Tagged history

Trust No One: Joe McCarthy and the Politics of Fear

Lies. Alternative facts. Demonize and Destroy Your Opponents. Does this sound familiar? Former Senator Joseph R. McCarthy (R-Wisconsin) has been dead for 63 years, but the political tools and techniques that he pioneered are as fresh as…

Introducing the HistoryMakers Digital Archive!

What do Guion Bluford , Angela Davis , Hank Aaron , Maya Angelou , Katherine G. Johnson , Eartha Kitt , Sonny Rollins , Gordon Parks , Ntozake Shange , and E. Lynn Harris all have in common? They are phenomenal Black people who have…

Celebrate the Year of the Ox!

Celebrate Lunar New Year 2021 and the Year of the Ox ! In Chinese culture, the Ox is a valued animal. Because of its role in agriculture, positive characteristics, such as being hardworking and honest, are attributed to it. As for…

Bento Boxes: A Sustainable Method for Food On the Go

Quaint boxes equipped with separate compartments, used to store your favorite meals, bento boxes are gaining major popularity in the United States. While they are great for storing on-the-go meals, they were …

Toni Stone: The First Female Player in the Negro League

Have you seen the movie A League of Their Own ? This famous movie highlights the early years of the Women’s Baseball League in 1943. However, if you were a Negro woman during the 1940s, segregation laws forbid you from playing.…

New Release of the ProQuest Sanborn Maps Database

Sanborn fire insurance maps are available once again through ProQuest’s updated and newly-released database, Sanborn Maps 1867-1970 (formerly known as Sanborn Maps Geo Edition 1867-1970). This database gives you access to…

Story Search from Special Collections: An Interview by Hannah Cho

Hannah Cho is a University of Pennsylvania Work-Study student from Davis, CA. During the Fall semester, she studied, recorded, and edited the Story Search podcasts remotely from South Korea. I’ve always been more of a talker…

The History of Kwanzaa

Unlike many of the other holidays and traditions that we celebrate, Kwanzaa is one of the newest, at only 54 years old. It was created by Dr. Maulana Karenga in 1966 as a way for African American families to reconnect to their roots and…

Celebrate the Holidays with Gingerbread

One of my favorite treats for the holidays is making gingerbread! Did you know that gingerbread was derived from Greece in 2400 b.c and was originally meant to preserve ginger? Gingerbread was a term used for any recipe that combined…

The Jewish Festival of Lights

The night of Thursday, December 10 begins the Jewish Festival of Lights known as Hanukkah. That much we can agree on, eh? Well, err, kind of. Yes, the holiday begins on Thursday evening, but what is the correct spelling, in English, of…

Buy Nothing Day 2020

Ah, Thanksgiving. It’s the holiday many of us look forward to in which we can gather with family and friends, eat delicious homemade food, and reflect on all of the things we are thankful for. Along with this holiday also comes…

Making Her Mark: Philadelphia Women Fight for the Vote Digital Exhibition Launches

I still remember as a child, coming along as my mother cast her ballot. Standing side by side with my mother, the first person in my family to vote in the U.S., left me with wide-eyed curiosity. The wait in line culminating in a thick…

The Picture of Health: The Strange Case of John F. Kennedy

During the critical first presidential debate in 1960, the difference in the physical appearance of the two candidates could not have been sharper. Vice President Richard Nixon looked like a man who belonged in a hospital. The…

Philadelphia History from Home: Digital Access to Primary Sources

You may have heard the recent news that Free Library cardholders now have access to ProQuest’s Historical Black Newspapers , featuring coverage of The Philadelphia Tribune (the oldest continuously-published Black daily!) from…

A Dying Man Runs for President

If ever a man simply wore himself out while serving his country, Franklin D. Roosevelt is his name. First elected during the depths of the Great Depression in 1932, he was still on the job twelve years later in the midst of World War…

President Eisenhower, Senator McCarthy, and "The Junketeering Gumshoes"

During the years that Dwight Eisenhower served as Supreme Allied Commander in Europe, he had to contend with some of the most demanding and difficult personalities on two continents.  The shortlist included Franklin D. Roosevelt ,…

Black History. Black News. Black Voices.

