News and Reviews
Fri, 02/24/2017 - 6:18pm by amy
In 1951, President Harry S. Truman created the Federal Civil Defense Administration (FCDA). This was the Homeland Security Department of its day and it churned out films, brochures, and other propaganda materials purporting to protect Americans from nuclear bombs (as well as other fallout from the Cold War) in the name of national security.
From the 1950s through the 1970s, Americans turned away from the more practical civilian endeavors of the WWII era such as scrap collecting and bond drives to build fallout shelters and stockpile supplies or engage in atomic air raid and other civil defense drills. They even staged mock disasters.
In retrospect, some of this emergency preparedness seems a bit silly, but at least it gave Americans something to do in a time of international uncertainty - and Ann Arbor was no exception. Here is the Ann Arbor News’ “Civil Defense” photo negative collection for your viewing pleasure.
Wed, 02/08/2017 - 11:12am by amy
Next year will mark the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Our Own Thing organization here in Ann Arbor. With Black History Month upon us, now is a great time to acknowledge the work of this incredible group started in 1968 by Dr. Willis C. Patterson, Singer A. "Bucky" Buchanan, Jon Lockard, and Vera Embree. Countless African-American students in the area have benefited from the cultural arts instruction provided by Our Own Thing, as well as their scholarship program which has sent numerous young artists and musicians to Interlochen Arts Academy. Watch the interview of Dr. Patterson from the AACHM (African American Cultural & Historical Museum) Living Oral History Project for a deeper look into the organization and the amazing man behind the scene.
Fri, 01/27/2017 - 9:01am by christopherporter
History is a mystery, even when you have direct access to media coverage of an event.
The first Ann Arbor Folk Festival was held June 13, 1976, headlined by John Prine and Leon Redbone. The show was hosted by the Power Center and, as always, it was to benefit The Ark, which was just 11 years old at that point and still in its original location, a house at 1421 Hill St.
Doug Fulton’s June 14, 1976, Ann Arbor News review of that first fest really only covers the early part of the evening -- newspaper print deadlines, you know -- and Prine and Redbone are mentioned with no commentary.
But Fulton did write a sentence that would reappear -- in slightly altered forms -- through much of The Ark’s existence: “The occasion was a benefit for the Ark, one of the few remaining 'coffee-houses' in the country still specializing in folk music of all kinds, and lately in financial trouble.”
In fact, The Ark could have just changed its name to Financial Trouble since the venue was constantly in jeopardy through the mid-'80s until this 1986 article declared otherwise: "The Ark No Longer Needs The Festival To Stay Afloat".
Since that first festival, and two moves later, The Ark is one of the most respected and well-oiled folk- and roots-music concert venues in the country, though the nonprofit still counts on the Ann Arbor Folk Festival for part of its operating revenue. This year’s edition, held January 27 and 28 at Hill Auditorium, has one of the festival’s biggest lineups yet, featuring headliners Kacey Musgraves and Jenny Lewis on Friday and the Indigo Girls, Margo Price, and Kiefer Sutherland (yes, him) on Saturday. (If you're somehow still undecided about going, The Ark has also compiled playlists for night one and night two of the fest.
But if the festival started in 1976, why is this weekend’s celebration its 40th, instead of the 42nd?
According to The Ark’s website, which lists lineups from every year of the festival, the event didn’t happen in 1977 or 1978. It came back in 1979 and has continued ever since. In 1982 the fest moved from the Power Center to the Michigan Theater and then in 1985 found its annual home at Hill Auditorium (save for one return to the Michigan in 2003).
The Ann Arbor News covered the festival every year -- we imagine. The library acquired the News’ archives in January 2010 and has been working on organizing and digitizing it, with updates at oldnews.aadl.org.
Since there are many moving and missing parts to the News’ archive, we couldn’t find Folk Fest articles and photos from every year. But we did find a hodge-podge of images that might jog your memories, plus a few YouTube clips from recent years. If you want to check out the what we've archived so far from the News' Folk Fest coverage at Old News, click here. Plus, you can check The Ark's own history of the Folk Fest here.
Jay Ungar and David Bromberg were there from the start.
OK, this news report is not about the Folk Fest, but it does show the state of The Ark at the time.
Twins Sandor and Laszlo Slomovits perform as Gemini.
Percy "Mr. Bones" Danforth gets loose with his rhythm sticks.
The MC for this year was mime O.J. Anderson. We'll leave you to your nightmares now.
David Bromberg has performed at the Folk Fest 10 times.
