May 1, 2013
Photo credit: Boston College
Watch a short documentary on the construction of the Empire State Building, “Making a Skyscraper: Empire State Building,” available through American History in Video.
Learn how Herbert Hoover played a role in opening the building without leaving Washington, D.C., in a New York Times article from the next day, “Empire State Tower, Tallest in World, is opened by Hoover,” available through Proquest’s Historical Newspapers.
Read about the ongoing battle for the ownership of the Empire State Building as covered this week by the New York Times in “A Nasty, Epic Real Estate Battle With Stakes 102 Stories High,” available through LexisNexis Academic Universe.
April 11, 2013
Photo Credit: NASA
Apr. 11, 1970: Apollo 13 launched into space!
Watch historical footage of the astronauts and control center in the short documentary Apollo 13: Houston, We’ve Got a Problem, in NASA: Years of Glory, available through American History in Video.
Read a New York Times account on April 19th, 1970 of the “most hair-raising mission in the short history of space flight” in “Three Came Back as the World Held Its Breath,” available in ProQuest Historical Newspapers.
April 4, 2013
Apr. 4, 1841: William Henry Harrison, the shortest serving US President, died one month after his inauguration of pneumonia.
Read the full text of Harrison’s more than 8,000-word inaugural speech in Inaugural Addresses of the Presidents of the United States From George Washington to Bill Clinton, an e-book available through EBSCO eBook collection.
See the sheet music and all twenty verses of his1840 campaign song “Tippecanoe and Tyler Too! A Comic Glee” through the Library of Congress’s American Memory collection.
March 5, 2013
On March 5, 1770, British soldiers fired into a mob in Boston, killing five, in what has come to be known as the Boston Massacre.
Read a detailed description of the Boston Massacre and the events that preceded it in Richard Archer’s monograph As If an Enemy’s Country: The British Occupation of Boston and the Origins of Revolution, part of the Pivotal Moments in American History series from Oxford University Press, available through ebrary, Inc. See especially chapter 11, “The Massacre on King Street.”
Learn about John Adams’ defense of the British soldiers involved in the massacre and see facsimiles of accounts of the trial from the Law Library of Congress.
Learn about the participants and victims, view reproductions of relevant documents, and more at the website of the Boston Massacre Historical Society.
February 28, 2013
On February 28, 1906, gangster Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel was born in Brooklyn, New York.
Read a biography of Siegel in World of Criminal Justice, available through Gale Biography in Context.
See the original newspaper articles reporting Siegel’s murder in 1947 in ProQuest’s Historical Newspapers database. Using the Advanced Search feature, search for Benjamin Siegel, limit the date to after June 20, 1947, and sort by Publication date (oldest first).
February 7, 2013
On February 7th, 1964, the Beatles arrived at the newly renamed John F. Kennedy International Airport for their first U.S. tour.
Watch a newsreel from February 10, 1964, that includes coverage of the Beatles visit, which the commentator describes as “Britain’s revenge for the Boston Tea Party.” The newsreel is available through American History in Video.
Read the accounts of those who experienced the Beatles’ first U.S. visit in “We’re going to see the Beatles!” An Oral History of Beatlemania as Told by the Fans Who Were There by Gary Berman, an E-Book available through ebrary, Inc. See chapter 4, “The 1964 Tour.”
January 25, 2013
On January 25th, 1959, Pope John XXIII announced the establishment of the Second Vatican Council.
Read about the council in an article from the New Catholic Encyclopedia, available through the Gale Virtual Reference Library.
Read original newspaper reports of the announcement in ProQuest’s Historical Newspapers database. Use the Advanced Search feature to search for “Ecumenical Council”. Limit the date to after January 25, 1959 and sort by Publication date (oldest first).
Watch a newsreel containing footage from the opening of the Second Vatican Council in 1962, through American History in Video.
January 17, 2013
On the evening of January 17, 1950, a group of masked and armed men robbed the Brink’s Building in Boston’s North End, stealing more than $1 million in cash alone. The theft, called the “crime of the century,” was the largest to date in U.S. history.
Read the New York Times’ next-day account of the robbery .
See images of the robbers and learn details about the investigation on the FBI’s web page The Brinks Robbery.
Find out about this “crime of the century” through the article “Brink’s Robbery” in Salem History’s Decades in America.
―Posted by the Reference staff
December 11, 2012
On December 7, 1941, the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor was attacked. Consequently, the United States entered the Second World War.
Read the Presidential Proclamation of National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, 2012.
Watch videos, including a newsreel from the day after the attack and a recent documentary, through American History in Video.
Read original newspaper reports of the attack in ProQuest’s Historical Newspapers database. Using the Advanced Search feature, search for Pearl Harbor, limit the date to after December 7, 1941, and sort by Publication date (oldest first).
Learn how U.S. residents reacted to the attack in the collection After the Day of Infamy: “Man-on-the-Street” Interviews Following the Attack on Pearl Harbor, from the Library of Congress American Memory project.
December 5, 2012
On December 5, 1955, with Rosa Parks on trial for refusing to give up her seat on a city bus, civil rights organizers launched the Montgomery Bus Boycott. The protest against segregated buses would last 381 days.
- Learn about the boycott in Freedom Facts and Firsts: 400 Years of the African American Civil Rights Experience, available through Credo Reference.
- Explore documentary films about the boycott and the Civil Rights Movement from American History in Video.
- Read Martin Luther King, Jr.’s firsthand account of the boycott in Stride Toward Freedom: The Montgomery Story, available through ebrary, Inc.