Author Archives: Allie OConnor

The Ending Acts of World War II

74 years ago this summer, the world was still at war. Victory in Europe took place in early May, but the war in the Pacific threatened to continue for some time. With the capture of Okinawa in June 1945, the Allied forces were within striking distance of the home islands of Japan. Tremendous losses of Allied service personnel and citizens of Japan were anticipated when Japan itself was invaded. An alternative to physical invasion of the home islands presented itself in mid-July, when the scientists involved in the top-secret Manhattan Project successfully detonated the first atomic bomb in the New Mexico desert.

Continue reading

Celebrate Paperback Book Day

On this date in 1935 Sir Allen Lane published Andre Maurois’s Ariel, a biography of Percy Shelley. What made this publication date memorable was that it was the first paperback edition by an established British publishing house (Penguin). The book trade, as one can understand, was against Penguin beginning to make paperbacks available because of the competition to the hardbound format. But SO many readers have benefitted from being able to own books that we otherwise would not have been able to afford.

Continue reading

Homage to Captain Kangaroo

Once the television set entered American homes in the 1950s, a small group of dedicated TV pioneers devised regular programs that sought to educate and entertain preschoolers on weekdays after older siblings left for school. Most of you readers remember with fondness watching Electric Company, Sesame Street, or Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood . The Bellevue University Library recently received information on Fred Rogers in two different formats, the DVD Won’t You Be my Neighbor? (DVD PN1992.4.R56 W66), and the audio book The Good Neighbor, (Audio Book PN1992.4.R644 K56). Both are available for checkout. My personal memories are from an earlier show, Captain Kangaroo. Since Bob Keeshan, who portrayed the Captain, was born on this date in 1927, the rest of this blog will emphasize Captain Kangaroo.

Continue reading

79th Anniversary of the “Miracle of Dunkirk”

79 years ago, the Allied forces were hanging on in Europe by their fingernails on a stretch of beach near the border of France and Belgium. The blitzkrieg (Lightning War) that devastated Poland the previous September was staging a repeat performance in northern Europe all that May. During the years since the end of World War I, the military and political leaders of France pinned their defensive plans on huge, extended series of tunnels on their eastern border known as the Maginot Line. The Germans built a parallel fortress on the German side of the border that they called the Siegfried Line. The French were so convinced that the Germans would only attack on this border in this place that the heavy artillery was mounted in the cement facing Germany.

May of 1940 put an end to the French thoughts of security. On the 12th, Hitler ordered Germany’s military to commence Case Yellow, the invasion of the Netherlands, Belgium, and France. Panzer tanks, fighter aircraft, and motorcycle squads flanked the Maginot Line and raced through flat, neutral Belgium headed for the coast.

Continue reading

2019 Library on the Go Experiments

The Library on the Go initiative was established during the summer of 2014 to enable Bellevue University staff and faculty members to check out library materials without visiting the library. One Friday a month, a library team takes 60 – 80 items and two iPads to the upper lobby of the ESB over the lunch hour. Staff and faculty members are invited to check out any of these items in that location. They are introduced to different genres (mysteries, fantasy, adventure, banned books, romances, etc.) in different formats (audio books, DVDs, books, kindles). New arrivals, best sellers, and award winners are offered each month.

During the summer of 2018, a Library on the Go committee was formed to reconsider and possibly update the procedures for LOTG. The committee decided to experiment with offering the monthly session at different locations and trying a different time.

Continue reading

Research your PERSONAL story

Research your PERSONAL story

The second Sunday in March (this year March 9) is Genealogy Day. Genealogy is the term used to describe the quest to discover facts about our ancestors. Some people know more about their family history; some less. Some are very interested in the tidbits that are gathered on numerous generations over the years, and some are perfectly content to know nothing about extended family beyond their grandparents. Some family stories are ingrained in an individual whether they know it or not, because they have been repeated for years by older relatives. Some individuals know very little about their extended family. The starting point for any family research is to accept that EVERYONE has a story.

Continue reading

The Legacies of Almanzo and Laura Ingalls Wilder

From the time I was in elementary school, one of my favorite authors has always been Laura Ingalls Wilder. She was the second of four daughters of a pioneer family that traveled from Wisconsin to Kansas to Minnesota to South Dakota in the 1870s and 1880s. The Ingalls family experienced the hardships of blizzards, crop failures, prairie fires, and severe illness before Laura was 21, but they also had the blessings of a loving family, good neighbors, steadfast friends, and a profound faith in God. When she was a Missouri farm wife in her sixties, Laura wrote some fictionalized memories of her growing-up years in what are now known as the “Little House” books.

Continue reading

First Winter Olympics – 1924

95 years ago, for the first time in the modern era what is now known as the Winter Olympics opened in Chamonix, France. Chamonix is in the French Alps, near Mont Blanc and the borders of Switzerland and Italy. In the last week of January,1924, the event was known as International Sports Week.  Some of the 18 events for amateur competitors were; speed skating, figure skating, ice hockey, cross-country/Nordic skiing, ski jump, the luge, bobsledding, and a combination of skiing and shooting known as the biathlon. A total of 258 athletes…

 

Continue reading