Pretty sure Steve Goodman just saw a mime.
Arlo Guthrie made a surprise appearance at the 1985 Folk Fest, but he returned as the scheduled headliner this year.
A clipping from The Ann Arbor News.
Michigan bluegrass legends The RFD Boys twanged the night away.
Storyteller Jackie Torrence lets loose one of her captivating tales.
John Prine helped launch the Folk Fest in 1976 and returned to headline 13 years later.
It's entirely possible that this Riders in the Sky member created beautiful music with his lasso.
Even at 71-years-old, guitar pioneer Chet Akins brought the house down with his fierce fingerstyle playing.
Laura Love signing posters backstage.
Michael Hedges in rehearsal before the show.
A clipping from The Ann Arbor News.
Carrie Newcomer smiles at the folk(s).
A moody moment backstage with The Raisin Pickers.
An animated Anne Hills entertains Hill Auditorium.
We swear that's Eric Bibb under the hat.
David Grisman and Doc Watson rehearse before the gig -- as if these masters needed to do that.
Christopher Porter is a Library Technician and editor of Pulp.
The 40th Ann Arbor Folk Festival happens Friday, January 27, and Saturday, January 28, at Hill Auditorium. For the full lineups, times, tickets, and more information visit theark.org.
Tue, 01/17/2017 - 6:03am by eli
Due to Inclement weather, all AADL Locations will delay opening until Noon today. Thanks for your patience and stay safe!
Wed, 12/07/2016 - 2:17pm by oldnews
Today we remember and honor the U. S. citizens who were killed in the Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbor in Hawaii on December 7, 1941. Here in Ann Arbor, a strange piece of Pearl Harbor history was paraded through our streets in the summer of 1943. Give a listen to the Ann Arbor Stories Podcast, The Suicide Sub Comes to Ann Arbor for the quirky details, and take a look at the newspaper's coverage of the Japanese Suicide Submarine Tour.
Wed, 11/16/2016 - 1:19pm by TimG
The Ann Arbor District Library has again been awarded the highest ranking a library can achieve in Library Journal’s annual ratings systems of libraries nationwide, and was named a 5 Star library in LJ’s just-released Annual Index of Public Library Service.
AADL has been ranked a 5 Star library since the rating system began in 2008 and currently ranks fourth of ten 5 Star libraries within its operating expenditure category.
Four other Michigan libraries received star rankings this year. Richland Community Library was named a 5 Star library within its category, West Bloomfield Township Public Library received 4 stars, and Kalkaska County Library and Pentwater Township Library received 3 stars. Congratulations to our fellow Michigan libraries!
Mon, 11/07/2016 - 6:28pm by amy
80 years ago, on November 3, the News posted this "Electoral Thermometer" on the outside of its new building at 340 E. Huron St. Total electoral votes were then 531, with 266 needed to win. At this point in the day, candidates Franklin D. Roosevelt (Democrat) and Alf Landon (Republican) are neck and neck. The car parked at lower right with ladders sticking out the back is from the Ann Arbor Window Cleaning Co, which is presumably how they adjusted the "thermometer" as returns came in.
(You can click on the image to bring up a slightly bigger version, then click on the image once more and choose the "X" in the lower right-hand corner to enlarge it further.)
Mon, 10/24/2016 - 2:06pm by oldnews
Tom Hayden in Chicago, 1971, by Leni Sinclair
Activist, lawmaker, author, and politician Tom Hayden died yesterday at 76. Hayden took the hard route towards politics with his involvement with the University of Michigan's Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) and helped write one of the most significant 20th century political manifestos: the Port Huron Statement. His participation in the disruption of the 1968 Democratic convention as one of the fabled "Chicago Seven" made him an international celebrity. Visits to Hanoi during the Vietnam War brought attention to the conflict in ways that were unpredictable at that time, and his marriage to Jane Fonda gave him a celebrity-status he never quite lived down.
Right or wrong, Hayden proved that one voice can make a difference in American politics. Conventionally unsuccessful, he nonetheless served as a model for democratic political participation in ways that more orthodox politicians would never have dared to attempt.
Watch AADL's 2014 video "A Call to Battle Against the Climate Crisis", Hayden's discussion on how Michigan and the Great Lakes region can move the U.S. towards the protections of a clean energy economy.
