Before Ford vs Ferrari, It Was Ford & Edison

The recently released movie Ford vs Ferrari tells the story of the Ford Motor Company and its pursuit of sports-car racing glory while striving to defeat Ferrari after a deal to buy the Italian car company went bad. Ford had already been involved in racing Indy cars, stock cars and drag racing. Beating Ferrari at Le Mans would put Ford on the map in sports-car racing and hopefully entice younger buyers to buy Fords. Ford Motor Company wanted to be known as more than a maker of cars for family road trips.

It was different story 50 years earlier when Henry Ford helped introduce the road trip into American culture. Beginning in 1914 and continuing each year until 1924, Henry Ford and Thomas Edison, along with Harvey Firestone and John Burroughs, took summer road trips together all over the country. They camped along the way, with chefs and butlers in tow, and investigated travel conditions. They called themselves The Vagabonds. They also took along a film crew and their travels earned a lot of publicity. Enthusiasm for road trips increased and along with it roads and roadside services took shape.

To read the interesting story of their road trips and about the impact they had on culture and infrastructure, check out the book The Vagabonds: The Story of Henry Ford and Thomas Edison’s Ten-Year Road Trip.

For even more fun, watch some of the films The Vagabonds made on their travels. Several of them are available on YouTube. The video below from The Henry Ford offers some highlights or find them all here.

The 50th Anniversary of the Occupation of Alcatraz

This month marks the 50th anniversary of the Native American occupation of Alcatraz, an abandoned federal prison located in San Francisco Bay. In 1969, Native Americans, including members of the American Indian Movement, took over the island from November 1969 to June 1971. The Native Americans claimed it as “Indian land under the Treaty of Fort Laramie“.

The occupation lasted 19 months and ended with the occupiers forced off the island. The event became a watershed for the Native American civil rights movement. The incident eventually led to the return of millions of acres of ancestral land and numerous proposals supporting tribal self rule.

Ironically, Alcatraz Island is now one of the top tourist attractions in San Francisco.

If you want more information on Native Americans check out the MVCC catalog for books or dvds. The MVCC databases have periodicals and streaming video if you need additional information.

Daylight saving time is ending- what will you be doing?

Pocket Watch - 3D render
“Pocket Watch – 3D render” by Áron Jakab is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

Have you thought about what you want to do with your extra hour this Sunday? Sure, you could catch up on sleep, but there are so many options to consider!

Why don’t you ~fall back~ into the couch and enjoy an hour long episode of the PBS series How We Got to Now on time.

Perhaps you’d prefer to enjoy the soothing vocals of Seal’s “Daylight Saving” from his 2015 (and conveniently 50-minute-long) album, 7.

Maybe you find yourself contemplating the very nature of time? Why not explore those questions by reading Stephen Hawking’s A Brief History of Time.

Need help with time management? Learn how to balance your time between your work life and social life while still prioritizing your personal time.

Now stop wasting time and make the most of your additional hour!

The 1919 Chicago Race Riot: A talk by Dr. Eric Allen Hall

In the summer of 1919, the South Side of Chicago erupted in racial violence following the death of Eugene Williams, an African-American youth who had mistakenly drifted into the “white” section of Lake Michigan’s 29th Street Beach. By the time the fires were extinguished a week later, thirty-eight people had been killed and thousands more had seen their homes destroyed. It would be the worst of over twenty race riots that plagued the United States during what came to be known as “Red Summer.” Dr. Eric Allen hall Associate Professor of History at Norther Illinois University will examine the causes, events, and legacy of the 1919 Chicago Race Riot through the experiences of those who witnessed the violence.

The Grand Canyon: Home to Ancient Vampire Bats and Ground Sloth Poop

A long time ago in a canyon far far away… prehistoric animals left traces of their existence for scientists to discover. We celebrate those discoveries and their contributions to science with National Fossil Day. This year’s focus is the rich knowledge gained from the fossils found at the Grand Canyon National Park

This year’s promotional artwork depicts a 9 foot long Shasta Ground Sloth entering Rampart Cave on the west end of the park, surrounded by the large droppings that remained fossilized in the cave for around 11,000- 40,000 years. The fossilized dung has provided a wealth of information about the local plants and environmental conditions from the sloth’s time.

