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 1813, Richard Wagner was born. Wagner's best known compositions are his operas, for which he wrote both the libretto and the music. His music is known for its lush, complex harmonies and for the use of leitmotifs, musical phrases meant to represent particular characters, places, or ideas. Wagner held such a dominant position in the musical world that composers for decades were inclined to announce their position in support of or against his music. A selection of orchestral excerpts from Wagner's operas is available for streaming or download at Freegal.|
|On this day in 1844, Mary Cassatt was born. Cassatt was an American painter who spent much of her adult life in France, where she was strongly influenced by the Impressionist painters; she worked closely for many years with Edgar Degas. Cassatt's subjects were usually women, and many of her paintings are on the theme of mother and child. Natalia Brodskaya's Cassatt offers an overview of Cassatt's life and work; it's available as an e-book at OverDrive|
|And since 2001, this date has been observed by the United Nations as the International Day for Biological Diversity (it had been observed in December for several years before that). The day is meant to emphasize the importance of maintaining a wide range of animal and plant life in the planet's complex ecosystems. The documentary Seeds of Time follows an international group of scientists as they attempt to gather seeds from all of the world's agricultural planets, building a seed bank as a backup against the many diseases or infestations that can jeopardize a plant's survival. Seeds of Time is available for streaming at Hoopla.|