Local History: Graves & Bones Found in Forest Preserve

This news story caught my eye, Kadner: Graves, bones of Cook County poor found near Oak Forest. Recently, some workers accidentally dug up unmarked grave in one of the Cook County Forest Preserves near Oak Forest. Since our college is on the edge of some of the Forest Preserves, this felt pertinent for us.

Evidently, some of the land for the preserves near Oak Forest were used as a “poor farm.” This was a sort of work farm for folks in poverty who could work to earn a living. The article provides fascinating details of this social program. I had never heard of this, so I found it really interesting. Give it a read!

Good ol’ Charlie Brown

Today, in 1950, the Peanuts first appeared in Newspapers across the country. Below is the first appearance of the Peanuts, Charlie Brown seems to have not found his signature shirt yet!

Who would have thought that a boy named Charlie and his friends would tickle our funny bones and warm our hearts for over 60 years.  As Halloween looms ahead, who can forget The Great Pumpkin that Linus is sure will appear on Halloween night.  The Peanuts Thanksgiving TV special reminds us that its not whats on the table but the people around it.  At Christmas, little wilted trees find homes in the living rooms of those that remember the boy who wanted to give the unwanted tree a chance.

Charles M. Schulz created these lovable characters from 1950 until he retired in 2000.  With these comic strips he brought joy and memories to people around the world.  In our library collection we have the biography of Schulz, which goes into detail not just about the Peanuts but about the man who created them and how his life was reflected in these short comic strips.  Thank you Mr. Schultz, for 64 years and counting of giggles, smirks and thoughts to ponder.

Peanuts in our collection:  Sandlot PeanutsPeanuts TreasuryYou’ve Had it, Charlie BrownIt’s a Dog’s Life, Charlie Brown, Go Fly a Kite, Charlie Brown

Continue reading “Good ol’ Charlie Brown”

Stories of Survival Told Through Graphic Novel: A.D. New Orleans After the Deluge

Nine years ago New Orleans was challenged by Hurricane Katrina.  Many of us remember the news coverage of citizens on roof tops waiting to be rescued, the stories from those huddled with thousands of others riding out the storm in the Superdome, and the haunting images of neighborhoods washed away.

Non-fiction graphic novel A.D. New Orleans After the Deluge portrays what it was like for citizens of New Orleans before, during, shortly after and years after Katrina.  This graphic novel takes on the task of telling true the stories of five individuals who were affected in different ways by the storm.  One stubborn doctor doesn’t think it will be any worse than other hurricanes and refuses to leave.  A store owner stays behind to guard from possible looters.  Each story vividly portrays the thoughts, emotions and reactions these citizens had toward the storm that tried to take their city.  The end of this novel is inspiring and reminds us that those who call New Orleans home met the challenge of Katrina with strong will and a loyal love of “The Big Easy.”

The author of this novel, Josh Neufeld, went down to New Orleans shortly after Katrina to volunteer with the American Red Cross.  Being a comic writer and journalist he took the stories of those he met and turned them into this heart breaking and inspiring graphic novel.

If you are interested in another non-fiction graphic novel similar to this one I would highly recommend Fax from Sarajevo: A Story of Survival.  It tells the story of a family’s struggles during the Bosnian Conflict.

Don’t forget to check out our Graphic Novel Symposium September 18 and 19 (from 10 a.m to 3:30 p.m.) for interesting lectures and fun activities!

Through the Years: MVCC’s 30th Anniversary Video (from 1997)

Back in 1997, the college produced this video to commemorate MVCC’s 30th Anniversary. The library has been working to digitize the College Archives. We came across this video and thought we’d share. It is fun to hear the stories from the college’s founding.

Through the Years: Moraine Valley Faculty & Staff Look Back After 30th Anniversary

The Real Mad Men

Are you a fan of the television show Mad Men? If so, you may be having a hard time coping with the year-long break of the show. Luckily for you, the library has the book The Real Mad Men: The Renegades of Madison Avenue and The Golden Age of Advertising, which offers a look into the lives of the real men and women in advertising during the era known as the Golden Age. Learn more about the Creative Revolution, the history of advertising during that era, and view some actual ads of the time by checking out the book at the library.

If you are interested in learning more about the history of advertising during the Golden Age, you can additionally check out the documentary Art & Copy, which is also available at the library.


Haymarket Square Riot

Today marks the 128th anniversary of Chicago’s Haymarket Square Riot.

Brief summary of events:

  • May 1st, 1886: Many across the country went on strive demanding an eight-hour workday.
  • May 3rd, 1886: Two strikers were killed by police in Chicago.
  • May 4th, 1886: Chicago laborers held a rally in response to the previous day’s events. During the rally, a bomb was thrown towards the police and gunshots followed. By the end of the night, multiple officers and protesters were killed.

Although it is unknown who threw the bomb, several people were put on trial and sentenced to death, found guilty of a bombing conspiracy.

Check out WBEZ’s Curious City website to hear an audiocast related to the historic event, and to read an analysis by professors and historians on how the incident affected Chicago’s culture at the time.

To view a list of library books about the Haymarket Square Riot, click here.

The Irish Built a Canal and Chicago Grew

Most Chicagoans who celebrate St. Patrick’s Day don’t realize the crucial role that Irish immigrants played in Chicago history. One tangible effect of the Irish settlers and their contribution to the growth of Chicago is The Illinois & Michigan Canal. The canal, located in Lemont, is just 10 miles from the MVCC campus. The canal and other historical structures associated with the canal are worth visiting. You may want to get some historical perspective before you visit.

Illinois & Michigan Canal collection at MVCC

Lewis University has a special collection on the I&M Canal

I&M publication

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

The 50th Anniversary of the Beatles’ Arrival to America


It was fifty years ago on February 7

That the Beatles taught America to play

They’ve been going in and out of style

But they’re guaranteed to raise a smile

So may I introduce to you

The Beatles @ The MVCC library catalog.

The Beatles’ first appearance on American TV

Do You Love or Hate Christopher Columbus?

Today, kids in schools and government offices are closed in recognition of Christopher Columbus. But over the decades, Columbus’ legacy as a slave master, conqueror, tyrant and brave explorer has been debated. We have a love/hate relationship with Columbus. So, what’s the truth? You can explore a bit about Columbus in our library collection: Books on Columbus.

Also, this radio piece from BackStory explores the background. It is a fun show that hits some of the nuance surrounding Columbus.


So on this episode of BackStory, Peter, Ed, and Brian explore the controversial Columbian legacy, diving into current debates, and looking back on how earlier generations have understood America’s purported discoverer. When and why did Americans begin to revere the Italian explorer? Who has seized on his legacy, and who has contested it?

Watch the Second World War unfold over Europe in 7 minutes

Here’s a video sent to us from one of our history faculty members. Impressive work and a unique visual/geographic history. This site has a bit of info about the the video: Watch the Second World War unfold over Europe in 7 minutes.

For more info on World War 2, take a look at these items in our library collection.

World War II in Europe: Every Day