Tag Archives: history

eBook Friday: Carowinds: Images of America

Carowinds: Images of America, by Scott Rutherford

Located near Charlotte, Carowinds has long been considered the “Thrill Capital of the Southeast!” The brainchild of Earl Patterson Hall, a self-made businessman and real estate developer, Carowinds is an exciting day for children and adults alike. Inspired by a trip to Disneyland in 1957, Hall envisioned an amusement park for the citizens of the Carolinas. In 1973, after four years of planning and construction, Carowinds opened to the public on a large site that straddles the North Carolina-South Carolina border. Throughout the 1970s, visitors enjoyed rides such as the Witchdoctor and White Lightnin’. Currently, the park features rides, shows, and attractions for all, including Intimidator, the tallest and fastest coaster in the Southeast. Carowinds showcases the rich history of this Carolina amusement park celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2013.

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Every Friday, we highlight a title from our collections at
http://e-inc.overdrive.com
or http://chathamconc.oneclickdigital.com. Let us know what you think of these selections, and tell us about eBooks you’ve enjoyed – we may feature them here!

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Library to Host Film and Discussion Series on U.S. Presidents

Chatham Community Library will host a six-week film and discussion series on U.S. Presidents beginning Thursday, August 24th, from 6:00-8:00 pm in the Holmes Meeting Room. The series, Presidents, Politics and Power: American Presidents Who Shaped the 20th Century, is part of the “Let’s Talk About It” project sponsored by the North Carolina Humanities Council and the North Carolina Center for the Book (a program of the State Library of North Carolina).

During the twentieth century the American presidency became the most powerful office in the world. The basis for the power inhered in the extraordinary natural wealth of the United States, in a dynamic economy that operated within an expanding free market, and in the vigorous entrepreneurial energy that those conditions encouraged. But these ingredients did not themselves constitute national power. It required the agency of strong national leadership to make the decisions and shape the policies that would transform the United States by century’s end from an insular, second-rate military entity to an indispensable world power.

Presidents, Politics and Power focuses on six U.S. leaders: Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry Truman, Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan and offers a direct route into central policy questions. Those questions include managing economic growth while balancing the demands of a free market with the needs of labor and consumers, and shaping foreign and military policy to maintain national security and define the country’s changing relationship to the world.

The series consists of six sessions, each featuring a film biography to provide context for discussion. North Carolina Humanities Council Road Scholars Willie Nelms and Billy Yeargin, Jr. will lead the discussion and film sessions.

Session dates and times are as follows:

  • Session 1. Theodore Roosevelt: The Bully Pulpit – Thursday, August 24, 6:00pm-8:00pm
  • Session 2. Franklin Delano Roosevelt: No Ordinary Times – Thursday, August 31, 6:00-pm-8:00pm
  • Session 3. Harry S. Truman: Cold Warrior – Thursday, September 7, 6:00pm-8:00pm
  • Session 4. Lyndon Johnson: Anxious Power – Thursday, September 14, 6:00pm-8:00pm
  • Session 5. Richard M. Nixon: Power Used and Abused – Thursday, September 21, 6:00pm-8:00pm
  • Session 6. Ronald Reagan: Reordering Priorities – Thursday, September 28, 6:00pm-8:00pm

All sessions are free and open to the public.

This project is made possible by funding from the North Carolina Humanities Council, a statewide nonprofit and affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Any views expressed in this program do not necessarily represent those of the North Carolina Humanities Council.

For questions regarding the upcoming film and discussion series please contact Rita Van Duinen, Branch Manager for the Chatham Community Library at 919-545-8083 or via email at rita.vanduinen@chathamlibraries.org.

eBook Friday: Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! The Story of Pop Music from Bill Haley to Beyoncé, by Bob Stanley

Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! The Story of Pop Music from Bill Haley to Beyoncé, by Bob Stanley