Wed, 10/05/2016 - 7:49am by oldnews
On November 3, 1964, the voters of Ann Arbor came to the polls to vote for President of the United States . . . and they came and they came. When the City Clerk finished counting, a new voter turnout record was set at 29,409. The Ann Arbor News tallies for Washtenaw County showed a 16,000 vote advantage for President Johnson over Barry Goldwater, a trend that was mirrored nationwide. Ann Arbor and the County also set a record for ticket-splitting, handing Governor Romney a sizable victory over Ann Arbor's Neil Staebler.
In the lead-up to the election, the News published a voter education guide, What You Should Know To Make Your Vote Count In 1964. The Guide featured profiles of the federal candidates and statewide candidates for Governor, Lt. Governor, Secretary of State and Attorney General. You'll see some very familiar names on the page. Included were civics lesson on Courts in Michigan, local elections and general elections. The 1964 election stood out for another reason: for the first time voters would elect the Governor and Lt. Governor as a team from the same political party. There was only one statewide ballot proposal and the question will be very familiar to voters in 2016.
Fast forwarding to 2016, the Michigan League of Women Voters has produced a non-partisan Voter Guide that is available at all AADL branches. The Ann Arbor League of Women Voters has been conducting local candidate forums that are available from the CTN Video On Demand page as well being rerun throughout the election cycle on Channel 19.
The Ann Arbor City Clerk has a web site with all the info you'll need to vote. The last day to register to vote is Tuesday, October 11, 2016. If you're not sure if you're registered or your voter information is up-to-date, check it out on the SOS Michigan Vote site. If you'd like to vote absentee, you can print off the Application for Absentee Ballot directly or stop by one of AADL's branches and we'll be happy to print it out for you.
Mon, 09/26/2016 - 7:44am by oldnews
On February 12, 1960, Lela Duff launched a column in the Ann Arbor News called Ann Arbor Yesterdays that became so popular with readers that it ran for 75 weeks covering every aspect of local history in Ann Arbor and Washtenaw County. Ms. Duff was well known to thousands of Ann Arbor High School students but after 34 years of teaching English she retired and began her "second career" as a local historian.
Ann Arbor Yesterdays began, fittingly, with a discussion of the history of the naming of Ann Arbor. Her research was impeccable, using every available University, City, County and private archive and collection to tell the story of our development. Although historic buildings where a continual topic of the columns, Ms. Duff gave readers a rich tableau that included the immigrants who settled the area, theaterand civic organizations, music and recreation. The story of Lower Town and Downtown, the University and the names that made them possible. Ms. Duff devoted five columns to the early churches of Ann Arbor, from First Presbyterian to St. Thomas.
There were humorous columns on crime and youthful shenanigans. Two of the most heartfelt columns were a remembrance of Armistice Day, 1918 and Albert Warnhoff who made sure Christmas came to all children. Ms. Duff bid Ann Arbor News readers goodbye in July, 1961 and was immediately honored for her columns by the Historical Society of Michigan. And by October the columns became one of the most popular and enduring local history books in Ann Arbor. You'll want to check out a copy of Ann Arbor Yesterdaysfrom AADL to see the added illustrations and photos that bring to life the buildings and people from her columns. Ms. Duff continued to fight the good fight for historic preservation throughout her life. The "Grand Lady" of local history died in 1983 but her legacy lives on in her columns, her books and her commitment to our past.
Thu, 09/22/2016 - 7:50pm by oldnews
On March 8, 1935, the frozen body of seven-year-old Richard Streicher Jr. was found under a bridge in Island Park in Ypsilanti by another youngster, Buck Holt. The brutal murder remains unsolved to this day. Local law enforcement quickly developed a profile of the killer and the lurid headlines of follow-up articles left nothing to conjecture on the part of readers. The Mayor of Ypsilanti went so far as to warn parents to keep their children indoors with a "maniac" on the loose. Richard's parents and relatives were brought in for questioning and the Michigan State Police were called in by Governor Fitzgerald to assist in the investigation.
Lead after lead went dry, suspects were interrogated and released, and new clues failed to develop. In August, Circuit Court Judge George W. Sample took the unusual step of convening a one-man grand jury to air all the evidence thus far to put an end to the "intense feeling and suspicion within the community" regarding the investigation. The grand jury stretched to three weeks as local law enforcement officials were grilled and reluctant witnesses held in contempt but in November, 1937, proceedings were indefinitely suspended. Leads in 1938 and 1939 proved fruitless as well.
Although Ann Arbor News coverage of the Streicher case all but ended in 1939, interest in the case continued in the county. A 2007 article in Ypsilanti Gleanings asked readers for any information they might have on the case.
