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May 11 2017

Cooking with Diana Gabaldon!

by Jencey G

gabaldonI have been a fan of Diana Gabaldon’s books for a long time.  I have read most of the Outlander series.  I also really enjoy the Outlander series on television which are available on DVD from the library.   Diana has a couple of Outlandish companions that give extra details on the Outlander series and allow readers delve  deeper into the series.

Another book that has recently come out is the Outlander Kitchen cookbook.  This book takes readers into the food and drink aspect of the Outlander series.   Dishes such as: Claire’s Nettle Kissed Buns; Brianna’s Bridies; Banoffee Pie; Bannocks; Battlefield Blackberry Jam;  Garlic and Sage Sausage; and many more.  The food follows the storyline of Outlander.  So many of these dishes are native to England, Scotland, and the USA.

I have enjoyed cooking since I was a girl.  I also love to bake.  So I thought it would be a fun experience to check out some of the recipes included in this book.  I flipped through the book and picked several that I thought I might be able to make.

So my first recipe attempt was Mrs. Bugs Buttermilk Drop Biscuits.  It was the first time I made biscuits from scratch that actually tasted like biscuits.  I think this recipe was better than anything I have in my current collection of recipes.

Spaghetti and Meatballs was the next recipe. The cookbook goes into a description about the characters and their process for preparation.  The author’s of the cookbook include which book the dish came from and some dialogue describing the scene. I followed the recipe, but I did not enjoy this recipe.

I have a few more recipes I would like to try.  I am also looking forward to reading the further adventures of Jamie, Claire, Brianna and Roger’s family.  I always look forward to the next season of Outlander!

Try a few recipes from your favorite characters in the Outlander Kitchen cookbook! Diana’s books are available in all formats with DCPL.

These items can be found in the catalog:

Outlander                                                                                                                   Outlander TV

Dragon Fly In Amber

Voyager

Drums of Autumn

The Fiery Cross

A Breath of Snow and Ash

An Echo In The Bone

Written In My Own Heart’s Blood

The Outlandish Companion

The Outlandish Companion Volume 2

The Outlander series DVDs

 

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Nov 18 2015

A Woman in Charge

by Hope L

Hill2Will 2016 be the year that a female takes the highest office in the United States of America? Is America ready for a woman president? How about a First Gentleman?

A few weeks back I attended a speech Hillary Clinton gave at Clark Atlanta University. I wondered why, at age 68, this very controversial yet very famous person would even want to go through the rigors, the barbs, the glad-handing, the clawing–let’s face it–the virtual pain in the neck that is running for POTUS and then fulfilling that role should she win. It has greatly aged all 43 men who have come before.

HillSo, I decided to check out Hillary Clinton. I mean, literally, to research whatever I could find out about her.

And, of course, to learn more about Hillary Rodham Clinton is to learn more about Bill, for the road to the presidency and Hillary’s meteoric rise (well, it wasn’t exactly an overnight thing–she’s been in politics most of her life in one capacity or another) to presidential candidacy is almost as much about William Jefferson Clinton as it is about Hillary.

Or, is it the other way around? Was Bill’s meteoric rise to the presidency due in large part to Hillary?

CarlRight now I’m reading A Woman in Charge: The Life of Hillary Rodham Clinton by Carl Bernstein.

If you’re interested, DCPL has other books about Hillary Clinton. Click here to see what’s available–as we wait until next November to see who the new person in charge will be.

 

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How many of you know what the Cousins’ War is about? I will give you a hint. You studied it in school under a different name. If you said the War of the Roses, then you are correct!

The author Philippa Gregory has written a series of novels about the War of the Roses, but her series is named The Cousins’ War. When you think about it, it makes sense. You might want to check out the family tree. All of the cousins were related in one way or the other. Philippa Gregory in her writing focuses on the women of this time period. The women are Lady Jacquetta, Duchess of Bedford; Lady Margaret Beaufort; Queen Elizabeth Woodville; Queen Anne Neville, and Princess Elizabeth of York.

The story of the war begins with Jacquetta’s story about the Lancaster throne and what happened to cause the Yorks’ uprising against the Lancasters. It ends with Princess Elizabeth marrying King Henry (Margaret Beaufort’s son of the Lancastrian line).

