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 1835, Fred Harvey was born. Harvey was the creator of what is believed to be the first restaurant chain in the United States. First opened in the 1870s, Harvey Houses were restaurants, some with hotels attached, at the stops along the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railroad. Harvey Houses were staffed by "Harvey Girls," who lived in housing near the restaurant and were monitored closely (strict curfews, no male visitors without a chaperone). Several thousand young women moved west to work as Harvey Girls; at the chain's peak, there were 84 Harvey Houses in operation. Stephen Fried's Appetite for America tells the story of Harvey and his business; it's available as an e-book at OverDrive, or in print. For a lighter, fictional take on the story, Judy Garland stars in the 1945 musical The Harvey Girls, which is available on DVD.|
|On this day in 1906, Catherine Cookson was born. Cookson was the author of almost 100 novels, most of them historical romances. She was particularly popular in the United Kingdom, where she was the most borrowed author from public libraries for 17 years in a row. Cookson's 1969 novel The Glass Virgin is set in Victorian England, and tells the story of a young woman raised in wealth whose circumstances change for the worse on her 18th birthday; it's available as an e-book at OverDrive, or in print.|
|And on this day in 1941, Krzysztof Kieslowski was born. Kieslowski was a Polish director and screenwriter whose films explored moral issues. His cycle of ten short films, Dekalog, were set in a Warsaw apartment building, and each film was inspired by one of the Ten Commandments. Kieslowski's last three films, the Three Colors trilogy, are named for the colors of the French flag, and each is centered on one of the virtues of the French national motto -- liberty, equality, and fraternity. All three films -- Blue, White, and Red -- are available for streaming at Kanopy.|