Tagged History

Presidential Inaugural Stories and Anecdotes

The peaceful transfer of power from one presidential administration to the next is a hallmark of our democracy—and something that Americans take great pride in. The occasion is particularly bittersweet when one of our two major…

Philadelphia: City of the Uncanny and the Arcane

Philadelphia is a wild and weird city. There’s so much to love, to hate, to love to hate, and to hate to love. There’s also so much that we, as every day Philadelphians, have somehow forgotten or never learned about our…

The Real Game of Thrones - Historical Events that Inspired the Novels and Show

Are you a fan of HBO’s television series Game of Thrones ? The sixth season  of the series based on George R. R. Martin’s fantasy series A Song of Ice and Fire ended in June, and has proven to be as exciting as the…

Grab a Cup of Tea and Learn About the Queen

I don’t know why I’m so fascinated by the British Royal Family (remember my excitement about the Royal Wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton back in 2011?). Perhaps it’s because of the uniqueness of a royal…

How Well Do You Know Native American Authors Sherman Alexie and Louise Erdrich?

It’s National Native American Heritage Month and the Free Library of Philadelphia is celebrating by reading books by authors who write about their Native heritage. We’re especially enjoying works by Sherman Alexie and Louise…

Talking about September 11 with Children

The anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks is a time for reflection, but it’s also a time for conversation. The generation of children that can remember the attack is now having children of their own. How do…

William Rapp Collection of Historical Images of Philadelphia

The Print and Picture Collection is happy to announce the addition of over 100 photographic images by William Rapp to our  Historical Images of Philadelphia  digital collection. Born in 1920, William Henry Rapp, Jr.…

Philadelphia’s Literary Christmas—Bloomsday!

Our literary Christmas is almost upon us: Philadelphia’s favorite bookish holiday— Bloomsday —arrives on Thursday, June 16, and we couldn’t be more excited! This annual event celebrates James Joyce’s…

#OneBookWednesday: How We Teach Slavery and the Civil War

We like to think that history is fact. History as a thing is merely “events of the past”; and history the subject is the study of those events. But upon closer study, it becomes clear that history is not so cut-and-dry: it…

1943 Philadelphia Train Derailment Tragedy

Last week’s deadly train derailment in the Port Richmond section of Philadelphia was eerily similar to a crash that happened at the same junction on Labor Day in 1943. The 1943 accident involved the sixteen-car Congressional…

Thanksgiving Day

Cranberry production was down four percent this year – but American farmers still produced over eight million barrels (800 million pounds) of the fall favorite, so the country should have a decent supply this Thanksgiving. Turkey…

The Eleventh Day of the Eleventh Month

There are almost 20 million veterans currently living in the United States, and almost 12 percent of Pennsylvania’s adult population has served in an American war. (Source: 2013 American Community Survey one-year esimates ) The…

Fall Back

Daylight saving time (aka daylight time, aka DST) has its origins in the United States with the Standard Time Act of 1918 (See Pub.L. 65-106, United States Statutes at Large , 65 th Congress), an effort to conserve fuel during the First…

What You Might Not Have Known About Columbus Day

The second Monday of every October is Columbus Day, a day commemorating Christopher Columbus’s first sighting of the Americas ( San Salvador Island , specifically) and celebrated as early as the 18th century. It’s been…

Streaming Philadelphia History - Introducing Input with Marion Stokes & John S. Stokes, Jr

Input  was a Philadelphia panel discussion program hosted by John S. Stokes, Jr. that aired Sunday mornings on WCAU-TV10 from 1968 through early 1971. The program is a window in to the people and ideas that shaped that tumultuous…

A Celebration of Nelson Mandela's Life Through Word and Song

"I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons will live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for. But, my lord, if needs be, it is an ideal for…

John Derstine Souder’s Fraktur in the Henry Stauffer Borneman Pennsylvania German Collection

John Derstine Souder (1865-1942) was raised on a Mennonite farm near Telford in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania.  He was a storekeeper, postmaster, and poultry dealer before retiring.  Souder spent the final five years of his…

I Must Do What Is Right For Me ~ The Jacob Eichholtz Book of Sketches and Painterly Advice

“I must do what is right for me,” he muttered under his breath while gathering up his tools and shuttering the shop window.  Jacob Eichholtz was living a double life, and it soon had to stop.  He couldn’t…

12 Years A Slave and Slave Narratives

Earlier this year I read the autobiography Twelve Years a Slave by Solomon Northup and was blown away. While reading the book I often thought about what I learned about slavery in school and the various films I've seen on the…

Sundays on Stage Fall Performances!