“Breezy, opinionated and totally delicious.”—David Kirby, Wall Street JournalAs much fun to argue with as to quote, Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! is a monumental work of musical history, tracing the story of pop music through individual songs, bands, musical scenes, and styles from Bill Haley and the Comets’ “Rock around the Clock” (1954) to Beyoncé’s first megahit, “Crazy in Love” (2003). It covers the birth of rock, soul, R&B, punk, hip hop, indie, house, techno, and more, and it will remind you why you fell in love with pop music in the first place.Bob Stanley—musician, music critic, and unabashed fan—recounts the progression from the Beach Boys to the Pet Shop Boys to the Beastie Boys; explores what connects doo wop to the sock hop; and reveals how technological changes have affected pop production. Working with a broad definition of “pop”—one that includes country and metal, disco and Dylan, skiffle and glam—Stanley teases out the connections and tensions that animate the pop charts and argues that the charts are vital social history.Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! is like the world’s best and most eclectic jukebox in book form. All the hits are here: the Monkees, Metallica, Patsy Cline, Patti Smith, new wave, New Order, “It’s the Same Old Song,” The Song Remains the Same, Aretha, Bowie, Madonna, Prince, Sgt. Pepper, A Tribe Called Quest, the Big Bopper, Fleetwood Mac, “Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini,” Bikini Kill, the Kinks, Mick Jagger, Michael Jackson, Jay-Z, and on and on and on. This book will have you reaching for your records (or CDs or MP3s) and discovering countless others.For anyone who has ever thrilled to the opening chord of the Beatles’ “A Hard Day’s Night” or fallen crazy in love for Beyoncé, Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! is a vital guide to the rich soundtrack of the second half of the twentieth century.

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Every Friday, we highlight a title from our collections at
http://e-inc.overdrive.com
or http://chathamconc.oneclickdigital.com. Let us know what you think of these selections, and tell us about eBooks you’ve enjoyed – we may feature them here!

eBook Friday: Veterans: The Last Survivors of the Great War

Veterans: The Last Survivors of the Great War, by Richard Van Emden

Using the veterans’ own words and photographs, the book brings to life a mixture of their excitement of embarkation for France, their unbound optimism and courage, the agony of the trenches, and numbing fear of going over the top. The fight for survival, the long ordeal of those who were wounded and the ever present grief caused by appalling loss and waste of life make for compelling reading.

The veterans give us first hand accounts of stark honesty, as they describe in many cases more freely than ever before about experiences which have lived with them for over 80 years.

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Every Friday, we highlight a title from our collection at
http://e-inc.lib.overdrive.com
.  Let us know what you think of these selections, and tell us about eBooks you’ve enjoyed – we may feature them here!

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eBook Friday: Capital Dames

Capital Dames, by Cokie Roberts

In this engrossing and informative companion to her New York Times bestsellers Founding Mothers and Ladies of Liberty, Cokie Roberts marks the sesquicentennial of the Civil War by offering a riveting look at Washington, D.C. and the experiences, influence, and contributions of its women during this momentous period of American history.

With the outbreak of the Civil War, the small, social Southern town of Washington, D.C. found itself caught between warring sides in a four-year battle that would determine the future of the United States.

After the declaration of secession, many fascinating Southern women left the city, leaving their friends—such as Adele Cutts Douglas and Elizabeth Blair Lee—to grapple with questions of safety and sanitation as the capital was transformed into an immense Union army camp and later a hospital. With their husbands, brothers, and fathers marching off to war, either on the battlefield or in the halls of Congress, the women of Washington joined the cause as well. And more women went to the Capital City to enlist as nurses, supply organizers, relief workers, and journalists. Many risked their lives making munitions in a highly flammable arsenal, toiled at the Treasury Department printing greenbacks to finance the war, and plied their needlework skills at The Navy Yard—once the sole province of men—to sew canvas gunpowder bags for the troops.

Cokie Roberts chronicles these women’s increasing independence, their political empowerment, their indispensable role in keeping the Union unified through the war, and in helping heal it once the fighting was done. She concludes that the war not only changed Washington, it also forever changed the place of women.

Sifting through newspaper articles, government records, and private letters and diaries—many never before published—Roberts brings the war-torn capital into focus through the lives of its formidable women.

