On This Day: March 20 | Los Angeles Public Library
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On This Day: March 20

Keith Chaffee, Librarian, Collection Development,
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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.

Ovid: Metamorphoses On this day in 43 BCE, Ovid was born. Ovid was a Roman poet whose love poetry was enormously popular, and often imitated, during late antiquity and the Middle Ages. At the age of 50, Ovid was exiled by Emperor Augustus to the remote city of Tomis (in what is now Romania); scholars continue to debate the cause of this exile. Ovid wrote only that he was exiled for "carmen et error" -- "a poem and a mistake." Ovid's Metamorphoses is a collection of poetic retellings of dozens of tales from Greek and Roman mythology; it is available as an e-book or e-audio at OverDrive, or in print.
Henrik Ibsen: A Doll House On this day in 1828, Henrik Ibsen was born. Ibsen was a playwright and poet whose plays include Peer Gynt, Hedda Gabler, and The Wild Duck. He is the world's second most frequently performed playwright (after Shakespeare), and his works have had influence in unexpected places; An Enemy of the People, about a doctor who is ignored when he warns that the town water is contaminated, was one of the inspirations for Jaws. Ibsen's A Doll's House tells the story of a woman trapped by the norms of 19th-century marriage; Calista Flockhart and Tim DeKay star in the L.A. Theatre Works production, available as an e-audio as Hoopla.
Sister Rosetta Tharpe And on this day in 1915, Sister Rosetta Tharpe was born. Tharpe was a gospel singer and guitarist whose recordings of the 1930s and 1940s brought to gospel a high-energy, rhythmic musical style that was a precursor to rock and roll. Some took offense, calling her music too secular, but she was a hugely successful recording artist, and an important influence on (among others) Johnny Cash, Little Richard, and Chuck Berry. A variety of Tharpe's music is available for streaming at Hoopla.