Women of the Cousins' WarI found some other books in the DCPL catalog specifically relating to the women of the Cousins’ War. The first book is The Women of the Cousins’ War: The Duchess, the Queen, and the King’s Mother by Philippa Gregory, David Baldwin, and Michael Jones. This book specifically focuses on Jacquetta, the Duchess of Bedford; the White Queen Elizabeth Woodville, and King Henry’s mother Margaret Beaufort. Each of these women played an important role and helped shape the events of this war. This book delves into the history of each woman. You might enjoy this video available on YouTube, Philippa Gregory, David Baldwin and Mike Jones discuss Women of the Cousins’ War.

The next book is Blood Sisters: The Women Behind the Wars of the Roses by Sarah Gristwood, who also explores the women behind the Cousins’ War. This book explores women such as Margaret of Anjou; Cecile Neville, the mother of the Yorks, and Margaret Beaufort. Gristwood discusses what each woman was willing to do to attain power during this period in history.

Wars of the Roses by Dan JonesThe final book is The Wars of the Roses: The Fall of the Plantagenets and the Rise of the Tudors by Dan Jones. It explores how the Plantagenet family fought to the death for the right to rule England. A specific focus is given to Catherine of Valois, Margaret of Anjou, and Elizabeth Woodville, and their fight to secure the throne for their offspring. This book truly tells the story of these three great families.

You can check out more on the women of the Cousins’ War in the books mentioned above and in these books by Philippa Gregory: The White Queen, The Red Queen, Lady of the Rivers, The Kingmaker’s Daughter, and The White Princess.

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Jul 22 2015

Discovery of a Life

by Amie P

Ever since my mom put Russell Freedman’s biography of Eleanor Roosevelt in my hands, I’ve been fascinated by her life and work. In fact, if anyone were to ask me which woman’s image should be placed onto U.S. currency first, Eleanor Roosevelt would be my pick.

It’s easy to tell, even decades after her death, that she didn’t let anything stand in the way of what she wanted to do—not a horrific childhood, a straying husband, political opponents who believed she was the wrong gender to do anything important. Not a national depression. Not a world war.

Her accomplishments are astounding.  She completely redefined the role of the First Lady, traveling extensively throughout the country and the world to inspect hospitals, visit troops, campaign for her husband, give speeches, and oversee the work of federal commissions. She was a United States delegate to the United Nations and, due to her intense work on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, remains the only individual delegate to ever receive a standing ovation from the General Assembly. She pushed for greater political power for women, equal rights for people of all backgrounds and nationalities—and in her spare time, wrote a syndicated column six days a week, titled “My Day,” from 1936 all the way through 1962.

The joke, portrayed in a political cartoon, is that Eleanor’s husband, FDR, prayed every night “Dear God, please make Eleanor a little tired.” It does seem as though nothing could wear her out.

eleanorI would still recommend Russell Freedman’s biography, Eleanor Roosevelt: A Life of Discovery, as a good introduction to this fascinating person. If you’re more interested in knowing what she had to say for herself, try Eleanor Roosevelt’s My Day, a collection from her syndicated column, edited by Rochelle Chadakoff.

roosevelts

Or if you’re interested in all the famous Roosevelts, including Eleanor’s Uncle Theodore and Eleanor’s husband (fifth cousin to her uncle) Franklin Delano, I recommend The Roosevelts: An Intimate History. This item is available either as a seven-disc documentary, or you can check out the companion book.

For more primary source information on Eleanor Roosevelt and FDR, check out the webpage of the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum.  They have scanned and digitized a huge number of documents, including some of Eleanor Roosevelt’s correspondence, letters between FDR and Winston Churchill, and declassified papers about Pearl Harbor and the atomic bomb. The archives can be found here.

I’d like to think that Eleanor and I could have become friends had we met.  I share a similar mindset to hers regarding how we ought to spend our lives—this quote from her April 3, 1936 “My Day” column seems like proof:

“I could not help but wish that more people could realize the unselfish services that the librarians, throughout the country, have performed during the past few years. In the face of salary cuts and decreased appropriations for books, they have carried on and made their libraries a refuge and center for many people who sorely needed friendly contacts. I am more and more impressed as I grow older by the unsung heroes of the world, and wish that some one would write an epic about those who carry the brunt of the world’s work on their shoulders, receiving little attention in return.”

Thank you, Eleanor.

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TeegeHow would you feel if you opened a book one day and found out your grandfather was a high-ranking Nazi commandant? That’s exactly what happened to Jennifer Teege.

The Georgia Center for the Book presented Teege in April at the Decatur Library. She spoke about her book My Grandfather Would Have Shot Me: A Black Woman Discovers Her Family’s Nazi Past.