The Free Library is pleased to announce a new digital resource that provides access to the most distinguished African American Newspapers in the United States. Cardholders now have access to 10 historic Black newspapers that help piece…

Digital Media Spotlight: Olympic Memories of the Past

The 2020 Olympic Games were supposed to be starting today in Tokyo, Japan, but the Olympic flame will not be lit this summer . This year's Olympics were postponed back in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic, delayed until July 23 -…

Race in the United States: Social Justice Virtual Workshops for Teens

Updated Friday, July 10, 2020 4:59 p.m. "The Social Justice Symposium Teen Planning Committee supports the Concerned Black Workers of the Free Library of Philadelphia ! CBWFLP Response to DEI/Board of Trustees' letter We are…

George Washington Carver: Inventor, Environmentalist, Mentor, and Role Model

"How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving, and tolerant of the weak and the strong. Because someday in life you will have been all of…

“The Strange Afterlife of Roy Cohn” with Marie Brenner

Lies. Alternative facts. Demonizing the opponent. Former Senator Joseph R. McCarthy (R-Wisconsin) has been dead for 63 years, but the political tools and techniques that he pioneered are very much alive. They are as fresh as…

Making Her Mark Spotlight: Generation to Generation | Digital Discussion

Join curators from regional institutions whose exhibitions look at the multi-generational women-led movement building around voter rights and enfranchisement leading up to the passage of the 19th Amendment and beyond. This discussion…

VIRTUAL - Ross King | The Bookseller of Florence: The Story of the Manuscripts That Illuminated the Renaissance

REGISTER HERE Celebrated for his skill at “elucidating crucial episodes in the history of art and architecture” (Time ), Ross King is the author of many bestselling nonfiction books that peak behind the curtain of history of…

“Death by a Thousand Cuts: How a Broken Promise and a Boston Brahmin Destroyed Joe McCarthy” with Peter Siskind

Lies. Alternative facts. Demonizing the opponent. Former Senator Joseph R. McCarthy (R-Wisconsin) has been dead for 63 years, but the political tools and techniques that he pioneered are very much alive. They are as fresh as…

Virtual - Paul Farmer | Fevers, Feuds, and Diamonds: Ebola and the Ravages of History

REGISTER HERE Pine Tree Foundation Endowed Lecture In conversation with Dr. Steven Larson, Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. Acclaimed for his “exceptional empathy…

VIRTUAL - Senator Mazie K. Hirono | Heart of Fire: An Immigrant Daughter’s Story

PURCHASE TICKETS HERE A “hero on the left” ( Washington Post ) for her vocal support of progressive legislation and issues, Mazie K. Hirono is the only immigrant and the first Asian American woman in the United States…

VIRTUAL - Phillip Lopate | The Golden Age of the American Essay: 1945-1970

REGISTER HERE In conversation with novelist, screenwriter, and creative writing teacher Max Apple Phillip Lopate’s “observant, elegiac, and far-reaching” ( New York Times ) essay collections include Bachelorhood ,…

VIRTUAL - Richard Thompson | Beeswing: Losing My Way and Finding My Voice 1967-1975

PURCHASE TICKETS In conversation with musician, novelist, and teacher Wesley Stace “One of rock’s MVPs since the mid-Sixties” ( Rolling Stone ), Richard Thompson is a beloved singer, songwriter, and guitarist. His…

Making Her Mark Spotlight: Poetry and Movement Building | Digital Readings

Live readings of historical and contemporary poetry that center movement building. Movements to expand voting rights have always used spoken word and poetry as modes of expression and connection. Join staff from the Free Library's…

“Dangerous Friends: How the Friendship Between McCarthy and the Kennedy’s Blighted the Lives of John and Robert Kennedy” with David Nasaw

Lies. Alternative facts. Demonizing the opponent. Former Senator Joseph R. McCarthy (R-Wisconsin) has been dead for 63 years, but the political tools and techniques that he pioneered are very much alive. They are as fresh as…

