Many states celebrated a “labor day” in the late 1800s but Labor Day became a federal holiday in 1894. One of the probable reasons for the federal holiday was that U.S. President Grover Cleveland was attempting to placate organized labor after the Pullman Strike, a nation-wide railroad strike that ended after many lives were lost and much property was destroyed. Workers began the strike at the Pullman Company in Chicago on May 11, 1894, as a reaction to wage cuts. You can visit the Pullman National Monument and Historic Pullman Foundation at 11141 S. Cottage Grove Ave. in Chicago.
This is part three in the series of things to do in Chicago this summer.
In the exhibit “Disco Demolition: The Night Disco Died,” the Elmhurst History Museum has gathered memorabilia from an infamous July 1979 event during a doubleheader at Comiskey Park in Chicago. That day, radio station WLUP sponsored a promotion featuring DJ Steve Dahl, and anyone who brought a disco album to the park got in for 98 cents. The plan was to blow up the disco albums on the field after the first game. The albums were blown up, and then thousands of fans went out on the field and would not leave until the police showed up. The Sox had to forfeit the second game because of the condition of the field.
This is part one of a series of blogs that center around places to visit and things to do in Chicago this summer.
The Tribune Tower, constructed in 1923-1925, is an iconic symbol of Chicago. It is less than 25 miles from the Moraine Valley Community College campus. The Tower is an architectural jewel filled with treasures from all over the world. The treasures include rocks from the Colosseum in Rome, the Giza pyramid, the Arc de Triumphe, Aztec Ruins and the Berlin Wall. These are just a few examples of historic rocks that are incorporated in the walls of this building.
Check out more information on the Tribune Tower and other great Chicago architecture from the MVCC catalog.
Women have been instrumental in the growth and success of Moraine Valley Community College since its founding in 1967. In turn, the college has implemented programs and organizations over the years to foster and support women’s education.
An early women’s group at the college was the Glacier Gals. The organization grew to as many as 85 members and was active from 1969 to 1974. Its objectives were to promote friendship among women associated with Moraine Valley, to perform services for the college, and to provide a scholarship fund for a female Moraine Valley student.
In 1971, the Glacier Gals completed construction of a children’s doll house which they donated to Little Company of Mary hospital. In the same year, the women’s group donated $50 worth of books to the school library.
To learn more about women in the history of Moraine Valley, be sure to stop by the library on Wednesday, March 29 at 11 a.m. Dr. Sylvia Jenkins and Dr. Margaret Lehner will be joined by two retired faculty members, Dr. Sharon Fritz and Lenette Staudinger, for a panel discussion, “50 Years of Women’s Voices: Oral Histories of Moraine Valley”. The panel will be moderated by Dr. Linda Brandt, a counselor at Moraine Valley for over 40 years.
Do you ever wonder what might become of the U.S. Postal Service with the advancement of technology? We can print stamps at home on our personal computers, pay more and more bills online, use E-mail instead of “snail mail,” and even have packages shipped directly from vendors to recipients without ever setting foot in a post office. While stamps are probably one of the best bargains around, the U.S. Postal Service has been losing money, closing many of its offices, and debating whether to cut mail delivery days.
New to the MVCC Library collection is the book Neither Snow Nor Rain: a History of the United States Postal Service by Devin Leonard. The tagline always was that “neither snow nor rain” or any type of bad weather could keep the postman away. What could possibly keep them away would be dogs; in fact, I just saw a postman interviewed on a morning show this week stating that, while it’s humorous to think of, the biggest stumbling block for him has been dogs chasing him down! Even the word “snail” mail emanated from the dawn of E-mail because it was faster sending electronic mail than using the slow postal service.
An excerpt from Leonard’s interesting book reads: “In parts of America that it can’t reach by truck, the USPS finds other means to get people their letters and packages. It transports them by mule train to the Havasupai Indian Reservation at the bottom of the Grand Canyon. Bush pilots fly letters to the edges of Alaska. In thinly populated parts of Montana and North Dakota, the postal service has what it refers to as ‘shirt pocket’ routes, which means that postal workers literally carry all their letters for the day in their shirt pockets.” Hearing situations such as these remote delivery areas leads one to wonder if the U.S. Postal Service will continue to exist in the future…pick up this book and check it out!
For a limited time you can find the book shelved in the library lounge on the 2nd floor among the new arrivals. Otherwise, it can be found here in our catalog.
This year, Moraine Valley Community College turns 50! February 18th is Founders Day, which commemorates the day in 1967 when residents voted “Yes” to establish a Class 1 junior college district in the Southwest suburbs of Chicago.
