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Today in History with a Twist: August 6, 2013

Nuclear War!

     The world entered a new age today when an United States Army Air Corps B-29, the Enola Gay, dropped an Atomic Bomb on Hiroshima, Japan (1945).  The bomb devastated the city, killing around 70,000 people instantly and leaving tens of thousands suffering from burns and radiation poisoning.  Leave it to Man to develop a new source of energy and the first thing we use it for is a weapon.

     Hard to make this transition, but it’s National Root Beer Float Day!  Between the creamy vanilla ice cream and the frothy root beer foam, how can anyone resist this sweet refreshment?  Today we celebrate this tasty summer treat.  At the end of the 19th century, a man named Frank Wisner invented the first root beer float.  This early version was also known as a “black cow.”  To make one of these delicious beverages, just add a scoop of vanilla ice cream to a tall glass of root beer. (Note: If you reverse the directions and add the root beer to the ice cream you’ll end up with a big mess!) (Punchbowl.com)

     From Europe we have learned that the Holy Roman Empire has come to an end with the abdication of Emperor Francis II (1806).  The end has been a long time in coming and the rise of Napoleon and France has sealed its fate.  Francis will stay on as Emperor of Austria.  Is that a demotion?

     The Great War in Europe continues to expand with Serbia declaring war on Germany and Austria declaring war on Russia (1914).  Don't worry it will all be over before the leaves fall.

     President Johnson signed a landmark bill into law today, the Voting Rights Act of 1965(1965).  The bill outlaws discriminatory restrictions on people to prevent them from voting.  Making it easier for the dead to vote in Chicago.

     Science is working to make crime prevention more efficient with the introduction of the electric chair replacing the hangman's noose as the method of choice. (1890)  At Auburn Prison in New York murderer William Kemmler has earned the distinction of being the first person to be executed by electric chair.  Much more humane.

     Big news from the world of science where NASA has announced that the ALH 84001 meteorite, thought to originate from Mars, contains evidence of primitive life-forms (1996).  How did they ever build those tripods?

Today we celebrate the birthdays of:

     1809 - Alfred, Lord Tennyson - English poet (d. 1892) - Thought we needed a little class here.

     1861 - Edith Roosevelt - 27th First Lady of the United States (wife of Theodore Roosevelt) (d. 1948) - Bully!

     1928 - Andy Warhol - Artist (d. 1987) - Most influential artist on American culture probably of all time. - Still don't get the soup can.

Books in the Library's collection that relate to the above topics:


