Great moments in history and popular culture happen every day, and ON THIS DAY will share a few of them with you. We’ll also point you to related resources in our collection, helping you to discover classic films, musical favorites, and historical tidbits. The primary focus will be on our e-material – e-books, e-audio, and downloadable and streamable music and film – but physical books and DVDs will also be part of the fun.
|On this day in 1913, Red Skelton was born. Skelton was a comedian and actor whose career began at the age of ten, as part of a traveling medicine show. He progressed through burlesque and vaudeville, and began hosting his own radio program in 1941. He was also successful in movies in the 1940s, usually playing second bananas in comedies and musicals, but preferred radio and was eager to work in television. In 1951, as soon as his movie contract allowed, Skelton began hosting his own TV show, which lasted for 20 years and was in the top ten for almost the entire run. He was a gifted physical comedian and mime, a singer and a dancer, and a skilled performer of comic character. Christmas Classics collects some of the best sketches from The Red Skelton Show; it's available for streaming at Hoopla.|
On this day in 1921, John Glenn was born. Glenn was a fighter pilot in World War II and the Korean War, before joining NASA in 1959. In 1962, he became the first American to orbit Earth. He would later represent Ohio as a United States Senator for 24 years. Late in his tenure as a Senator, Glenn became the oldest person (he was 77) to travel into space, flying on a space shuttle mission as part of a joint research program of NASA and the National Institute of Aging. Glenn's memoir, John Glenn, is available as an e-book at OverDrive, or in print.
|And on this day in 1941, Martha Reeves was born. Reeves was the lead singer of Martha and the Vandellas, a Motown group who scored major hits in the mid-1960s with "Heatwave," "Dancing in the Streets," and "Nowhere to Run." The group disbanded in 1972, and Reeves continued to perform as a solo act. She served as a member of the Detroit City Council from 2005 to 2009, after which she returned to performing, both solo and with a new version of The Vandellas. Martha and the Vandellas' greatest hits can be heard on 50th Anniversary: The Singles Collection 1962-1972, which is available for streaming at Hoopla.|