Tue, 09/13/2016 - 1:07pm by amy
We recently stumbled upon an envelope of Ann Arbor News photo negatives from September 1940 titled “Radical Demonstration on Behalf of Dismissed Student Reinhardt," which eventually led to information on the student in question (including the correct spelling of the name): Hugo Reichard. It turns out that Reichard, along with several writers for the student-run Michigan Daily and members of the campus left-leaning American Student Union (ASU) had been ousted by U-M President Alexander G. Ruthven for “radical” and “fifth-column" activities following an April peace rally on campus - a decision that caused considerable controversy among faculty and students that year.
In November, two months after the photographs were taken, an “open hearing” on behalf of the dismissed students, sponsored by the Michigan Civil Rights Federation and the Michigan Committee for Academic Freedom, took place off campus in Ann Arbor’s Island Park. Roughly 500 people - including students, faculty, and family members - attended, where lawyers and members of the UAW-CIO excoriated Ruthven’s decision as a violation of the students' civil rights. The Ann Arbor News briefly covered the event in two articles, “Protest meeting is held at park” and “Father upsets ouster trial,” and further weighed in with an editorial on the hearing organizers' brazen use of "Marxist techniques."
Meanwhile, Ruthven defended his position in a speech in Chicago, where he advised administrative officers and professors of colleges and universities to "rid themselves of the notion that romanticism, sentimentalism, and indiscriminate tolerance are essential constituents of democracy." And on Friday, November 16, several former Michigan Daily writers, now leading newspapermen around the country, voiced their opinions on the matter during the Daily’s 50th anniversary dinner held at the Michigan Union.
With World War II raging in Europe and the United States not yet committed, these were indeed interesting times. For more on this controversial moment in U-M's history, read the 2015 article "The Doves of 1940" in Michigan Today by James Tobin.
Tue, 09/06/2016 - 2:24pm by oldnews
Crusading district attorney, governor of New York and two-time Republican nominee for president Thomas E. Dewey was a 1923 graduate of the University of Michigan with a soft spot in his heart for his alma mater. In July 1947, Dewey came with his wife Frances Hutt Dewey, and their two sons, Tom Jr. and John, to visit the campus and town. It was the year before his second run the presidency in 1948. Dewey suggested that the trip was to show his school to his 14-year-old Tom Jr., "a prospective student." He and his family met with UM President Alexander Ruthven, received a tour of the campus, including the Student Union, the office of the Michigan Daily and marveled at the growth of the school and town since he was an undergraduate.
At Michigan, Dewey was active on campus. He was editor of the Michigan Daily and performed in the campus choir. A photo from 1921 shows Dewey dressed as leprechaun for campus production of "Top of the Mornin'". He gave up a career in music for the law, attending Columbia University Law School. In 1956, Dewey returned again to UM campus to attend a meeting of Ann Arbor Republicans, meet with campus Young Republicans and promote the campaign of incumbent GOP President Dwight Eisenhower. Dewey was the first UM graduate to run for president of the United States. He was nominated in 1944 to run against incumbent President Franklin D. Roosevelt and in 1948 to run against incumbent Harry Truman. In 1958 the UM Board of Regents gave Dewey an award for Outstanding Achievement. Dewey was a native of Owosso, Mich.
Tue, 09/06/2016 - 9:54am by oldnews
Old News has unearthed some photos from Jimmy Hoffa's triumphant return to Michigan following his election as President of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters in October, 1957. Over a thousand Michigan Teamsters lined up to welcome 'Jimmy' back home.
Willow Run Airport was awash in cars and semis. An honor guard preceded Hoffa onto the stage where he delighted the crowd with his homecoming speech. The Teamsters presented Jimmy with a Native American headdress to symbolize his new leadership role.
Hoffa had delivered a fiery speech at the convention decrying the McClellan Committee investigation and anti-labor legislation pending in Congress. Mr. Hoffa disappeared on July 30, 1975 three years after his tenure as President of the Teamsters ended.
Tue, 08/30/2016 - 8:43am by oldnews
On Friday, August 26, 2016, world champion triathlete Karen McKeachie was killed in a collision with a car on Dexter-Chelsea Rd. Ms. McKeachie won hundreds of events in cross country, road races and triathlons and was inducted into the USA Triathlon Hall of Fame in 2014. She tried to join the cross country team at Dexter High School but was told only boys could compete for the school. Undeterred, she turned to even longer races and in 1977 set her sights on the Boston Marathon. By the 1980s she was focusing on triathlons like the Ironman, traveling the world in competition.