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Every Friday, we highlight a title from our collection at
http://e-inc.lib.overdrive.com
.  Let us know what you think of these selections, and tell us about eBooks you’ve enjoyed – we may feature them here!

eBook Friday: The Wright Brothers by David McCullough

The Wright Brothers, by David McCullough:

 

#1 New York Times bestseller

Two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize David McCullough tells the dramatic story-behind-the-story about the courageous brothers who taught the world how to fly: Wilbur and Orville Wright.

On a winter day in 1903, in the Outer Banks of North Carolina, two unknown brothers from Ohio changed history. But it would take the world some time to believe what had happened: the age of flight had begun, with the first heavier-than-air, powered machine carrying a pilot.
Who were these men and how was it that they achieved what they did?
David McCullough, two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize, tells the surprising, profoundly American story of Wilbur and Orville Wright.

Far more than a couple of unschooled Dayton bicycle mechanics who happened to hit on success, they were men of exceptional courage and determination, and of far-ranging intellectual interests and ceaseless curiosity, much of which they attributed to their upbringing. The house they lived in had no electricity or indoor plumbing, but there were books aplenty, supplied mainly by their preacher father, and they never stopped reading.

When they worked together, no problem seemed to be insurmountable. Wilbur was unquestionably a genius. Orville had such mechanical ingenuity as few had ever seen. That they had no more than a public high school education, little money and no contacts in high places, never stopped them in their “mission” to take to the air. Nothing did, not even the self-evident reality that every time they took off in one of their contrivances, they risked being killed.

In this thrilling book, master historian David McCullough draws on the immense riches of the Wright Papers, including private diaries, notebooks, scrapbooks, and more than a thousand letters from private family correspondence to tell the human side of the Wright Brothers’ story, including the little-known contributions of their sister, Katharine, without whom things might well have gone differently for them.

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Every Friday, we highlight a title from our collection at
http://e-inc.lib.overdrive.com
.  Let us know what you think of these selections, and tell us about eBooks you’ve enjoyed – we may feature them here!

Resource of the Month: African American Heritage

African American HeritageIf the genealogy bug has caught you, Chatham County Public Libraries can help! In addition to offering access to Ancestry Library Edition in the library and to HeritageQuest from anywhere, the library offers access to African American Heritage in our branches and off site with a password.

This resource provides genealogical and historical records useful for exploring the lives of African American ancestors, a process complicated by the disruptions of slavery and the dearth of centrally-accessible records.  African American Heritage helps family history researchers by bringing together some of the scattered records and by offering expert guides through references and social networking possibilities.

Starting at the library’s home page, www.chathamlibraries.org, click on Online Resources, then the link for Genealogy, followed by the icon for African American Heritage.  Outside of the library, you’ll need a password which staff at the Reference Desk will be happy to share with you.

You’ll find census, Freedman’s Bank, and slave records; birth, marriage, death and North Carolina cohabitation records; church, military, court, and legal records; as well as genealogies and family histories.  In addition, you’ll have access to guides for locating resources in all fifty states, Canada, and the West Indies.

From the home page, you can search and browse the collections, search and browse how-to and reference books, and link to AfriGeneas (a partner site), where you can interact with a community of interested and experienced researchers. During your research sessions, it’s possible to track your search history and to save your discoveries to a notebook for later printing, emailing, and downloading.

Call 919-545-8086 for African American Heritage login information or to discuss this and other tools for genealogy research.  Happy searching!

Free eBook Friday: One Summer: America, 1927

One Summer: America, 1927, by Bill Bryson:

The summer of 1927 began with one of the signature events of the twentieth century: on May 21, 1927, Charles Lindbergh became the first man to cross the Atlantic by plane nonstop, and when he landed in Le Bourget airfield near Paris, he ignited an explosion of worldwide rapture and instantly became the most famous person on the planet. Meanwhile, the titanically talented Babe Ruth was beginning his assault on the home run record, which would culminate on September 30 with his sixtieth blast, one of the most resonant and durable records in sports history. In between those dates a Queens housewife named Ruth Snyder and her corset-salesman lover garroted her husband, leading to a murder trial that became a huge tabloid sensation. Alvin “Shipwreck” Kelly sat atop a flagpole in Newark, New Jersey, for twelve days–a new record. The American South was clobbered by unprecedented rain and by flooding of the Mississippi basin, a great human disaster, the relief efforts for which were guided by the uncannily able and insufferably pompous Herbert Hoover. Calvin Coolidge interrupted an already leisurely presidency for an even more relaxing three-month vacation in the Black Hills of South Dakota. The gangster Al Capone tightened his grip on the illegal booze business through a gaudy and murderous reign of terror and municipal corruption. The first true “talking picture,” Al Jolson’s The Jazz Singer, was filmed and forever changed the motion picture industry. The four most powerful central bankers on earth met in secret session on a Long Island estate and made a fateful decision that virtually guaranteed a future crash and depression.

