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.
|On this day in 1865, William Butler Yeats was born. Yeats was one of the major poets of the early 20th century, and was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1923. His early work is often influenced by Irish folklore, and has a lush romantic tone; later, his poetry would be more terse and contemporary, filled with symbolic allusions. The Collected Poems of W. B. Yeats is available as an e-book at OverDrive, or in print.|
|On this day in 1918, Ben Johnson was born. Johnson's career in Hollywood began as a stunt man; he was particularly skilled at working with horses, having grown up on a ranch. By the late 1940s, he had begun playing small roles in John Ford's movies, and he would work steadily, most often in Westerns, for the next fifty years. (Johnson did take a year-long break from acting in 1953 to compete on the professional rodeo circuit; he won the year's world championship title in roping.) Johnson won the Academy Award for his role in 1970's The Last Picture Show, a role he had been reluctant to take because there was so much talking in it. Johnson stars as FBI agent Melvin Purvis in the gangster biopic Dillinger; it's available for streaming at Hoopla.|
And on this day in 1935, both Christo and Jeanne-Claude were born. The married artists were known for large-scale works of environmental art which were installed for only a few days before being removed. Their projects included a 24-mile long fence of white fabric running through northern California, the wrapping of eleven islands near Miami in floating pink fabric, and the wrapping of the Pont-Neuf bridge in Paris. For their 2005 work The Gates, Christo and Jeanne-Claude erected 7,500 orange gates along 23 miles of walkways in Central Park. The Gates is also the title of a documentary about the project, which is available for streaming at Kanopy.