Also included in the artwork is an extinct vampire bat, a distant but larger cousin to living vampire bats in Central and South America. Remains found in the cave suggests these bats may have fed on the blood of the Shasta Ground Sloth. Prehistoric life could be pretty rough!

The Grand Canyon might seem far from Moraine Valley, but you’re closer to fossils than you might think. Mazon Creek is a well-known fossil collecting site in Illinois, famous for its excellent preservation and fossil variety.

One of the more interesting findings to come out of Mazon Creek is now the Illinois state fossil. Known as the Tully Monster (Tullimonstrum gregarium), scientists currently believe it was a soft-bodied invertebrate that lived on the sea floor back when Illinois used to sit near the equator. Its strange body shape has left scientists stumped as to what kind of animal it actually was.

The library has plenty of books and media to satisfy your need for fossil knowledge. Find them here!

Celebrate the Glacier

Moraine Valley’s Student Newspaper, the Glacier, has been published for 51 years. Experience the past through the eyes of the front pages with “A Visual History of the Moraine Valley Student Newspaper” display.

The display is located on a bulletin board across from the Art Gallery in the U Building. It will be up through October.

1968 Front Page

New Library of Congress Website for “Constitution Annotated”

September 17th is Constitution Day, a day commemorating the signing of the Constitution on September 17, 1787. In conjunction with this, the Library of Congress has launched a new website “mak[ing] the 3,000 pages of the Constitution Annotated fully searchable and accessible for the first time to online audiences – including Congress, legal scholars, law students and anyone interested in U.S. constitutional law.” (New Website Makes the U.S. Constitution Searchable with Supreme Court Interpretations Throughout History: https://www.loc.gov/item/prn-19-090?loclr=ealn)

So what is the Constitution Annotated you ask? “… known officially as the Constitution of the United States of America: Analysis and Interpretation–[it] has served as the official record of the U.S. Constitution. Prepared by attorneys in the American Law Division of the Library’s Congressional Research Service, it explains in layman’s terms the Constitution’s origins, how it was crafted and how every provision in the Constitution has been interpreted throughout history.”

Starting at the Home page, click on “Browse” in the top right-hand corner.
You’re taken to this page where you can browse the Preamble, Articles, & Amendments to the U.S. Constitution.
Then, if you click on “Nineteenth Amendment” for example, you’ll be taken to this page. To see the explanation in “layman’s terms” you would click on the highlighted portion above: “Amdt19.S1.1  Women’s Suffrage”
Which results in this page, the page prepared by attorneys in the American Law Division of the Library’s Congressional Research Service, complete with footnotes at the bottom.

So, check out the new website, Constitution Annotated: Analysis and Interpretation of the U.S. Constitution https://constitution.congress.gov/. Could be easier than carrying the pocket Constitution!

Pioneers: First Women Filmmakers

A new addition to the MVCC catalog is a six-disc collection that features silent films directed/written by women. This DVD collection Pioneers: First Women Filmmakers honors “the women who were instrumental in shaping the very core of cinema as we know it.”

You may to want to view our catalog to see what else the MVCC library has on this subject. Also, don’t forget to view the MVCC databases and read newspaper articles about silent era movies and early Hollywood directors and stars from the Chicago Tribune Historical Newspaper and the New York Times Historical Newspaper.

101 Free Silent Films

Information on Silent Films

Millennials and Silent Movies

50th Anniversary of Woodstock

This August will be the 50th anniversary of Woodstock, a rock concert that some historians believe “defined an entire generation and its effects on music and American culture can still be felt today.”

Check out the Chicago Tribune Historical newspaper and the New York Times Historical newspaper to get a 1969 perspective of the concert.