Ralph Fiennes played her grandfather in his haunting portrayal of Amon Goeth, the maniacal Nazi death camp commander in Steven Spielberg’s film Schindler’s List. Teege, who was adopted, learned the surprising fact that her biological mother was the daughter of Goeth, the “Butcher of Plaszow,” one day as she was looking for a book on depression.  She happened to see a book with the familiar face of her mother on the cover.

According to People Magazine‘s online article by Michelle Tauber:

The first shock was the sheer discovery of a book about my mother and my family, which had information about me and my identity that had been kept hidden from me, Teege, 44, had told Israeli newspaper Haaretz in a story featured on NPR.

“I knew almost nothing about the life of my biological mother, nor did my adoptive family, she said. I hoped to find answers to questions that had disturbed me and to the depression I had suffered from. The second shock was the information about my grandfather’s deeds.”

Teege’s book, co-written by Nikola Sellmair, is available at DCPL. You might also be interested in The Road to Rescue: The Untold Story of Schindler’s List by Mietek Pemper, in collaboration with Viktoria Hertling, or The Boy on the Wooden Box: How the Impossible Became Possible–On Schindler’s List, A Memoir by Leon Leyson, with Marilyn J. Harran and Elisabeth B. Leyson.

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What I knew about Thomas Jefferson could fit on an index card: Jefferson was the main author of the Declaration of Independence, became President of the United States, and had a convoluted relationship with his slaves. So on a recent road trip, when my husband and I stopped at Monticello, Jefferson’s home, I was expecting to enjoy a leisurely morning tour and to move on to more interesting things in the afternoon.

We stayed much longer than we intended and still didn’t have enough time to explore.  Grand houses like Monticello were considered normal on plantations, but Jefferson was criticized for building his house high on a hill where water would have to be dragged up—until he built a giant cistern under the house, capable of storing and supplying all the water needed for the house and the nearby grounds.  Also under the house were storerooms, lavatories, a kitchen, and a carefully stocked and inventoried wine cellar, complete with customized dumbwaiters designed to carry bottles of wine directly to the dining room above.  The house is full of his inventions, including a copying machine designed to duplicate letters as he hand-wrote them so that he could keep copies of all his correspondence.  His extensive gardens, which today supply the museum restaurant with fresh produce, include many plants Jefferson cultivated after Lewis and Clark brought cuttings or seeds back from the western territories.

Even more interesting is what I learned about Jefferson himself.  The third President of the United States was so shy about public speaking that, during his time as a Virginia delegate, he would sit in the back of the room and only add to the conversation by writing down his comments.  The author of the Declaration of Independence was against the idea of the United States having a constitution at all, and would not sign the Constitution until he knew that it could be amended.  Jefferson was in many ways against slavery, yet he owned slaves.  The strangest thing to me is what he chose to put on his gravestone:

“Author of the Declaration of American Independence
of the Statute of Virginia for religious freedom
& Father of the University of Virginia”

President of the United States?  Apparently not important enough to mention.

I highly recommend a trip to Monticello if you can manage it.  In the meantime, there’s plenty to read:

jeffersonJefferson and Monticello: The Biography of a Builder by Jack McLaughlin

National Book Award winning- American Sphinx: The Character of Thomas Jefferson by Joseph J. Ellis

Six volumes of Dumas Malone’s Jefferson and His Time

R. B. Bernstein’s Thomas Jefferson

For everyone, I recommend paging through the information at monticello.org, the official website of The Thomas Jefferson Foundation, Inc.   From pictures of Monticello itself to images of Jefferson’s daily weather observations, there’s enough to get a glimpse of what an interesting person Jefferson was.

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mlk

I won’t be coming to work on the Monday holiday, the day we celebrate MLK, but his actual birthday is January 15.  It was no easy feat to have this national holiday. The following is a chronology, from The King Center website.  Note the date the first legislation was introduced and how long it took to be made a reality.

