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Blog Posts by Subject: World War I

Spies Among Us: World War I and The American Protective League

In the wake of the United States’ war declaration against Germany on April 6, 1917, dozens of extralegal vigilance organizations such as the Knights of Liberty, American Rights League, Boy Spies of America, American Defense Society, Sedition Slammers, National Security League, and the Terrible Threateners sought to ensure Americans’ full participation in the war effort, often through measures of intimidation, harassment, surveillance, and outright violence. Read More ›

TeachNYPL: Lists for Lesson Planning

From July 28-Aug 1 we welcomed our second group of teachers from NYC or our second annual Education Innovation @ NYPL Summer Institute.Read More ›

United States v. "The Spirit of '76"

During World War I, the making of movies—even seemingly pro-American films—could be a dangerous proposition, given the wartime hysteria so prevalent on the U.S. home front. Case in point:Read More ›

Vandamm: A Journey's End

This post could also be called "In praise of Internet research." In terms of research, it was a triumph; in all other senses, a tragedy. Thanks to NYPL's electronic resources and Internet connection, I went from not knowing of the existence of a first husband to knowing where he was buried in 75 minutes.

Since starting to work on Florence Vandamm's professional biography, I have been spending odd bits of time searching her name on NYPL's amazing supply of electronic resources. So, one Friday afternoon, I searched the name 

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From Sanitary Fairs to "The Settlement": Early Charity Cookbooks

One hundred and fifty years ago, as the Civil War raged, the United States Sanitary Commission (USSC) was busy raising money to improve conditions for Union soldiers. Early on in the war, people realized that, in addition to the terrible loss of life during the battles, an appalling number of casualties occurred because of poor sanitation and inadequate medical care. One very successful method of fundraising by the USSC was "Sanitary Fairs"—exhibitions and festivals held throughout the Northern states. Merchandise for sale at the fairs might include clothing, toys, tobacco, 

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Celebrate National Doughnut Day

The first Friday in June is National Doughnut Day.

Usually I am skeptical of nonsensical food holidays. Did the cinnamon-sugar lobby come up with this? The lard council?

Still, National Doughnut Day grabbed my attention. So I checked Chase's Calendar and the sources cited in the Wikipedia article.

It's time to CELEBRATE!

The first Doughnut Day was in 1938, organized by the Salvation Army in Chicago to 

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Memorial Day: Commemorating and Remembering Our Veterans and Those Who Serve

May 27th is Memorial Day. Did you know that this U.S. federal holiday goes as far back as the American Civil War in the 1860s?

Memorial Day, formerly known as Decoration Day, occurs ever year on the last Monday of the month of May and is the day of remembering the men and women who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces.

For the past two centuries, the U.S. has been involved in many wars domestically and aboard. Many service men and women have put aside their jobs, families and lives to defend our country and principals of freedom during 

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Waiting for "Downton Abbey"

Updated February 2012! Do the names Lord Grantham, Mr. Carson, and Lady Violet mean anything to you? Can you discuss at length the love story of Mary and Matthew? Does the word week-end, bring to mind Maggie Smith’s impeccably-timed line delivery? If so, then you are a Downton-ite... or is it Downton-head? Whatever the case may be, it means that you are a fan of the ITV/Masterpiece Theater drama Downton Abbey. First airing on PBS in January 2011, this British series depicts 

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Teaching World War I: Treaty of Versailles (Databases for Use in Creating Lesson Plans)

To help in your lesson planning, we've highlighted some databases that feature information on the Treaty of Versailles:

Funk & Wagnalls New World Encyclopedia — type in "Treaty of Versailles" or search "World War I" for more results Grolier Online — Type in "Treaty of Versailles." In the list of results, ... Read More ›

Article and Artifact — Digitization's Dilemma: A True Story

Every librarian understands that the increased reliance on digital resources is a Faustian bargain.

While the stakes may not seem as high as in the legend, the risks are plain, clear, and much discussed in library and publishing literature. For any organization that wishes to preserve or archive its resources, digitization can be both a blessing and a curse. Easier access versus preservation concerns may not be possible to reconcile completely.

On a day-to-day level, the limitations of some digital resources are painfully evident. Particularly on a 

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Subversive Shaw, Part 3: Common Sense About the War

"The hag Sedition was your mother, and Perversity begot you. Mischief was your midwife and Misrule your nurse, and Unreason brought you up at her feet — no other ancestry and rearing had you, you freakish homunculus, germinated outside of lawful procreation."  — Fellow playwright Henry Arthur Jones, on Bernard Shaw and his anti-war stance

Whenever I'm foolhardy enough to pick up a newspaper or listen to the evening news, I begin to worry that the world has finally stumbled into a mess from which it will never be able to 

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August in the Reader’s Den: "Maisie Dobbs" Follow Up and Further Reading Suggestions

Thank you for joining us this month in the Reader’s Den. I hope you enjoyed the first book in the Maisie Dobbs series. Birds of a Feather and Pardonable Lies are the next two books in the series. 

Here 

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War Horse

Michael Morpurgo’s War Horse has been a London stage play for four years running and has now come to Broadway. The Spielberg film version is slated to be released December 28, 2011.

The story takes place during World War I and describes the horrific conditions and loss of life, both human and animal, that took 

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Nancy Mitford's endless purple scarf.

I've just begun reading Nancy Mitford's essay collection The Water Beetle and have learned that this author's name can be added to the list of notable needlewomen who contributed to the World War I effort.

In "Blor," the first essay in this collection, she recollects how she crocheted for the cause: "I was soon sitting like a tricoteuse, on the balcony of Grandfather Redesdale's house in Kensy High Street, crocheting an endless purple scarf while the troops marched by on their way to France. (There was no 

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Knitting with Conviction.

A view of San Quentin.

I've been reading World War I-era newspapers lately (using America's Historical Newspapers, a full-text database available at all four Research Libraries), in a search of mention of famous knitters on the home front whose flying fingers supported the war effort. And yesterday I found a small article from the Daily Alaska Dispatch that painted a vivid picture of such efforts. A report from San Francisco published Dec. 7, 1917, begins: "Knitting needles are flying in the cells and workshops at the San 

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Almer G. Russell Pavilion, Tottenville, Staten Island, New York

This is an an email I received from the President of the Tottenville Historical Society:

“I received a note today from long-time Tottenville resident Gordon Ekstrand, who is also Past Post Commander of the local American Legion, Beauvais-Hudson Post No. 126. He writes:

“I have been working since November 2006 to have the Borough Commissioner of Parks Thomas Paulo erect a new sign at the Pavilion next to Conference House Park. I called his 

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Display by Tottenville Historical Society

The Tottenville Historical Society put together a display titled “We Honor Our Veterans” that is on the display shelf in the branch on the first floor. There is a picture of Civil War Veterans marching in a parade, along with some other pictures. Also included is a program from the dedication of a World War II monument that was on Main Street. I believe that Linda Hauck, the president of the society, said that the monument disappeared when it was sent in for repairs in the 1950s. (It was made out of wood, I 

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Knit your bit.

Fingers fly in World War I homefront.

Every crafty person has probably been asked to help with, or perhaps has organized, charitable knitting projects: blankets and warm hats for the homeless, caps and scarves for children in need, and fancy goods for sale at fundraisers. What we don’t do so much of today is knit for the troops. But in World War I and World War II, the knitting of wool sweaters, hats, gloves, socks, bandages, and other items was a common activity that kept fingers flying on the homefront.

NYPL has many books 

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