Happy Birthday Mr. President!

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48 years ago today President Barack Obama was born in Honolulu, Hawaii. (News outlets claim he is spending the day at the White House, lunching with the entire Senate Democratic Caucus.) On his birthday, August 4, 1961, John F. Kennedy held the office of the presidency in a very different United States of America. To explore the journey of Obama from Hawaii to Washington D.C., visit the AADL for a wealth of material, including books, dvds, books on CD and videos about this history-making man.

Predicting our economic recovery

Recently I heard Jeffrey Sachs on NPR, sounding very smart about what needs to be done to set the American economy right. So I put myself on the wait list and am eagerly looking forward to reading Sachs’ 2008 book Common wealth: economics for a crowded planet. Sachs, a highly influential economist, grew up in Oak Park, became one of the youngest economics professions in Harvard's history, and now directs the Earth Institute at Columbia University. His 2005 book The end of poverty: economic possibilities for our time sounds good, too.

Francis Lieber 1800 - 1872

Francis LieberFrancis Lieber

Francis (Franz) Lieber was a German-American political philosopher who worked in Abraham Lincoln's war department to establish union soldier rules of conduct. The Lieber Code was also known as the "Code for the Government of Armies in the Field (1863)" or "General Orders No. 100" and was a precedent to war time conventions addressing the ethical treatment of civilians and the relationship of troops to the population. Francis Lieber, among many other activities, translated the German encyclopedia into English, the Encyclopaedia Americana, and taught at the University of South Carolina and Columbia University.

Related books for adults
Tocqueville, Lieber, and Bagehot : liberalism confronts the world
Francis Lieber and the culture of the mind
American conservatives: the political thought of Francis Lieber and John W. Burgess
Tried by war : Abraham Lincoln as commander in chief
President Lincoln : the duty of a statesman
Civil War soldier books for youth
You wouldn't want to be a Civil War soldier!
The Confederate soldier

John Dingell Day in Michigan

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It's official, John Dingell is now the longest-serving representative in Congress. And to make it really official, Governor Granholm has issued a proclamation declaring today, February 11, 2009, John Dingell Day. Mr. Dingell has served over 53 years (19,420 days and counting) in Congress. (Only Senator Robert Byrd has served longer.) Dingell will be a special guest on NPR's Political Junkie today. PJ is part of Talk of the Nation at 2 p.m. on Michigan Radio.

Inauguration Day - Past and Present

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Since George Washington's inauguration in 1789, the transfer of presidential power has become an American tradition. If the upcoming festivities have you curious about this time-honored ceremony, check out Presidential inaugurations for a light, yet concise, history of each president and their beginnings. (This book is great for fans of presidential trivia) The upcoming inauguration of Barack Obama, the 44th president, will commemorate the 200th anniversary of the birth of Abraham Lincoln with the theme "A New Birth of Freedom". For related historical information check out Lincoln's greatest speech : the second inaugural from the AADL's collection. Visit Barack Obama's official inauguration website if you seek more information about Tuesday's upcoming events. If you find yourself wanting to relive history, Bartleby.com has the full text of ALL Inaugural Addresses of the Presidents of the United States from George Washington to George W. Bush. "And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you—ask what you can do for your country."

Happy Birthday Hillary!

Hillary ClintonHillary Clinton

With less than two weeks until Election Day, hopefully Hillary Clinton is taking some time out from supporting the Democrats to celebrate her birthday. Hillary Diane Rodham Clinton (born in Chicago, October 26, 1947) is the junior United States Senator from New York, and was a candidate for the Democratic nomination in this 2008 presidential election. She is married to Bill Clinton—the 42nd President of the United States—and was the First Lady of the United States from 1993 to 2001. If you seek more information beyond this common Hillary knowledge, check out her autobiography Living History. (Do I really need to warn you that Hillary fans will find this interesting and Hillary opponents will not find the revelations they seek?) Hillary is also the author of numerous other works including An invitation to the White House : at home with history and It takes a village : and other lessons children teach us.

Michael Moore in Ann Arbor Today

Pulp Tree

Michael Moore will be at the Michigan Theater today to talk a bit then premiere his latest film "Slacker Uprising". The film is about Moore's tour of the US during the 2004 presidential campaign.

Doors open at 4 p.m. Film at 6:20. Admission is free.

New Border Crossing Rules Begin Jan. 31st

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Beginning today, travelers crossing into the United States via land will be required to show identification documentation. Also effective January 31, 2008, U.S. and Canadian citizen children ages 18 and under will be expected to present a birth certificate issued by a federal, state, provincial, county or municipal authority. The Dept. of Homeland Security website includes an FAQ for travelers.

Come to Think of It: Notes on the Turn of the Millennium

Come to think of it : notes on the end of the millenniumCome to think of it : notes on the end of the millennium

Daniel Schorr, an institution at CBS for decades and a twenty-year mainstay of NPR joined Diane Rehm 12-13-07 on her radio show to talk about his life in journalism and the state of politics in America today and his recently released book "Come to Think of It: Notes on the Turn of the Millennium"

Gore for President…again?

A few weeks ago I spent a morning handing out flyers for the Kerrytown BookFest at the Ann Arbor Farmer’s Market. I stood alongside the usual political demonstrators, with their pins and t-shirts, among them a group with a rather unconventional premise: convince former vice president Al Gore to run for president in 2008. The group’s affable volunteers persevered despite mixed responses from the market-goers; some pushed past their table, eager to reach the caffeine and pastries at Sweetwaters. Others scrunched up their faces and made rude remarks. A decent number of shoppers, however, seemed pleased to see the group, and many of them signed their petition.

So, this afternoon while perusing the most-emailed articles on the New York Times, I was not at all surprised to see the group mentioned in an article detailing the national phenomenon of support for Gore sans Gore.

…what do you think? Should Al give it a go? Thoughts on candidacy without a candidate? Discuss!

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