“Making of  The King Holiday – A Chronology”

  • April 8, 1968 Four days after Dr. King is assassinated, Congressman John Conyers (D-MI) introduces first legislation providing for a Martin Luther King, Jr. Federal Holiday.
  • June 26, 1968 – The Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Center is founded in Atlanta. The mission is to establish a living memorial to Dr. King, to preserve his papers and promote his teachings. Shortly after, King Center Founder Coretta Scott King, directs the small staff to being planning for the first annual observance of Dr. King’s birthday.
  • January 15, 1969 – The King Center sponsors the first annual observance of Dr. King’s birthday with an ecumenical service and other events and calls for nation-wide commemorations of Dr. King’s birthday. This observance becomes the model for subsequent annual commemorations of Dr. King’s birthday nation-wide, setting the tone of celebration of Dr. King’s life, education in his teachings and nonviolent action to carry forward his unfinished work.
  • April, 1971 – Petitions gathered by SCLC bearing 3 million signatures in support of King Holiday are presented to Congress. But Congress takes no action to move holiday legislation forward.
  • 1973 – First state King Holiday bill (sponsored by then Assemblyman Harold Washington) signed into law in Illinois.
  • 1974 – Massachusetts, Connecticut enact statewide King Holidays.
  • 1975 – New Jersey State Supreme Court rules that state must provide a paid holiday in honor of Dr. King in accordance with the state government’s labor contract with the New Jersey State Employees Association.
  • November 4, 1978 – National Council of Churches calls on Congress to pass King Holiday.
  • February 19, 1979 – Coretta Scott King testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee hearings in behalf of the King Holiday. She urges Rep. Conyers to bring the holiday bill up for a floor vote in the House of Representatives.
  • March 27, 1979 – Mrs. King testifies before Joint Hearings of Congress in support of King Holiday bill.
  • 1979 – Mrs. King directs King Center staff to begin intensive organizing of a nation-wide citizens lobby for a national Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday. King Center launches new nationwide King Holiday petition campaign, which is signed by more than 300,000 before end of year. President Carter calls on Congress to pass national King Holiday. The King Holiday bill finally begins to move through Congressional committees.
  • November, 1979 – The Conyers King Holiday bill is defeated in floor vote in U.S. House of Representatives by just 5 votes.
  • 1980 –Stevie Wonder releases “Happy Birthday,” a song celebrating Dr. King and urging a holiday in his honor. It becomes a hit and a rallying cry for the holiday.
  • May 2, 1980 – Coretta Scott King testifies in U.S. House of Representative in support of establishing a National Historic Site in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • September 11, 1980 – Mrs. King testifies in U.S. Senate in support of establishing a National Historic Site in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • 1981 – King Center President Coretta Scott King writes to governors, mayors, chairpersons of city council across the U.S., requesting them to pass resolutions and proclamations commemorating the Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday and send them to The King Center’s Archives. She asks them to recognize celebrations and programs of observance.
  • February 23, 1982 – Mrs. King testifies in support of the Holiday before the Subcommittee on Census and Population of the House Committee on Post Office and Civil Service.
  • 1982 – The King Center calls for and mobilizes a conference to commemorate and serve as cosponsors of the 19th anniversary of the March on Washington. More than 100 organizations participated. King Center mobilizes coalition to lobby for the holiday. Stevie Wonder funds holiday lobbying office and staff based in Washington, D.C.
  • 1982 – Mrs. King and Stevie Wonder present King Center petitions bearing more than 6 million signatures in support of King Holiday to Tip O’Neil, Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives.
  • June, 1983 – Mrs. King testifies before Congress in behalf of The King Holiday bill again.
  • August, 1983 – The House of Representatives passes King Holiday Bill, providing for the King Holiday to be observed on the third Monday in January. The bill, which is sponsored by Reps. Katie Hall (D.-IN) and Jack Kemp (R-NY), passes by a vote of 338 to 90.
  • August 27, 1983 – King Center convenes the “20th Anniversary March on Washington,” supported by more than 750 organizations. More than 500,000 people attend the March at the Lincoln Memorial, and all of the speakers call on the U.S. Senate and President Reagan to pass the King Holiday.
  • October 19, 1983 – Holiday Bill sponsored by Senator Ted Kennedy (D.-Mass.) passes U.S. Senate by a vote of 78-22.
  • November 3, 1983 – President Reagan signs bill establishing the 3rd Monday of every January as the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Holiday, beginning in 1986.
  • April-May, 1984 – King Center develops legislative proposal to establish the Martin Luther King, Jr. Federal Holiday Commission. Mrs. King meets with leadership of the House and Senate and appeals to Congress to legislate the Martin Luther King, Jr. Federal Holiday Commission. The legislation passes Congress by a voice vote.
  • August 27, 1984 – President Reagan signs legislation providing for the Martin Luther King, Jr. Federal Holiday Commission, to last for a term of five years, with an option to renew for another 5 years.
  • November, 1984 – First meeting of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Federal Holiday Commission. Coretta Scott King is unanimously elected Chairperson
  • January 20, 1986 – First national King Holiday Observed. By this time 17 states had official King holidays. The King Holiday Commissioners are sworn in by federal district Judge Horace Ward.
  • January 16, 1989 – As a result of leadership of the King Holiday Commission, the number of states which enacted a MLK holiday grows to 44.
  • 1990 – The United Auto Workers negotiate contracts with the big three auto companies requiring a paid holiday for all their employees.
  • January 15, 1990 – The Wall St. Journal Reports that only 18 % of 317 corporate employers surveyed by the Bureau of National Affairs provide a paid King Holiday.
  • November 3, 1992 – After a coalition of citizens for an Arizona King Holiday launches successful protest and boycott campaigns, the people of Arizona pass referendum establishing Martin Luther King, Jr. state holiday.
  • January, 1993 – Arizona observes first statewide King Holiday, leaving only New Hampshire without a state holiday in honor of Dr. King.
  • 1994 – Citing Dr. King’s statement that “Everybody can be great because everybody can serve,” Coretta Scott King testifies before Congress in support of making the King Holiday an official national day of humanitarian service.
  • August 23, 1994 – President Clinton signs the Martin Luther King, Jr. Federal Holiday and Service Act, expanding the mission of the holiday as a day of community service, interracial cooperation and youth anti-violence initiatives.
  • 1996 – Martin Luther King, Jr. Federal Holiday Commission concludes mission, transfers responsibility for coordinating nationwide holiday programs and activities to The King Center.
  • 1998 – A Bureau of National Affairs survey of 458 employers found that 26 percent provide a paid holiday for their workers on the King Holiday. The survey found that 33 percent of firms with union contracts provided the paid King Holiday, compared to 22 percent of nonunion shops.
  • June 7, 1999 – Governor Jean Shaheen of New Hampshire signs the King Holiday legislation into law, completing enactment of holiday in all states.
  • October 29, 1999 – U.S. Senate unanimously passes legislation requiring federal institutions to fly the U.S. flag on the Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday.
  • August 2000 – The King Center’s National Holiday Advisory Committee (replacing the Federal King Holiday Commission) is established to promote the Holiday throughout the 50 states. Each governor of the 50 states is asked to appoint two state representatives to coordinate celebration in their state.
  • Today – The King Holiday is celebrated in U.S. installations and is observed by local groups in more than 100 other nations. Trinidad and other nations have also established a holiday in honor of Dr. King.

