Tagged History

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…

Explore Your Neighborhood Virtually with Digital Collections

With current stay-at-home orders and social distancing precautions in place, I find myself more eager to spend time outside and walk (or jog if I’m feeling really motivated) around the neighborhood. This has sparked a growing…

Harper Lee and the Novels That Help Us Remember

Today, American novelist Harper Lee would have turned 94 years old. As a lover of novels in general, and To Kill a Mockingbird in particular, I jumped at the chance to write a celebratory blog about Ms. Lee’s work and the lasting…

Unrolling the History of Toilet Paper

With the practice of social distancing and stay-at-home orders in place, people have been racing to stores to stock up on essentials, and one essential item in particular has become an infamous target for panicked shoppers –…

Stream a Film by a Woman to Celebrate Women's History Month

As March draws to a close, we near the end of Women’s History Month. Here at the Free Library, we’ve celebrated this important observance in many ways: with the story of Mary Church Terrell ; by recommending picture books…

Women's History Month 2020: Stories We Know, Stories We'll Discover

"Even if I believed that women should be denied the right of suffrage, wild horses could not drag such an admission from my pen or my lips, for this reason: precisely the same arguments used to prove that the ballot be withheld…

What is "Public History", Anyway?

On Thursday, February 20 , David W. Young will appear at Parkway Central Library to discuss his book, Battles of Germantown: Effective Public History in America .  Many Philadelphia residents are familiar with the annual…

Spotlight on Special Collections: WPA Posters in the Print and Picture Collection

From the mid-1930s to the early 1940s, artists working for the Federal Art Project’s Poster Division of the Works Progress Administration (WPA, later renamed Work Projects Administration) created thousands of designs for posters…

The Meaning of Philanthropy

With National Philanthropy Day just a few days ago and Thanksgiving fast approaching, it’s a great time to think about what philanthropy is and what it means to each and every one of us. According to Merriam-Webster ,…

#OneBookWednesday | Some History and Terms from There There

While reading There There — Tommy Orange ’s award-winning novel and the 2020 One Book, One Philadelphia featured selection—I was repeatedly struck by how many references Orange was able to weave into a single, cohesive…

Civil War Medicine: What Went Right

The human toll exacted by the Civil War is made clear simply by the size and number of hospitals in Philadelphia that treated the casualties of war. It’s no exaggeration to say that a few were industrial in scale. As the…

Medieval Life Spotlight: Early Music | Digital Performance and Discussion

Hear early songs for peace and protest, communication and communion. This is a live, interactive program. The Middle Ages spanned generations of musical experimentation and tradition, with transportable and practical instruments like…

Medieval Life Spotlight: An Astrolabe How-To | Digital DIY for Families

Tools are all around us, and we can use them to learn about and interact with the world around us. This is a live, hands-on online program. During Medieval times, Muslim astronomers used the handheld astrolabe as a version of an early…

Virtual - Jerald Walker | How to Make a Slave and Other Essays

Register for the event here In conversation with author, essayist, and radio host Solomon Jones. Jerald Walker ’s recent How to Make a Slave and Other Essays was a finalist for the 2020 National Book Award. A “restless,…

Medieval Life Spotlight: Cooking | Digital Demonstration

What can make certain ingredients familiar across the globe and across time? This interactive program includes recipes to prepare together! The history of spices such as cloves begins in Malaysia, where colonization and trade brought…

VIRTUAL - An Evening with Signe Wilkinson

Register for the event here. 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…

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.

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,…

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…

America's Historical Newspapers (formerly Early American Newspapers, Series I 1690-1876)

America's Historical 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…

America's Historical Imprints

Explore the nation’s past in unprecedented ways. Includes books, pamphlets, broadsides and other scarce printed material, centuries of American history, literature, culture, and daily life, and extensive indexing and full bibliographic…

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…

Lauren Francis-Sharma | Book of the Little Axe

In conversation with Erica Armstrong Dunbar ,  award-winning author of Never Caught: The Washingtons' Relentless Pursuit of their Runaway Slave, Ona Judge  and She Came to Slay: The Life and Times of Harriet Tubman. Lauren…

Karla Cornejo Villavicencio | The Undocumented Americans

In conversation with Andrea González-Ramírez, Senior Writer at  GEN  and an Ida B. Wells fellow at Type Investigations.  Read Ms. González-Ramírez's interview with Karla Cornejo Villavicencio. Originally from Ecuador, Karla Cornejo…

Jennifer Steinhauer | The Firsts: The Inside Story of the Women Reshaping Congress

A reporter for the  New York Times  for 25 years, Jennifer Steinhauer has covered the United States Congress since 2010. Her former assignments include Los Angeles bureau chief and New York City Hall bureau chief. The winner of the…

David Wallace-Wells | The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming

In conversation with Dr. Rachel Valletta, Environmental Scientist at The Franklin Institute and director of all climate change education and outreach programming. A columnist and deputy editor at  New York  magazine, David Wallace-Wells…

Frank B. Wilderson III | Afropessimism

Frank B. Wilderson III spent more than five years in South Africa, where he was one of two Americans elected to the African National Congress during the country’s transformation after apartheid. His books include  Incognegro: A Memoir of…

Judith Heumann | Being Heumann: An Unrepentant Memoir of a Disability Rights Activist

In conversation with Tamala Edwards, anchor, 6ABC Action News morning edition A world-renowned leader in the Disability Rights and Independent Living Movement, featured in the new film  Crip Camp , Judith Heumann has spent four decades…

David Plouffe | A Citizen’s Guide to Beating Donald Trump

The campaign manager for Barack Obama’s 2008 primary and general election victories, David Plouffe later served on the White House staff as a senior advisor and was largely credited with the 44th president’s 2012 win. He formerly worked…