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 1920, Ray Harryhausen was born. Harryhausen was a pioneer of stop-motion animation whose 30-year career was enormously influential on later generations of science fiction and fantasy filmmakers. To create his stop-motion sequences, Harryhausen worked with directors to carefully plan and choreograph the scenes into which his animated characters would be placed. Jason and the Argonauts is generally considered his masterpiece; it features a battle scene involving three actors and seven animated skeletons. The documentary Ray Harryhausen: The Master of Animation is available for streaming at Kanopy.|
|On this day in 1953, Colin Hay was born. Hay was the lead singer of the Australian band Men at Work, who released three albums in the early 1980s; their hits included "Overkill," "Who Can It Be Now," and "Down Under." Since the breakup of the band in 1986, Hay has released more than a dozen solo albums and taken occasional small acting roles. The biggest Men at Work hits are collected in The Essential Men at Work, available for streaming or download at Freegal.|
|And on this day in 1956, Dwight Eisenhower signed the bill creating the Interstate Highway System. It was estimated that it would take twelve years to build the highways; it took thirty-five. The originally planned set of highways was completed in 1992; there have been expansions since then, and there are now almost 48,000 miles of highways in the Interstate system. Further expansions are officially planned, though local opposition often delays their construction. In Interstate 69, Matt Dellinger looks at the complex history of one (still incomplete) highway meant to run from the Mexican border in Texas to the Canadian border in Michigan. Interstate 69 is available as an e-audio at OverDrive.|