The King Holiday should highlight remembrance and celebration and should encourage people everywhere to reflect on the principles of nonviolent social change and racial equality as espoused by Martin Luther King, Jr. It should be a day of community and humanitarian service, and interracial cooperation.

The King Holiday should be a day of which the majority of local and state governments close, and one on which private organizations and the majority of businesses honor Dr. King by encouraging their employees to undertake community service work to address social needs.

The King Holiday should officially and appropriately be observed by the United Nations and its members. Mrs. Coretta Scott King, who severed as Chair, Martin Luther King, Jr., Federal Holiday Commission and Founding President of the Martin Luther King, Jr., Center for Nonviolent Social Change, is quoted as saying:

“As a nation chooses its heroes and heroines, a nation interprets its history and shapes its destiny. The commemoration of the life and work of Martin Luther King, Jr. can help America realize its true destiny as the global model for democracy, economic and social justice, and as the first nonviolent society in human history.”

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Dec 15 2014

Bill of Rights Day

by Glenda

Bill of Rights imageDid you know that December 15, 2014 is Bill of Rights Day?  The Bill of Rights includes our key amendments to the U. S. Constitution, and they protect our individual rights. States and individuals were concerned that the original Constitution did not protect individual rights. The Constitution was signed by the thirteen original states with the understanding that the Bill of Rights would be created, amending the new U.S. Constitution. On September 25, 1789 the first Congress of the United States proposed twelve amendments to the Constitution; however, only ten of the twelve were added to the Constitution on December 15, 1791.

Bill of Rights (summary)

Amendment #1:  Freedom of speech, press and religion.

Amendment #2:  The right to bear arms.

Amendment #3:  Protection of homeowners from quartering troops, except during war.

Amendment #4:  Rights and protections against unreasonable search and seizure.

Amendment #5:  Right of due process of law, protections against double jeopardy, self incrimination.

Amendment #6:  Rights of a speedy trial by jury of peers and rights of accused.

Amendment #7:  Rights of trial by jury in civil cases.

Amendment #8:  Protection from cruel and unusual punishment, excessive bail.