So why Moraine Valley? What’s a moraine anyway? A moraine is a geological phenomenon which occurs with the accumulation of glacial debris. The name reflects the landscape in which the college is situated: the place where the Valparaiso and Tinley moraines meet to form a valley. According to a document from the initial planning and development of the college, “The existence of these moraines influenced the direction of flow of the Chicago River… This geological history provides an explanation and background for the natural and distinctly beautiful hills and valleys found in the Palos Hills area where the college will be located.”
The College opened its doors to 1,210 students on September 16th, 1968. Classes were held in leased warehouses on 115th in Alsip. For students who enrolled in classes for the 1968-69 academic year, tuition cost $6.50 per credit hour. Classes were held at the Palos Hills location that we know today the following year, but the first permanent structure, Building A, was not opened until 1972.
Check out the library’s collection for more local history:
- Palos Park, by Jeannine Kacmar, the Palos Park Public Library, and the Village of Palos Park
- Worth, by Colleen McElroy and the Worth Park District Historical Museum
- Alsip, by Patrick E. Kitching and Susan L. Bruesch
- Oak Lawn, by Kevin Korst
- Chicago Ridge, by Ed Maurer, Jr. and the Chicago Ridge Public Library
- Arabs of Chicagoland, by Ray Hanania
- Italians in Chicago, by Dominic Candeloro
- Route 66 in Chicago, by David G. Clark
For more information on the history of Moraine Valley Community College, visit the College Archives website at http://ext.morainevalley.edu/collegearchives/.
Check out this interactive dialog for Moraine Valley students to hear about the positive influences Black writers and poets have on society. This event is organized by the Celebrating Diversity Committee and the African-American Literature course.
The audio of this discussion is available below:
Are LPs making a comeback? For those of us with stacks of them in the basement, they never left. But statistics show that there seems to be renewed interest in the format. In 2015, revenues from vinyl sales were $416 million, the highest level since 1988. RIAA keeps these statistics and has other information about music sales on its website. And there’s a historical connection for this time of the year—Edison demonstrated the hand-cranked phonograph for the first time near the end of the year in 1877.
Earlier this year, PBS aired an episode on Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb’s murder case as a part of the American Experience television series. The episode titled “The Perfect Crime” examines how Leopold and Loeb murdered a 14-year-old Chicago boy in 1924 and the significance of the trial that followed. Broader issues of morality and capital punishment were brought to light in the heated debate amongst Cook County Prosecutor Robert Crowe and defense attorney Clarence Darrow. You can now check-out this episode on DVD from our library, and further explore this case in fact and popular imagination.
This case has been an inspiration for numerous other works, including:
- Alfred Hitchcock’s Rope, starring James Stewart, John Dall, and Farley Granger, released in 1948.
- Meyer Levin’s novel, Compulsion, published in 1956.
- Richard Fleischer’s 1959 movie, Compulsion, starring Orson Welles, Dean Stockwell, and Diane Varsi.
- Swoon, a 1992 film by director Tom Kalin, starring Daniel Schlachet, Craig Chester, and Ron Vawter in lead roles.
Each adaptation adds something unique to the original story, while providing a true depiction of the original “thrill-seeking” motive of the crime.
With the close of this presidential election season coming fast and furious, there is a real possibility that Hillary Clinton will become the first female president of the United States…leaving President Bill Clinton as “what” as far as terminology goes? The “First Gentleman” or “First Husband?” Whatever way it is phrased, this will be a unique situation and will be interesting to see what his role turns out to be in the White House depending on the election outcome. In the meantime, you might want to check out the latest book by Kate Andersen Brower, First Women: The Grace and Power of America’s Modern First Ladies located here in our catalog, and for a limited time upstairs in the Library Lounge at the “New Titles” display. There are two different spreads of photographs included in the book of our former First Ladies with some interesting facts. Here’s a tease: “Laura Bush, a Republican, and Michelle Obama, a Democrat, are closer than Michelle is with Hillary Clinton. During the 2008 presidential campaign, Laura defended Michelle when she came under criticism, and the two have since praised each others work as first ladies” (Brower). It is nice to learn that friendships are made beyond party lines.
Andersen is also the author of the New York Times bestseller The Residence, which the Today Show has reviewed as “a revealing look at life inside the White House. . .it’s ‘Downton Abbey’ for the White House staff.” You can find this book here in our catalog.
We also have these two books in eAudioBook and eBook formats, made available through eRead Illinois. Check them out whichever way suits your fancy and enjoy some political reads before the election.
Brower, Kate Andersen. First Women: The Grace and Power of America’s Modern First Ladies. New York: Harper, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, 2016. Print.