On This Day: May 11 | Los Angeles Public Library
Print this page

On This Day: May 11

Keith Chaffee, Librarian, Collection Development,
On This Day logo

In the mood for a good movie? Some toe-tapping music? A thrilling book? ON THIS DAY will lead you to new possibilities every day, tied to interesting moments from history and popular culture. Whether it’s streamable and downloadable music and film, e-books and e-audio, or physical books and DVDs, we hope you’ll find something to enjoy as you pick up a few bits of history each day.

Martha Graham On this day in 1894, Martha Graham was born. Graham was among the most influential dancers and choreographers of the 20th century. She was the first dancer invited to perform at the White House, and the Martha Graham Dance Company is the oldest dance company in the United States. Graham choreographed almost 100 ballets between 1926 and 1990, often collaborating with major composers. She rarely allowed her dances to be recorded, believing that dance should be experienced in live performance, but recordings of two Graham ballets (Appalachian Spring, to music by Aaron Copland; and Night Journey, to music by William Schuman) are included in Martha Graham: Dance on Film, available for streaming at Kanopy.
Eric Shanes: The Life and Masterworks of Salvador Dali On this day in 1904, Salvador Dali was born. Dali was a surrealist artist, best known for his paintings, but he dabbled in a wide variety of arts. He designed buildings, fashion, and theater sets; collaborated on film projects with Buñuel, Hitchcock, and Disney; worked in sculpture and photography; and wrote a novel. In the latter part of his life, he became known as an eccentric celebrity, wearing long capes, brandishing a walking stick, and often carrying an exotic pet -- an ocelot or an anteater, for instance. Dali's life and paintings are the subject of Eric Shanes' The Life and Masterworks of Salvador Dali, available as an e-book at Kanopy.
William Faulkner: Go Down, Moses And on this day in 1942, William Faulkner's Go Down, Moses was first published. The book is made up of seven short stories from the long life of Isaac McCaslin; like most of Faulkner's fiction, it's set in the fictional Yoknapatawpha County, Mississippi. Even though there is no single storyline connecting the stories (other than the life of the central character), Faulkner considered Go Down, Moses to be a novel rather than a collection of stories. Go Down, Moses is available in print.