VIRTUAL - Reem Kassis | The Arabesque Table: Contemporary Recipes from the Arab World

REGISTER HERE In conversation with Deb Perelman Reem Kassis is the author of  The Palestinian Table , a guide to Middle Eastern cooking woven together through recipes, regional history, and three generations of family traditions.…

Virtual - Deborah Willis | The Black Civil War Soldier: A Visual History of Conflict and Citizenship

REGISTER HERE Deborah Willis, Ph.D. , is the author of  Posing Beauty: African American Images from the 1890s to the Present ; Reflections in Black: A History of Black Photographers, 1840 to the Present ; and Michelle Obama:…

VIRTUAL - Kate Masur | Until Justice Be Done: America's First Civil Rights Movement, from the Revolution to Reconstruction

REGISTER HERE Ellis Wachs Endowed Lecture In conversation with Tracey Matisak, award-winning broadcaster and journalist Kate Masur is the author of  An Example for All the Land , a Lincoln Prize finalist that examined Washington,…

“The Man Who Knew Everything: J. Edgar Hoover & Joe McCarthy” with Beverly Gage

Lies. Alternative facts. Demonizing the opponent. Former Senator Joseph R. McCarthy (R-Wisconsin) has been dead for 63 years, but the political tools and techniques that he pioneered are very much alive. They are as fresh as…

Making Her Mark Spotlight: Black Sisterhood and Suffrage | Digital Discussion

From the recent 'Stroll to the Polls' that mobilized voters for the 2020 presidential election, to the longstanding commitments to public service and racial uplift, Black Greek sororities have played a pivotal role in expanding…

The COVID-19 Vaccine Question Demythed

COVID-19 has become one of the great tragedies in recent years with over 103 million known cases worldwide and over 2.4 million deaths, 447,000 of these deaths in the United States alone.  The vaccine for this pandemic was unveiled…

“The Rise of Tail Gunner Joe” with Richard Norton Smith

Lies. Alternative facts. Demonizing the opponent. Former Senator Joseph R. McCarthy (R-Wisconsin) has been dead for 63 years, but the political tools and techniques that he pioneered are very much alive. They are as fresh as…

Alice Dunbar-Nelson

Free Library resources in support of the Rosenbach's Digital Exhibition: "I Am an American!" The Authorship and Activism of Alice Dunbar-Nelson

Freedom Train - Adults

Supplemental adult reading suggestions for the Rosenbach's Freedom Train exhibition, running July 1st, 2016 through November 1st, 2016.

Freedom Train - Teens

Supplemental teen reading suggestions for the Rosenbach's Freedom Train exhibition, running July 1st, 2016 through November 1st, 2016.

Freedom Train - Children

Supplemental children's reading suggestions for the Rosenbach's Freedom Train exhibition, running July 1st, 2016 through November 1st, 2016.

Presidents of the United States

Under the United States Constitution, the President of the United States is the head of state and head of government of the United States. As chief of the executive branch and face of the federal government as a whole, the presidency is…

Asians American History, Cultural Traditions, and Celebrations

History of different Asian ethnic groups in America and background on Asian cultural traditions and holidays.

U.S. Elections and Politics

The United States midterm general election will be held on Tuesday, November 6, 2018. In Pennsylvania, the ballot includes candidates for Governor, Lt. Governor, U.S. Senate, U.S. House of Representatives, the Pennsylvania State Senate,…

U.S. History In Context

Covers themes, events, individuals and periods in U.S. history from pre-colonial times to the present. The material also includes access to the citations for over 180 additional history journals from the Institute for Scientific…

U.S. Congressional Serial Set (1817-1980)

The bound, sequentially numbered volumes of all the Reports, Documents, and Journals of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives constitutes a rich source of primary source material on all aspects of American history. Upon…

Slavery in America and the World: History, Culture, and Law

This HeinOnline collection brings together a multitude of essential legal materials on slavery in the U.S. and the English-speaking world. It includes nearly 2,000 titles, with every statute passed by every colony and state on slavery,…

Philadelphia Tribune (1912-2001)

Full access to the oldest continuously published daily Black newspaper in the United States.

