Solemates: The Century in Shoes

Solemates: The Century in Shoes: “This site offers a decade-by-decade look at shoes and their place in fashion and culture from the 1900s-1990s. For each decade you can read an essay, view examples of footwear, see advertisements from the period, and view QuickTime “Scenes from the Decade.” There are also three feature articles: Dangerous Shoes, Ga-Ga for Gaza [Gaza Bowen, shoemaker], and Ruby Slippers. Includes a pre-20th century chronology of “great moments in shoe history.” (citation from Librarians Index to the Internet)

Bowling Alone by Robert D. Putnam and Better Together by Robert D. Putnam and Lewis M. Feldstein

The monster that Frankenstein created made quite an impact on his community. In light of this aspect of life,
What has happened to a favorite American character trait of joining together for a common purpose? Is the “club” or “community organization” falling on hard times?

You can read all about the changes that are occurring in the way we Americans see ourselves and our interaction in our communities in Bowling Alone and its follow-up Better Together. Click on the title to look at some of the reviews from Barnes and Noble.

Yes, MVCC owns these two books.

Public Law 195

A question has been asked about Illinois “Public Law 195.” According to the MVCC ABE/GED/ESL web site (the indirect source of the question) and a number of other educational web sites (Google the terms: Illinois “public law 195” and you’ll find them), this is the law that mandates the “Illinois State Constitution Exam.”

Unfortunately, the term/phrase “Public Law 195” does not provide enough information to track down an Illinois law, according to the reference services of the Depaul University Law Library, (312) 362-6894. When the Illinois General Assembly passes a bill it becomes a “Public Act,” not a “Public Law.” According to the Illinois State Library’s Reference Department: “Beginning with the 76th General Assembly (1969-70), The Illinois Secretary of State’s office began assigning bills that become law Public Act numbers. For example, P.A. 81-959 was the 959th Public Act of the 81st General Assembly. Before the 76th General Assembly, laws are cited using the year and the page reference to the Laws of Illinois (i.e. L. 1961, p. 31).” So, without a G.A. session number, a Public Act cannot be identified. More information about the legislative process in Illinois is available from the Legislative Reference Bureau at

However, a “Constitution” test requirement appears in Illinois Compiled Statutes 105 ILCS 5/27-3 under the title “Patriotism and principles of representative government – Proper use of flag – Method of voting – Pledge of Allegiance” with the language: “No student shall receive a certificate of graduation without passing a satisfactory examination upon such subjects.” This section cites “Laws, 1961, P. 31, ? 27-3, eff. July 1, 1966” as its source. Another requirement appears in 105 ILCS 5/27-21 under the title “History of United States” with the language: “No pupils shall be graduated from the eighth grade of any public school unless he [sic] has received such instruction in the history of the United States and gives evidence of having a comprehensive knowledge thereof.” This section sites “Laws, 1961, P. 31, ? 27-21, eff. July 1, 1961.” Note that in both instances the cited law predates the 76th General Assembly, which began the practice of assigning Public Act numbers. The Compiled Statutes are in the Library’s reference collection, call number REF KFI1230 .I44.

A test requirement appears in the Illinois Administrative Code under Title 23 (Education and cultural resources) Chapter 1 (State board of education) Part 1 (Public schools evaluation, recognition and supervision) sections:
? 1.430 (Additional criteria for elementary schools) paragraph b with the language: “No student shall receive certification of graduation without passing a satisfactory examination upon such subjects.”
? 1.440 (Additional criteria for high schools) paragraph f sub-paragraph 4 with the language: “No student shall receive certification of graduation without passing a satisfactory examination upon such subjects.”

Note that this information was confirmed by a researcher at the Illinois Board of Higher Education, (217) 782-2881.

So, back to the term “Public Law 195.” It is possible that it has become a commonly accepted name for the statutes and Administrative Code listed above, but as it stands, is an incomplete reference at best.

Opposing Viewpoints: Topic Shopping At Its Best

Opposing Viewpoints: “This well-named series presents many sides to thought-provoking issues, challenging readers to think about their own opinions and views. Each volume begins with an essay, “Why consider opposing viewpoints?” that gives the series’ rationale: critical thinking; respect for others’ views; and objective evaluation of the authors’ ideas, credentials, and biases. An introduction to the topic is followed by an overview and questions for the reader to consider before reading. Each chapter concludes with a periodical bibliography.” (review from Tracy A. Fitzwater, Book Report (Jan/Feb97) 15:4) This series is highly recommended for students writing argumentative papers or for students seeking to understand both sides of a controversial debate.

Department of State Background Notes

The U.S. DoS’ “Background Notes are factual publications that contain information on all the countries of the world with which the United States has relations. They include facts on the country’s land, people, history, government, political conditions, economy, and its relations with other countries and the United States.” [from site]

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