Over the years she won numerous Dexter-Ann Arbor runs and Great Lakes Triathlons at Half Moon Lake. McKeachie never stopped training, competing in elite and Master Division events. In 2000 she was honored as the USATriathlon Amateur Triathlete of the Year. Karen McKeachie was also a mentor and inspiration to many local athletes and will be missed sorely by all her knew her.
Mon, 08/29/2016 - 5:02pm by TimG
All Library locations will be closed on Monday, September 5.
Regular Library hours will resume on Tuesday, September 6.
Thu, 08/11/2016 - 12:47pm by oldnews
On August 18, 1948, the Freedom Train pulled into Ann Arbor at Ferry Field. This traveling museum of the most important documents in American history gave people a rare opportunity to view and learn about America's founding documents, historic events and guiding principles. Washtenaw County decided to celebrate the exhibit in a very big way with a week of parades and events leading up to the train's arrival.
There was a Veteran's Parade, a Children's Parade, a Community Organization's Parade, a Voter Registration Day, parties and speeches throughout the County. The Ann Arbor News covered the events extensively and put out a special Freedom Train edition. Old News has published the photos the Ann Arbor News photographers took -- not just the few that made it into the paper. There were floats galore, bands aplenty, excited kids, a sea of bikes, long lines at Ferry Field and in the Exhibit.
An interesting part of the special edition were the ads by local merchants tailored to the exhibit. Each ad highlighted an important freedom like trial by jury and unlawful search and seizure, or a civic duty like voting and volunteering. The focus of many of the ads and speeches were those running for office, exhorting them to be fully educated to our Constitution, Bill of Rights and civil liberties. 1948 was a Presidential Election year and the Freedom Train's travels throughout the 48 states surely had an impact on candidates and voters.
Fri, 07/29/2016 - 8:55am by TimG
AADL and the Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority (TheRide) are partnering this summer for a fun, new addition to this year’s summer game!
Every Friday in August, AADL cardholders can ride any of TheRide’s local fixed-route buses for free. The only item you need to take out of your wallet is your AADL Library card.
Show the driver your card and ride for free!
While you ride, look for the summer game code sign inside the bus and win 1,000 points to trade in for great Summer Game Shop prizes. It’s easy – there’s only one code to find, repeated on every single bus. When you see it, text the code to 4AADL (42235) or visit play.aadl.org to enter the code and get 1,000 points.
TheRide and AADL have created even more ways to get summer game points:
• Find the code featured on the outside of several buses for 500 points.
• Find the codes at bus stops nearest to any AADL location for 500 points.
• Codes are also hidden on TheRide’s website - TheRide.org.
Find all the codes to earn the Ride Master Badge and a 500 point bonus!
It’s a great way to end the summer – ride TheRide for free, and get points to trade in for excellent prizes at the Summer Game Shop. For more information about TheRide’s buses and schedules, visit TheRide.org
New to the AADL summer game? Last year, there were 5,476 active summer game players who were awarded 85,850 badges and selected 7,227 prizes. Will you be a player this year?
Visit play.aadl.org or text NEW PLAYER to 4AADL (42235) to get started.
Mon, 07/11/2016 - 1:15pm by oldnews
The Performance Network, formerly an Ann Arbor professional theater group, enters Old News in 1982 with the article “Their corner of the world’s a stage”. “Our immediate aim is to be studio or work space,” explained David Bernstein, one of Performance Network’s co-founders. For the first two years, Performance Network was a place for directors, playwrights, actors and stage crew to develop their professional skills. A unique feature was the “Works-in-Progress” series, stage readings of plays followed by a discussion with the playwright. Among them was Rachelle Urist, a reporter for the Ann Arbor News, who had her play, "Just Friends,” stage read and later developed into a full production. Opening their doors was the play, "We Won’t Pay, We Won’t Pay,” which heralded the era of Performance Network. Stay tuned for additional articles, photographs, programs, and more, from Performance Network's long history.
Thu, 06/30/2016 - 9:26am by oldnews
Independence Day, the Fourth of July, or July 4th, however you wish to refer to the nation’s official founding day, it is the one and only big summer holiday. It rings in the country’s separation from the British Empire (a sort of Brexit of our own), and, for some, the start of summer. With BBQ’s, picnics, fairs, parades, and fireworks, fireworks, fireworks being sold and shot off all around town, now is a great time to look back on our own history of Fourths’ gone by. There's no better place to see some great pictures as well as articles from the historic Ann Arbor News than the library’s very own Oldnews site. If you remember a guy who dressed up as a clown nurse or another who brought a skunk to the parade, you can see them on Oldnews.
