Today In Music History


It’s time once again to look into music’s past for a reminder of what once was. Musicians are always up to something, such as making #1 hits, getting divorced or breaking up and going their separate ways. Here’s a glimpse of what was happening on October 28 throughout the decades:

-In 1956 Elvis Presley’s "Love Me Tender" was #1 on the Billboard Pop Chart.
-In 1968 John Lennon and wife Cynthia filed for divorce. Next up: Yoko Ono!
-In 1982 At the end of their UK tour, punk band The Jam announced they’d be splitting up.
-In 1997 R.E.M. drummer Bill Berry announced he was leaving the band after 17 years with them. The band did not break up even though decades earlier they had made a pact to break up if any member left the band.

And now it’s all history!

All the Rage


Culinary History is hot. Whether it's the long look back in Moveable Feasts or one ingredient like Salt or Cod. Did you know one of the most read and respected culinary history newsletters, Repast, is published here in Ann Arbor by the Culinary Historians of Ann Arbor? Ann Arbor is also home to one of the premiere culinary history collections in the world, the Longone Center for American Culinary Research at the University of Michigan's Clements Library.

Never Too Many Cooks or Cookbooks


Where did the Cookbook Collection in Ann Arbor Cooks come from? From hundreds of area cooks who contributed thousands of recipes to the local cookbooks owned by the Washtenaw Historical Society, Hadassah, local churches and AADL. If you've got a local family, community or organization cookbook you'd love to share with us, please Contact Us.

Don't Try This At Home!


History can be dangerous ... even in a cookbook. The Ann Arbor Cooks website features thousands of recipes from vintage Ann Arbor cookbooks. But not all of them have stood the test of time health-wise. We strongly discourage you from trying out many of the pickling or jams & jellies recipes because they don't include enough direction for the novice cook or up-to-date sterilizing information. The Blitz Torte on the other hand looks heavenly.

50 Years and 5 Million Miles In the Making

Apollo InsigniaApollo Insignia

Plus never before seen footage from extraterrestrial film that had to be taken out of NASA's liquid nitrogen storage! How many movies can boast that? Today, In the Shadow of the Moon opens at the Michigan Theater. In the 1960s, 400,000 people joined forces to show what the human race can achieve when we work together. They did the impossible--they sent Man to the Moon and safely returned our brave tour guides to Earth. And they achieved this goal in under a decade! Want more info on the Apollo Missions? AADL has it.
Not going to go see the movie because you think the moon landings were hoaxes? Buzz Aldrin's fist will certainly tell you otherwise!

ALA Announces this year's We the People Bookshelf

We the People ImageWe the People Image

The American Library Association has just announced this year’s theme for their annual We the People Bookshelf. The Bookshelf is a collection of titles for children in grades K-12 that deal with a specific theme in American History. This year’s books explore the meaning of the phrase “Created Equal.” Among the list are books like the Ugly Duckling and Flowers for Algernon that relate the often fraught experiences of those who don’t quite fit in, and others like Virginia Hamilton’s classic Many Thousand Gone, which chronicles the hardships and triumphs experienced by black Americans from slavery to the ratification of the 13th amendment in the 1860s. The Library owns almost every title on the list.

My favorite part about the We the People Bookshelf is the artwork. Artist and illustrator Julie Paschkis has created a lively, colorful series of posters that celebrate American History without beating the viewer over the head with patriotism, more Johnny Appleseed than “these colors don’t run.” Last year’s image, which featured Uncle Sam gleefully whizzing by on a bicycle, was especially playful and fun. Happy thinking!

Tour Washtenaw County's Heritage


Crank up the Model A or the hybrid and discover our county's history on one of the Washtenaw County Heritage Tours. Download the beautiful full-color brochures that are packed with historical information, pictures and maps designed to take you back in time and get you back home effortlessly. The Ann Arbor District Libray's online Local History Collection will provide even more avenues for exploration.

Tracks, Trails and Tales in Michigan


The beauty of the woods, the pull of the camp, the challenge of the hunt have been part of Michigan history since man first set foot here thousands of years ago. A-Hunting We Will Go: Deer Hunting in Michigan opens Aug. 4 at the Michigan Historical Museum in Lansing. The exhibit will tell the story of deer hunting in Michigan, with a glimpse at its beginnings and a focus on its development into the widespread pastime it is today. Hunters will have the opportunity to add their own buck-bagging stories to Michigan's whitetail lore, as the Michigan Oral History Association will invite hunters to share their personal accounts of hunting at the exhibit.

Antarctica is more than cool!

In anticipation of the Library's program on Antarctica this Wednesday, July 11, the following three books may be of interest:

Scott of the Antarctic: A Life of Courage and Tragedy by David Crane. A biography of Robert Falcon Scott and his attempts to be the first to reach the South Pole only to be foiled by a Norwegian, Amundsen, who had arrived a month earlier. Scott and his crew perished in a storm. Excerpts from Scott's diaries and photos enrich the text.

Much ado about black swans

Fans of quirky business books, rejoice! In the vein of Malcolm Gladwell's The Tipping Point and Blink and James Surowiecki's The Wisdom of Crowds comes Nassim Taleb's The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable. The title already ranks #2 on Amazon's business bestseller list.

Like Gladwell and Surowiecki's thought-provokers, The Black Swan starts with a simple concept - that big, society-altering events are unpredictable - and shows how this concept affects business, history, and predicting the vagaries of the market. Not surprisingly, things like markets and history don't move in easy-to-spot patterns, so we have to come to expect the unexpected.

Also, check out The Long Tail author Chris Anderson's thoughts on

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