All this and much, much more transpired in that epochal summer of 1927, and Bill Bryson captures its outsized personalities, exciting events, and occasional just plain weirdness with his trademark vividness, eye for telling detail, and delicious humor. In that year America stepped out onto the world stage as the main event, and One Summer transforms it all into narrative nonfiction of the highest order.

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Every Friday, we highlight an eBook from our collection at
http://e-inc.lib.overdrive.com
.  Let us know what you think of these selections, and tell us about eBooks you’ve enjoyed – we may feature them here!

Free eBook Friday: The New York Times: Disunion

The New York Times: Disunion, by Ted Widmer (ed.):

Since its debut on November 6, 2010, Disunion, The New York Times’ acclaimed journal about the Civil War, has published hundreds of original articles and won multiple awards, including “Best History Website” from the New Media Institute and the History News Network. Following the chronology of the secession crisis and the Civil War, the contributors to Disunion, who include modern scholars, journalists, historians, and Civil War buffs, offer ongoing daily commentary and assessment of the Civil War as it unfolded.

Now, for the first time, this fascinating and historically significant commentary has been gathered together and organized in one volume. In The New York Times: Disunion, historian Ted Widmer has selected more than 100 articles that cover events beginning with Lincoln’s presidential victory through the Emancipation Proclamation. Topics include everything from Walt Whitman’s wartime diary to the bloody guerrilla campaigns in Missouri and Kansas. Esteemed contributors include William Freehling, Adam Goodheart, and Edward Ayers, among others.

The book also compiles new essays that have not been published on the Disunion site by contributors and well-known historians such as David Blight, Gary Gallagher, and Drew Gilpin Faust. Topics include the perspective of African-American slaves and freed men on the war, the secession crisis in the Upper South, the war in the West (that is, past the Appalachians), the war in Texas, the international context, and Civil War-era cartography. Portraits, contemporary etchings, and detailed maps round out the book.

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Every Friday, we highlight an eBook from our collection at
http://e-inc.lib.overdrive.com
.  Let us know what you think of these selections, and tell us about eBooks you’ve enjoyed – we may feature them here!

Resource of the Month: HeritageQuest

heritagequestIf you’re interested in researching your family history, HeritageQuest is a great place to start.  Provided through NC LIVE, HeritageQuest delivers an essential collection of genealogical and historical sources that include:

  • Census records:  Find ancestors in the complete set of U.S. Federal Census images from 1790 – 194, including name indexes for many years.
  • Books: Find information on people and places described in over 28,000 digitized family and local histories.
  • PERSI (Periodical Source Index):  Find information about people and places from this index of over 2.3 million genealogy and local history articles.
  • Revolutionary War records:  Search selected records from the Revolutionary War Era Pension & Bounty-Land Warrant Application files.
  • Freedman’s Bank records:  Search for individuals in Freedman’s Bank (1865-1874), which was founded to serve African Americans.
  • U.S. Serial Set:  Search the Memorials, Petitions, and Private Relief Actions of the U.S. Congress in the LexisNexis U.S. Serial Set.

To access HeritageQuest, visit the library’s website or go to www.nclive.org and look for the “Genealogy & Historical Maps” category.  Click on the link for HeritageQuest below the heading.  (You will be prompted to log in with your library card number.)

Need help getting started with your family history?  Genealogy volunteers are available by appointment every Thursday from 9:00 am to noon, and from 1:00 to 3:00 pm.  Call 919-545-8086 to make an appointment.