Sundays on Stage - Fall 2013 Sundays on Stage is a series of cultural programs featuring live performances by a variety of artists and entertainers. These family programs celebrate diversity through music, dance, storytelling, and more.…

Parkway Central Library – Past, Present, and Future...

First imagined in the mid-1890s, begun in earnest in 1910, and finally completed in 1927, the Parkway Central Library building is a triumph of civic architecture and library science. The world and the building have undergone many…

À Paris: Domestic Architecture from the Fifteenth through the Nineteenth Centuries

Between 1853 and 1870 Georges-Eugène Haussmann carried out an enormous public works program that changed forever the face of Paris.  He created apartment houses of similar height and style along the boulevards that many…

Intriguing Sources: How to Solve a Historical Mystery

In The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, character Christopher Boone learns things he never knew when he uncovers a cache of old letters. Items such as letters, diaries, photographs, and articles can be a treasure trove of…

Scenes from the 1876 Philadelphia Centennial Exhibition

Second Floor West Gallery   /   In 1876, to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, Philadelphia was host to the Centennial Exhibition – officially known as The…

Book Discussion at Sensory-Friendly Sunday

As part of Sensory- and Family-Friendly Sunday, the Museum will offer a discussion for adults of the One Book, One Philadelphia selection, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time , moderated by Shirley Brown, co-director of…

In Conversation with the Rosenbach: Allison C. Meier

With its crooked branches that grow parallel to the ground, supported by wires and crutches, the Camperdown elm in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park is one of New York City’s most curious trees. But the old arbor that was planted in…

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 presidential election of 2016, scheduled for Tuesday, November 8, 2016, will be the 58th quadrennial U.S. presidential election. Read on for U.S. Election and Political resources relating to the upcoming Presidential…

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…

Salem Press Reference

Philadelphia Evening Telegraph

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

Newsbank Retrospective

NewsBank Retrospective (1970-1991) contains articles from over 300 nationwide newspapers on social, political, economic, environmental, international, health, and contemporary American history topics, including firsthand reports and…

Early American Newspapers, Series I (1690-1876)

Early American Newspapers features cover-to-cover reproductions of hundreds of historic newspapers, providing more than one million pages as fully text-searchable facsimile images. For students and scholars of early America, this unique…

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,…

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…

American State Papers, 1789-1838

A rich source of primary material on many aspects of early American history, American State Papers, 1789-1838, features not only new bibliographic records for every one of its 6,354 publications, but also superior images created by…

American Broadsides and Ephemera

The American Antiquarian Society's collection of single-sheet documents printed before 1877 is perhaps the most extensive in existence. It consists of broadsides, advertisements, invitations and notices, leaflets, trade cards (i.e., the…

Bernie Sanders | Our Revolution: A Future to Believe In

In conversation with Amy Goodman, host of Democracy Now! Perhaps America’s greatest standard-bearer for progressivism, Bernie Sanders inspired hope and a fervent following with his 2016 Democratic Presidential campaign. Currently…

Margot Lee Shetterly | Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race

In her New York Times bestselling debut book, Margot Shetterly tells the story of four African American women whose mathematical calculations at NASA fueled America’s greatest achievements in space at the leading edge of the civil…

Robert Kanigel | Eyes on the Street: The Life of Jane Jacobs

Robert Kanigel was a National Book Critics Circle finalist for The Man Who Knew Infinity , “an exquisite portrait” (Los Angeles Times ) of the rich collaboration between an unschooled but brilliant Indian clerk and a pre-eminent English…

Gino Segré and Bettina Hoerlin | The Pope of Physics: Enrico Fermi and the Birth of the Atomic Age

The most revered Italian scientist since Galileo, Nobel Prize winner Enrico Fermi was one of the most prolific and consequential figures of the 20th century. Though a modest and unassuming man, he became one of the fathers of the…

Evelyn Coleman | Freedom Train

It’s 1947, and twelve-year-old Clyde Thomason is proud to have an older brother who guards the Freedom Train—a train that is traveling to all forty-eight states carrying the country’s most important documents, including the Declaration…

Colson Whitehead | The Underground Railroad

“Commanding a lush, poetic, mellifluous prose instrument” ( The Nation ) to turn a fantastical, satirical mirror on race and culture, Colson Whitehead  is the author of the acclaimed novels  The Intuitionist ,  John Henry Days , and…