Philadelphia Evening Telegraph

Philadelphia Evening Telegraph was a daily afternoon newspaper started on January 4, 1864. Search, browse, and read it online here.

HistoryMakers Digital Archive

The HistoryMakers Digital Archive is the nation's largest African American video oral history collection. It provides high-quality primary source content, with fully searchable transcripts, from thousands of people from a broad range of…

Historical Newspapers - Black Newspapers

Primary source material from ten historic Black newspapers, including the Chicago Defender, The Baltimore Afro-American, New York Amsterdam News, Pittsburgh Courier, Los Angeles Sentinel, Atlanta Daily World, and the Cleveland Call and Post

Gun Regulation and Legislation in America

This new HeinOnline collection brings together more than 550 titles dealing with this difficult and important topic. Included are periodicals, key compiled federal legislative histories, relevant congressional hearings, CRS Reports,…

Gale OneFile | High School Edition (formerly InfoTrac Student Edition) *

High school students will have access to age-appropriate content from magazines, journals, newspapers, reference books, and engaging multi-media covering a wide range of subjects, from science, history, and literature to political…

Gale in Context | Middle School (formerly Research in Context) *

Discover reliable and trusted information on a variety of topics to support middle school student research for government, U.S and world history, geography, literature, sciences, and social issues. Research In Context offers…

Early American Imprints, Series II: Shaw-Shoemaker (1801-1819)

Covering every aspect of American life during the early decades of the United States, this rich primary source collection provides full-text access to the 36,000 American books, pamphlets and broadsides published in the first nineteen…

Early American Imprints, Series I: Evans (1639-1800)

Based on the renowned American Bibliography by Charles Evans. The definitive resource for every aspect of life in 17th- and 18th-century America, from agriculture and auctions through foreign affairs, diplomacy, literature, music,…

Duke Classics Ebooks and Audiobooks

A collection of over 4,000 classic titles for adults, teens, and children. Always available for individual or group access.

Archive of Americana

Search or browse the books, pamphlets, and other imprints listed in the renowned bibliography by Charles Evans, including publications unavailable earlier. Search or browse the books, pamphlets, broadsides and other imprints listed in…

Joby Warrick | Red Line: The Unraveling of Syria and America's Race to Destroy the Most Dangerous Arsenal in the World

Jill and Sheldon Bonovitz Endowed Lecture Joby Warrick won the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for nonfiction for Black Flags , “a revealing, riveting and exquisitely detailed account” ( San Francisco Chronicle ) of the rise of ISIS and its…

John Ghazvinian | America and Iran: A History, 1720 to the Present

In conversation with Ambassador John Limbert, US Deputy Secretary of State for Iran (2009-10); former hostage in the US Embassy in Tehran (1979-81) An author, historian, and former journalist, John Ghazvinian is the Executive Director…

James Oakes | The Crooked Path to Abolition: Abraham Lincoln and the Antislavery Constitution

In conversation with Eric Foner, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery  and Reconstruction: America’s Unfinished Revolution , winner of the Bancroft, Parkman, and Los Angeles Times Book…

Charles Kenny | The Plague Cycle: The Unending War Between Humanity and Infectious Disease

A senior fellow and the director of technology and development at the Center for Global Development, Charles Kenny has extensively contributed to policy reforms in global health, UN peacekeeping, and international financial corruption,…

VIRTUAL - Sadeqa Johnson | Yellow Wife

In conversation with Jennifer Weiner, bestselling author of numerous books including In Her Shoes and most recently Big Summer Yellow Wife tells the harrowing story of an enslaved woman forced to barter love and freedom while living in…

Ijeoma Oluo | Mediocre: The Dangerous Legacy of White Male America

In conversation with Tracey Matisak, award-winning broadcaster and journalist “A nuanced analysis of White male America” that “deftly combines history and sociological study with personal narrative” ( Washington Post ), Ijeoma Oluo’s So…