Amazon Says: At 8:15 A.M., August 6, 1945, the Enola Gay released her load. For forty­ three seconds, the world's first atomic bomb plunged through six miles of clear air to its preset de more...
Amazon Says: At 8:15 A.M., August 6, 1945, the Enola Gay released her load. For forty­ three seconds, the world's first atomic bomb plunged through six miles of clear air to its preset detonation altitude. There it exploded, destroying Hiroshima and eighty thousand of her citizens. No war had ever seen such instant devastation. Within nine days Japan surrendered. World War II was over and a nuclear arms race had begun. Fifty years later, the National Air and Space Museum was in the final stages of preparing an exhibition on the Enola Gay's historic mission when eighty-one members of Congress angrily demanded cancellation of the planned display and the resignation or dismissal of the museum's director. The Smithsonian tnstitution, of which the National Air and Space Museum is a part, is heavily dependent on congressional funding. The Institution's chief executive, Smithsonian Secretary I. Michael Heyman, in office only four months at the time, scrapped the exhibit as requested, and promised to personally oversee a new display devoid of any historic context. In the wake of that decision I resigned as the museum's director and left the Smithsonian. less...
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Homemade Root Beer, Soda & Pop by Stephen Cresswell
Amazon Says: It's fun and easy to make your own soda! Stephen Cresswell offers more than 60 soft drink recipes that your family will love. more...
Amazon Says: It's fun and easy to make your own soda! Stephen Cresswell offers more than 60 soft drink recipes that your family will love. less...
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Ron S. Says: Reads like a Dan Brown thriller, yet it is all real.
Amazon Says: From Paris to Stalingrad, the Nazis systematically plundered all manner of art and antiquities. But the first and most valuable treasure they looted were the Crown Jewels of t more...
Amazon Says: From Paris to Stalingrad, the Nazis systematically plundered all manner of art and antiquities. But the first and most valuable treasure they looted were the Crown Jewels of the Holy Roman Empire. This is the true-life Indiana Jones story of a college professor turned Army sleuth who foils a Nazi plot to preserve these cherished symbols of Hitler's Thousand Year Reich. Author Sidney Kirkpatrick draws on recently discovered and previously unpublished documents, including interrogation and intelligence reports, diaries and correspondence, as well as on interviews with all remaining living participants involved with the case, to re-create this thrilling true-life story. less...
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Ron S. Says: Can't recommend this one enough
Amazon Says: Selected by the Modern Library as one of the 100 best nonfiction books of all time The Proud Tower, the Pulitzer Prize–winning The Guns of August, and The Zimmerm more...
Amazon Says: Selected by the Modern Library as one of the 100 best nonfiction books of all time The Proud Tower, the Pulitzer Prize–winning The Guns of August, and The Zimmerman Telegram comprise Barbara W. Tuchman’s classic histories of the First World War era In this landmark, Pulitzer Prize–winning account, renowned historian Barbara W. Tuchman re-creates the first month of World War I: thirty days in the summer of 1914 that determined the course of the conflict, the century, and ultimately our present world. Beginning with the funeral of Edward VII, Tuchman traces each step that led to the inevitable clash. And inevitable it was, with all sides plotting their war for a generation. Dizzyingly comprehensive and spectacularly portrayed with her famous talent for evoking the characters of the war’s key players, Tuchman’s magnum opus is a classic for the ages.   Praise for The Guns of August   “A brilliant piece of military history which proves up to the hilt the force of Winston Churchill’s statement that the first month of World War I was ‘a drama never surpassed.’”—Newsweek   “More dramatic than fiction . . . a magnificent narrative—beautifully organized, elegantly phrased, skillfully paced and sustained.”—Chicago Tribune   “A fine demonstration that with sufficient art rather specialized history can be raised to the level of literature.”—The New York Times   “[The Guns of August] has a vitality that transcends its narrative virtues, which are considerable, and its feel for characterizations, which is excellent.”—The Wall Street Journal From the Trade Paperback edition. less...
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The Voting Rights Act of 1965 by Laurie Collier Hillstrom
Amazon Says: ''Explains the events that led to the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Details both the racial discrimination and violence that pervaded the South and the civil rights protests that more...
Amazon Says: ''Explains the events that led to the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Details both the racial discrimination and violence that pervaded the South and the civil rights protests that changed American voting rights. Features include a narrative overview, biographi Title: The Voting Rights Act of 1965 Author: Hillstrom, Laurie Collier Publisher: Omnigraphics Inc Publication Date: 2008/10/31 Number of Pages: 244 Binding Type: HARDCOVER Library of Congress: 2008038392 less...
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Amazon Says: A full-color history of the cruel and violent ways in which humans have meted out punishment--from early civilizations to the present. more...
Amazon Says: A full-color history of the cruel and violent ways in which humans have meted out punishment--from early civilizations to the present. less...
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Amazon Says: Discusses the study of a meteorite found in Antarctica in 1984 and why it is thought to come from Mars, examining how the scientific process works. more...
Amazon Says: Discusses the study of a meteorite found in Antarctica in 1984 and why it is thought to come from Mars, examining how the scientific process works. less...
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Amazon Says: Book by Shaw, W. David more...
Amazon Says: Book by Shaw, W. David less...
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First Ladies by DK Publishing
Amazon Says: First Ladies is an updated edition of DK s classic look at America s first ladies in addition to the CD, wall chart, and extra 8 pages, the book will be updated to include inf more...
Amazon Says: First Ladies is an updated edition of DK s classic look at America s first ladies in addition to the CD, wall chart, and extra 8 pages, the book will be updated to include information about the first lady who moves into the White House in 2009, Michelle Obama. less...
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Andy Warhol by Wayne Koestenbaum
Amazon Says: The sixties were the "sex, drugs, and rock-and-roll" era, and Andy Warhol was its cultural icon. Painter, filmmaker, photographer, philosopher, Warhol was both celebrity and more...
Amazon Says: The sixties were the "sex, drugs, and rock-and-roll" era, and Andy Warhol was its cultural icon. Painter, filmmaker, photographer, philosopher, Warhol was both celebrity and celebrant, the man who put the "pop" in art. His studio, The Factory, where his free-spirited cast of "superstars" mingled with the rich and famous, was ground zero for the explosions that rocked American cultural life. And yet for all his fame, Warhol was an enigma: a participant in the excesses of his time who remained a faithful churchgoer, a nearly inarticulate man who was also a great aphorist ("In the future everybody will be world famous for fifteen minutes"), an artist whose body of work sizzles with sexuality but whose own body was a source of shame and self-hatred. In his bravura account of Warhol's life and work, scholar and culture critic Wayne Koestenbaum gets past the contradictions and reveals the man beneath the blond wig and dark glasses. Nimbly weaving brilliant and witty analysis into an absorbing narrative, Koestenbaum makes a convincing case for Warhol as a serious artist, one whose importance goes beyond the sixties. Focusing on Warhol's provocative, powerful films (many of which have been out of circulation since their initial release), Koestenbaum shows that Warhol's oeuvre, in its variety of form (films, silkscreens, books, "happenings"), maintains a striking consistency of theme: Warhol discovered in classic American images (Brillo boxes, Campbell soup cans, Marilyn's face) a secret history, the erotic of time and space. less...
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