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Peek in the Stacks: united states

Physical Culture in the 19th Century

Sport, athletics, and the quest for fitness have been important parts of American life for over a century. What was originally called "Physical Culture" emerged in Europe and the US during the 19th century, and resulted in a fundamental reorientation of life and cultural ideals in the US by the turn of the twentieth century....

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James F. Dargan Civil War Diary and Scrapbook

James F. Dargan was born in the town of Randolph, Norfolk County, Massachusetts in 1843. Dargan was the eldest of six children born to Irish immigrants, and by the age of seventeen worked as a boot maker in his father’s shop. On September 17, 1862, at the age of nineteen, he enlisted in the Union Army, 4th Regiment, Massachusetts Infantry....

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Interview with Helen Thomas

Special Collections and Archives houses a unique oral interview with Helen Thomas (1920-2013), long-time member of the White House press corps (1961-2010), in the Tom W. Reilly Collection. She was well known in the White House, among the press corps, and by political pundits. Her White House career spanned the service of ten presidents, from John F. Kennedy to Barack Obama. She was also....

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Early Children's Literature

Memories of childhood are often infused with fond recollections of favorite books, stories that transport us to faraway lands, imaginary worlds, and distant places in time. For many of us, the literature of childhood has worked to shape how we think and feel about the world, stretching the imagination and expanding our horizons to include the people, places, and things ...

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CalShip and the Liberty Fleet

In 1936, the United States was midway through the worst economic disaster ever to hit the country. As spring turned to summer, the U.S. Congress passed the Merchant Marine Act of 1936. This new law replaced the old United States Shipping board. The newly created United States Maritime Commission was given a number of tasks, one of which was...

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Love and Friendship in the Archives

This week’s blog is inspired by Valentine’s Day. In the United States, Valentine's Day is celebrated on February 14th, and traditionally involves the giving and receiving of cards, gifts, or flowers, the reciting of poems, the singing of songs, or similar expressions of love and friendship. While we don't usually equate Special Collections and Archives with Valentine's Day, keep reading...you might be surpised!

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The Bess Lomax Hawes Student Folklore Collection

Bess Lomax Hawes (1921-2009) was a folk musician, folklorist, and professor of anthropology at San Fernando State College (now California State University Northridge). During her time as a musician she wrote many songs, including the Kingston Trio hit “M.T.A.” She also performed and collaborated with such American folk luminaries as Pete Seeger and Woody Guthrie. Her father, John Avery Lomax, and brother, Alan Lomax, were famous folklorists and musicologists who traveled across the United States collecting thousands of folk songs and interviews for the Archive of American Folk Songs in the Library of Congress...

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Songs of Protest

Few things are more universal to the human experience than the enjoyment of music. For those with a cause on their minds, protest music can be an effective way of furthering their goals. Protest music is nothing new. Beethoven’s "Ode to Joy" is said to be a protest song in support of universal brotherhood. For this blog post, the focus will be American protest music. This type of music is topical in nature with a takeaway message for the listener...

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Felipe and Blandina (Guerrero) Rodriguez Family Collection

Immigration has always been an important part of growth and development in the United States. People from all corners of the world have come to the United States for various reasons. With the flooding of people into the United States, especially during the early 20th century, individual stories are sometimes lost or forgotten. The Felipe and Blandina (Guerrero) Rodriguez Family Collection documents an immigrant family's experiences in the United States...

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The Temperance Movement

The Temperance Movement, also called the Prohibition Movement, was a political and social movement in the United States popular during Progressive Era. Supporters of the Temperance Movement, mostly Protestant and known as "teetotalers," worked for many decades to end the sale of alcohol across the United States at the local, state and national level. Groups like the Woman's Christian Temperance Union and Anti-Saloon....

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