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 1838, John Wanamaker was born. Wanamaker was a Philadelphia shopkeeper whose first store eventually grew into one of America's first department stores. Wanamaker introduced a variety of innovations to his business; he invented the price tag, he was the first to have a restaurant inside his store, and (a real novelty at the time) he offered a money-back guarantee on all sales. Wanamaker's moved into a new building in 1910, where entertainment was provided by an enormous pipe organ, which has been expanded several times and is now the world's largest organ. Michael J. Lisicky tells the story of Wanamaker and his innovations in Wanamaker's, which is available as an e-book at Hoopla.|
|On this day in 1912, Sergiu Celibidache was born. Celibidache was an orchestral conductor whose career included time as the principal director of orchestras in Munich and Berlin. He was noted for demanding unusually long rehearsal periods before concerts, and his tempos were frequently significantly faster or slower than those of most conductors. Many of his concerts were recorded, but Celibidache was relatively uninterested in the process, believing that any recording could only be an imperfect record of the performance, as it could not capture the ambience or the mood in the hall. A selection of Celibidache's recordings is available for streaming at Hoopla.|
|And on this day in 1967, Jhumpa Lahiri was born. Lahiri is the author of two novels, two collections of short stories, and a non-fiction book about her struggle to learn Italian. Her fiction generally deals with Indian immigrants attempting to find their place in a new country, and with the conflicts between them and their American-born children. In Lahiri's first novel, The Namesake, a young man with the unusual name Gogol finds that his name seems to pose challenges in both the American and the Indian cultures. The Namesake is available as an e-book or e-audio at OverDrive, in print, or as an audiobook; Kal Penn stars in the 2007 film adaptation, available on DVD.|