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 1964, Augusta Read Thomas was born. Thomas is a composer of orchestral, choral, and chamber music, best known for her choral and vocal pieces. She is a strong advocate for the performance and recording of contemporary music. Thomas says that writing for voice is her "first passion." A Portrait of Augusta Read Thomas offers a sampling of her work, including a saxophone concerto and a variety of choral and chamber pieces; it's available for streaming or download at Freegal.|
|On this day in 1981, MTV made its debut with the music video "Video Killed the Radio Star" by The Buggles. The network would become enormously influential; radio stations across the country were flooded with requests for songs that their listeners had seen on MTV, and the ad campaign "I Want My MTV" became iconic in the early 1980s. The network's early years were also marked by controversy over the relatively small number of black artists whose music was played. Four of the original MTV hosts tell the story of the network's early years in VJ, which is available as an e-book at OverDrive, or in print.|
|And the 42nd Backgammon World Championship begins today in Monte Carlo. Backgammon is among the world's oldest games, with only minor changes to the rules since the fifth century; precursors to the game have been found as early as 3000 BCE. The game was an unexpected fad in the United States in the mid-1960s, which helped lead to the creation of a world championship tournament. The rules are not complex, and the game is a mixture of skill and luck. Brian Byfield's book allows you to Learn Backgammon in 10 Minutes; it's available as an e-book at OverDrive.|