Amendment #9:  Protection of rights not specified in the Bill of Rights.

Amendment #10: State rights, power of the states.

The two amendments that did not pass were about the number of representatives to Congress and compensation to representatives.

Read more about the Bill of Rights at billofrightsinstitute.org.

The Bill of Rights is very important to every person in the Unites States. If you would like more information about the Bill of Rights visit your local library and check out a few books. Here are some suggestions:

The Bill of Rights: The First Ten Amendments of the Constitution by David L. Hudson

The Bill of Rights by Don Nardo

In Defense of Liberty: The Story of America’s Bill of Rights by Russell Freedman

A Kid’s Guide to America’s Bill of Rights: Curfews, Censorship and the 100-Pound Giant by Kathleen Krull

 

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Nov 17 2014

America’s Most Hated Woman?

by Hope L

hair

This past June was the 50-year anniversary of the Supreme Court ruling against school-sponsored prayer (Engel v. Vitale, June 25, 1962).

That’s probably why I saw the book America’s Most Hated Woman:  The Life and Gruesome Death of Madalyn Murray O’Hair  on a cart to be re-shelved recently at the library. Perhaps a student had to write a report, or interest was sparked around this landmark decision’s anniversary.

I had no idea, however, that the infamous atheist had been murdered.

Intrigued, I checked out the book and began to read about O’Hair. Considering the death threats, the vicious hate mail, the taunting of her two sons, and the sentiment of much of the church-going public around that time, this woman must have been one tough cookie.

The book examines Murray’s beginnings and the seeds that were sown early on that might have moved her to fight her lifelong battle against religion in American public schools and more. In this book and the other one I mention below,  she is often portrayed as obese, slovenly, loose, impulsive, alcoholic, and argumentative.  Indeed, I watched a few old interview clips of her online, and some of what she says in them is quite offensive and crude, even by today’s standards.

But I figured there had to be some likeable qualities there somewhere, too.  Evidently, Madalyn Murray studied law and flunked the bar but was by all accounts highly intelligent, if not socially refined or popular.  She was said to be an enthralling and engaging speaker, and indeed, was the very first person interviewed by Phil Donahue on his show in 1967.  The statements made by O’Hair during that first episode were so contentious that the audience was jumping up to ask questions to challenge her, and the previously seated Donahue had to grab a mic and go out into the audience, thus making television history and creating a new style of talk show with audience participation.

No, Madalyn Murray O’Hair was not popular.  The government was after  her (the IRS, FBI, CIA, Justice Dept.), organized religion in America was after her, the Pope was after her–even many in the different atheist factions were after her because of her attempts to capitalize on the movement.

In Ungodly:  The Passions, Torments, and Murder of Atheist Madalyn Murray O’Hair, the front cover promises thus:

“… traces the self-anointed atheist high priestess from her public skirmishes with the law through her remarkable legal maneuverings and her schemes to siphon off enormous sums of money from the foundations she created.”

“… explains for the first time the full story of the kidnapping and murder of O’Hair, her son, and granddaughter–a gristly multiple murder masterminded by a genius ex-con who hoped to pocket nearly a million dollars’ worth of loot in a pitiless and cunning plot.”

It seems really ironic that Madalyn and her family were ultimately kidnapped and murdered by a former employee and fellow atheist rather than someone following through with one of the many vile and violent threats made by so-called “church-going” persons.

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Aug 29 2014

Emma Mills Nutt Day!

by Glenda

emmanuttOn September 1, 2014, we celebrate Emma Mills Nutt as the first female telephone operator.  On September 1, 1878, Emma began working for the Boston Telephone Dispatch Company. Her career lasted thirty-three years. Prior to hiring Emma, the telephone dispatch had young men as telephone operators, and some customers felt the men did not have the proper attitude and patience for live telephone contact. Customers had positive responses to Emma’s soothing voice and her patience. Soon all of the men were replaced by women.

Emma was hired by Alexander Graham Bell, most recognized as the inventor of the first practical telephone. She changed jobs from the local telegraph office. Emma’s salary was $10.00 per month for a 54-hour work week. It is said that Emma could remember every number in the telephone directory of the New England Telephone Company. It was not all that easy for a woman to become an operator. The woman needed to be unmarried and between the ages of seventeen and twenty-six. A woman had to look proper and have arms long enough to reach the top of the tall telephone switchboard. Many books have been published about the history of the telephone. Click here to see some items you may want to check out at DCPL.

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