Welcome to ON THIS DAY! Each day, we'll look at a few moments from history and popular culture. We'll show you where you can rediscover classic movies and music, or read more about great moments in history. We'll point you to e-books, downloadable and streamable music and film, and e-audio; and of course, we haven't forgotten about physical books or DVDs.
|On this day in 1925, Johnny Horton was born. Horton was a mildly successful country singer of the mid-1950s who had a sudden flurry of crossover success in 1959 and 1960 with a series of ballads about historical moments -- "The Battle of New Orleans," "Sink the Bismarck," and "North to Alaska." Sadly, Horton did not have the chance to capitalize on that success; he was killed in a car crash in November 1960. Some of Horton's albums are available for streaming or download at Freegal.|
|On this day in 1938, Larry Niven was born. Niven is a science fiction writer; most of his novels can be classified as hard SF, based on the rigorous working out of scientific theories. His 1970 novel Ringworld won both the Hugo and Nebula Awards for best novel of the year. The Draco Tavern is a collection of short stories in a lighter mood, set at a bar where multiple alien species (and humans) come to drink and relax; it's available as an e-book or e-audio at OverDrive, or in print.|
|And on this day in 1954, Jane Campion was born. Campion is a director from New Zealand; she is one of only four female directors to receive an Academy Award nomination, and her 1993 film The Piano is the only film by a female director to win the top prize at the Cannes Film Festival. Campion's most recent project has been the television series Top of the Lake; the show's second season is expected later this year. Her 1990 film An Angel at My Table, based on the autobiographies of New Zealand author Janet Frame, is available for streaming at Kanopy.|