Ruth Scurr | John Aubrey: My Own Life

Esteemed Cambridge literary critic and historian Ruth Scurr is the author of 2006’s Fatal Purity: Robespierre and the French Revolution , named by The Times of London as one of the 100 Best Books of the Decade. Her reviews regularly…

Roger Penrose | Fashion, Faith, and Fantasy in the New Physics of the Universe

One of the world’s esteemed theoretical physicists for his contributions to the theory of general relativity and cosmology, Roger Penrose has won the Albert Einstein Medal, shared the Wolf Prize for physics with Stephen Hawking, and is…

Jeffrey Toobin | American Heiress: The Wild Saga of the Kidnapping, Crimes and Trial of Patty Hearst

“A reliable and astute guide” ( The Miami Herald ) through America’s most compelling court cases, Jeffrey Toobin is CNN’s senior legal analyst and a longtime  New Yorker  staff writer. His bestselling books include The Run of His Life:…

The American Presidency | Richard Levinson | The Hidden History of Presidential Health

Parkway Central librarian and presidential history buff Dick Levinson sheds light on desperately ill and dying presidents who deceived the public to remain in power. Join us to hear tales so wild they could only be true.  Introduced by…

Natashia Deon | Grace

Natashia Deón's debut novel Grace depicts the violent, terrifying world of the antebellum South, where the emancipation of slaves can bring anything but freedom. She is "not merely another new author to watch. She has delivered…

Adam Hochschild | Spain in Our Hearts: Americans in the Spanish Civil War, 1936–1939

Historian Adam Hochschild is the author of the National Book Critic’s Circle Award finalist King Leopold’s Ghost , a haunting portrait of Belgium’s 19th-century brutal colonization of the Congo. His many awards include the Dayton…

Colm Tóibín with Eavan Boland and Sadhbh Walshe | Ireland Then and Now

Colm Tóibín, bestselling author of Brooklyn and Nora Webster joins the Rosenbach and the Free Library of Philadelphia to commemorate the centenary of the Easter Rising in 2016. Tóibín will be joined by poet  Eavan Boland , and…

Amy Goodman and David Goodman | Democracy Now!: Twenty Years Covering the Movements Changing America

In 1996 Amy Goodman started a radio show called Democracy Now! to focus on issues that are underreported by mainstream news coverage. Today the award-winning program airs simultaneously on satellite and cable television, more than 1,000…

Nathaniel Philbrick | Valiant Ambition: George Washington, Benedict Arnold, and the Fate of the American Revolution

“Popular history at its best: a taut narrative with a novelist's touch, grounded in careful research” ( Miami Herald ), Nathaniel Philbrick’s works include the National Book Award-winning  In The Heart of the Sea  and  Boston Globe…

Seymour M. Hersh | The Killing of Osama Bin Laden

Establishing a reputation as one of America’s toughest investigative reporters with his Pulitzer Prize-winning exposé of the massacre in My Lai during the Vietnam War, Seymour Hersh has since uncovered a slew of scandals, secrets, and…

The American Presidency | Richard Norton Smith | "To The Worst of My Ability: Lessons in Presidential Failure"

On the day he entered the White House, James Buchanan had one ambition: He wanted to be the greatest president since George Washington. Things did not go according to plan. Instead, the Pennsylvanian joined the sad roster of chief…

Annette Gordon-Reed and Peter S. Onuf | Most Blessed of the Patriarchs: Thomas Jefferson and the Empire of the Imagination

Historians Annette Gordon-Reed and Peter S. Onuf are two of the world’s leading authorities on America’s enigmatic and paradoxical third President. Gordon-Reed is most noted for the Pulitzer Prize-winning The Hemingses of Monticello , a…

Viet Thanh Nguyen | The Sympathizer

“A frenzied, abrasive, attention-grabbing” ( Wall Street Journal ) debut novel, Viet Thanh Nguyen’s The Sympathizer is the story of a South Vietnamese army captain who emigrates to Los Angeles in 1975 at the end of the war. Through his…

Buzz Aldrin | No Dream Is Too High: Life Lessons From a Man Who Walked on the Moon

Best known for the 1969 Apollo 11 moon landing, retired Air Force Colonel Buzz Aldrin holds a doctorate in astronautics; developed the orbital rendezvous technique critical to America’s lunar landings; and founded the ShareSpace…