thoughtful and poetic page layouts to fully investigate the inner lives of the characters and their struggles. The panels themselves are packed full of visual information--including phases of the moon depicted accurately to the date of the events within the story. Abadzis explores the fragile balance between obligation to one's duties and having to live with the consequences.
If you'd rather have a happy ending, try Pupniks by S. Ruth Lubka. It tells the story of Sputnik 5, in which Belka and Strelka returned safely to Earth in 1960.

World War II battle to be remembered

earthearth

It's not easy to imagine a battle that eventually brought enemies together, starting with American and German planes in the sky over Germany. But we'll get some serious help Thursday 7-8:30 p.m. in the Downtown Multi-Purpose room, when the daughter of one of the men in the battle will speak. Linda Alice Dewey, President of the Kassel Mission Historical Society, will talk about this ill-fated mission of World War II, which occurred Sept. 27, 1944, and lasted only about three minutes. I'm particularly eager to hear about the effort instigated by her father, the late William R. Dewey, to erect a memorial. See you at this fascinating library event.

Music in Ypsi

This summer's Ypsilanti Crossroads Music Festival will be kicking off again on June 6th! Be sure to check out the event and appreciate our neighboring city. It will take place at the intersection of Washington and Pearl Streets every Friday night this summer from 7-10 pm. In the meantime, check out our collection on Ypsilanti history, including Ypsilanti in the 20th Century, Ypsilanti: A History in Pictures, and Our Heritage: Down by the Depot in Ypsilanti.

Get Your Game On! Strategy Style....

Settlers of CatanSettlers of Catan

Join us for an afternoon of strategy and fun gameplay - this Sunday, March 30 from 1:00-4:00 PM @ the Downtown Library (in the MP room)! The library owns copies of the award-winning Settlers of Catan, Carcassone, Condotierre and Chrononauts, but attendees are welcome and encouraged to bring along their favorite Euro-style board game (no Monopoly or Sorry here!). Bring friends, learn to play a new game, or teach someone to play your fave - Teens in grades 6 & up and adults are welcome! These may be no-tech games, but there are definately not no-fun. Alex Horvath, owner of the store Get Your Game On (on Packard @ State) will be there to play games and offer a coupon to his store for attendees. Snack and drinks will be served - see you there!

The Case of the Missing Mural

A Leonardo da Vinci mural not seen for 500 years and an engineer on a quest to find it, spurred on by the inscription Cerca trova, or "Search, you shall find." Sounds like the makings of a great mystery! Listen to the story of da Vinci’s mural, The Battle of Anghiari, on NPR’s Weekend Edition.

Need to do some art investigation of your own? Check out the Grove Dictionary of Art database to find artist biographies and images of their work.

A Few Fun Facts about George

Our first president, George Washington was born on this day,
February 22 in 1732. Did you know?

1. His dentures were carved from a hippopotamus tusk.
2. By the time he was 30, he had survived malaria, smallpox, pleurisy and dysentary. He had been shot at twice and fell off a raft into icy water.
3. He liked playing cards, hunting foxes, horse racing and dancing. He gave his hound dogs names like "Sweet Lips" and "Tarter."
4.He snored very loudly.
5. There are 33 counties, seven mountains, nine colleges and 121 post offices named after him.
6. He gave the shortest inaugural address which was only 133 words long and took 90 seconds to deliver.
(Facts culled from the The Writers Almanac).

For more information about Washinton, check out this great website from the the Smithsonian.

Meet Mat in Malaysia, in Lat's Graphic Novel, Kampung Boy

Kampung Boy by one of the most beloved cartoonists of Southeast Asia, Lat tell the story of Mat, a Muslim boy growing up on a rubber plantation in rural 1950s Malaysia. The sequel, Town Boy follows Mat as he attends boarding school, moves to the city and experiences budding romance and a growing passion for art. Recently available in the US Lat's autobiographical stories will take you to a time and a place that barely exists in Malaysia anymore. The warm and expressive pen-and-ink drawings will draw you into Mat's world.

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