An Evening with Signe Wilkinson

In celebration of thirty-five years of cartooning at the Philadelphia Daily News and Inquirer . The first woman to win the Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Cartooning, Signe Wilkinson is acclaimed for her distinctive and irreverent art. A…

Eddie Glaude, Jr. | Begin Again: James Baldwin's America and Its Urgent Lessons for Our Own

In converation with Tamala Edwards, anchor, 6ABC Action News morning edition The chair of the Department of African American Studies and the James S. McDonnell Distinguished University Professor at Princeton University, Eddie S. Glaude…

Jess Walter | The Cold Millions

Jess Walter’s six acclaimed novels include the #1  New York Times  bestseller  The Beautiful Ruins , the National Book Award finalist  The Zero , and  Citizen Vince , winner of the Edgar Award. A former print journalist, he was a…

Alex Ross | Wagnerism: Art and Politics in the Shadow of Music

In conversation with Simon Callow Music critic for the  New Yorker  since 1996, Alex Ross is the author of the international bestseller  The Rest Is Noise: Listening to the Twentieth Century . A trip down the rabbit hole of modern…

Tamara Payne | The Dead Are Arising: The Life of Malcolm X

In conversation with Sarah Glover, veteran journalist and past president of the National Association of Black Journalists.   In 1990, Pulitzer Prize -winning journalist Les Payne set out on a nearly 30-year crusade to write the most…

Issac J. Bailey | Why Didn't We Riot: A Black Man in Trumpland

In conversation with Tracey Matisak, award-winning broadcaster and journalist “A painful indictment of American inhumanity woven with threads of grace and love” ( Guardian ) Issac J. Bailey ’s memoir My Brother Moochie offered a raw,…

H. W. Brands | The Zealot and the Emancipator: John Brown, Abraham Lincoln, and the Struggle for American Freedom

“A terrific writer who commands” his historical subject matter with “authority and panache” ( New York Times ), H. W. Brands was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for his bestselling biographies of Benjamin Franklin ( The First American…

Veronica Chambers | Finish the Fight!: The Brave and Revolutionary Women Who Fought for the Right to Vote

In conversation with:  Rachelle Baker, illustrator; Jennifer Harlan, writer; Steffi Walthall, illustrator Veronica Chambers is the editor for Narrative Projects at The New York Times and a co-author of "Finish the Fight!" She joined The…

Nikki Giovanni | Make Me Rain

One of America’s most celebrated poets, the “outspoken, prolific, energetic” ( New York Times ) Nikki Giovanni is the author of numerous collections of poetry including  Acolytes ;  Black Feeling, Black Talk, Black Judgment ; and …

Ezekiel J. Emanuel | Which Country Has the World’s Best Health Care?

Ezekiel J. Emanuel is Vice Provost for Global Initiatives and Chair of the Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy at the University of Pennsylvania. An oncologist and author of nine books on medical ethics and healthcare, he…

Chris Wallace | Countdown 1945: The Extraordinary Story of the Atomic Bomb and the 116 Days That Changed the World

The popular anchor of Fox News Sunday, Chris Wallace has reported on nearly every watershed national and international political event. During his 50-year career in journalism, he has earned three Emmys, the duPont-Columbia Silver…

Stacey Abrams | Our Time is Now: Power, Purpose, and the Fight for a Fair America

In conversation with Tamala Edwards, anchor, 6ABC Action News morning edition Stacey Abrams  is the New York Times bestselling author of  Lead from the Outside , a serial entrepreneur, nonprofit CEO, and political leader. After serving…

Donna Rifkind | The Sun and Her Stars: Salka Viertel and Hitler’s Exiles in the Golden Age of Hollywood

A prolific book critic whose reviews appear in the  Wall Street Journal , the  Washington Post , and the  New York Times Book Review , Donna Rifkind was a 2006 finalist for the Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing from the…

Imani Perry In Conversation with Kiese Laymon: On the Uprising since George Floyd's Murder and Black Struggles for Freedom in the United States

Imani Perry is the Hughes-Rogers Professor of African American Studies and faculty associate in the Program in Law and Public Affairs and Gender and Sexuality Studies at Princeton. She is the author of six books, most recently the…