Welcome to ON THIS DAY! Each day, we'll look at a few moments from history and popular culture. We'll show you where you can rediscover classic movies and music, or read more about great moments in history. We'll point you to e-books, downloadable and streamable music and film, and e-audio; and of course, we haven't forgotten about physical books or DVDs.
|On this day in 1883, the Brooklyn Bridge was opened. Construction had taken fourteen years, and it had been a difficult and dangerous project. The bridge's designer, John Augustus Roebling, died of a tetanus infection after being injured in the very early stages of construction. His son, Washington, took over the project, and was paralyzed after a severe case of decompression sickness ("the bends") from working underwater on the bridge's support towers. Washington Roebling supervised most of the construction from his apartment, assisted by his wife, Emily, who delivered messages to and from the construction site; Emily Roebling was the first person to cross the bridge when it opened. The Ken Burns documentaryBrooklyn Bridge is available for streaming at Hoopla.|
|On this day in 1928, William Trevor was born. Trevor was a novelist and short-story writer. His characters are often unhappy or alone, but his stories are kept from being oppressively gloomy by Trevor's dry wit and humor. His novels often feature multiple protagonists, who (in some cases) tell one story from different points of view, or (in others) spin off from a common starting point to tell different stories on a common theme. A dozen of Trevor's stories are collected in A Bit on the Side, available as an e-book or e-audio at OverDrive.|
|And on this day in 1937, Archie Shepp was born. Shepp's first recordings were as part of Cecil Taylor's band, but he quickly began recording with his own ensembles. By the mid-1960s, Shepp's music was becoming strongly Afro-centric, working with African percussion and rhythms. That influence has never disappeared entirely from his music, but over his 50-year career, Shepp has also explored traditional blues, spirituals, R&B, and jazz standards.Several of Shepp's albums are available for streaming or download at Freegal.|