Wonder what fireworks were available back in 1961? See them on display here. Remember the Buhr Park fireworks? Relive a moment in time from one of those events in 1963 or read the article about it. And of course there are plenty of parades. You can see the Ypsilanti High School's Girls Drum & Bugle Corps or the Boy Scouts, Troop 88 float in different Ypsilanti parades. But by far the favorite is the Greenbriar Subdivision kid’s parade. But if enjoying the beach is more your speed, Groome's Beach circa 1963 may give you ideas for celebrating the Fourth in a more relaxed manner.
Any way you celebrate, enjoy a safe and happy holiday!
Wed, 06/15/2016 - 2:22pm by TimG
In a ceremony this morning in the Downtown Library Lobby, AADL accepted a generous donation of two Universal Gaming Carts with adaptive game controllers. The carts provide people with disabilities a way of inclusion into the gaming world, using gaming equipment designed to make it easier for people with movement challenges to play regular commercial videogames. Funding was made possible from Mott Golf Classic in partnership with Mott Family Network.
The mobile gaming carts were assembled as an extension of the Mott Family Network’s Pediatric Gaming Project at Mott Children’s Hospital and named “Universal” rather than “Adaptive” Gaming Carts to make clear their inclusive approach. Mott Family Network envisions people with disabilities using these carts to play alongside non-disabled peers in healthy competitions and they will be used at future AADL tournaments.
The carts were donated in the names of Jamie Mayo (Senior Rehabilitation Engineer in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the U-M Hospital) and Dr. Ann Orr (Special Education Professor in the College of Education at Eastern Michigan University), in honor of their time and dedication provided to families and patients with assistive technology needs.
Mott Family Network is a non-profit, all volunteer organization funded by the Mott Golf Classic providing assistive technology to the U-M’s C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital and its patients. Mott Family Network is in partnership with EMU and U-M. Through donations from Mott Golf Classic, student interns from both universities provide support for MFN initiatives.
AADL is greatly appreciative of this donation and looks forward to welcoming a broader audience into the Library's regular gaming events.
Mott Family Network Intern Jared Long contributed to this press release.
Fri, 06/10/2016 - 5:46pm by oldnews
If you were in Ann Arbor between 1929 and 1962, you had the opportunity to visit the University of Michigan Zoo. On October 11, 1929, an article in the Michigan Daily said the zoo would open “in about three weeks” and would boast a weather vane by famed UM sculptor Carleton Angell. A December 11, 1929 Michigan Daily article reports animals moved in "last week". The tiny zoo enclosure was constructed behind the Alexander G. Ruthven Museums Building, what most of us think of as U of M's Natural History Museum. (The giant pumas that guard the front doors of the Natural History Museum were sculpted by Carleton Angell too!)
Inside today's museum is a memorial to the zoo which explains "...In 1929, a University of Michigan alumnus anonymously offered a collection of live native Michigan animals. It was the donor's hope that the animals could be enjoyed by children staying in the hospital then located across the street. A circular animal house and pond known as the "Museum Zoological Park" were constructed behind the Museums Building." Old news articles and photos show zoo residents like badgers, a bobcat, red foxes, skunks, otters, raccoons, several pairs of black bears throughout the years, and a wolverine named Biff. At some point a "reptile pit" was added, which included snakes and turtles.
In 1938, elaborate plans surfaced for a forty acre zoological garden to be located near the University of Michigan hospital. A WPA grant was "expected to provide the finances" for a wildlife utopia, where animals of the tiny U of M Zoo would be turned loose to live with no cages. The location of this dream zoo, which never came to fruition, seems to be the edge of what is now Nichols Arboretum.
Despite the popularity of the U of M Zoo, it was torn down in 1962 to make room for an addition to the Ruthven Museums Building. A few Ann Arbor City Council members, as well as many Ann Arbor townspeople, appealed to the University Board of Regents to save and/or relocate the beloved 30something year old zoo, but eventually the animals were relocated and the zoo became a memory. By today's zoological standards, the animals of Ann Arbor lived in fairly terrible, tiny, cramped quarters. The "Animal House", as it came to be called, never grew to be a wildlife utopia, but certainly provided countless Ann Arbor children and their families the opportunity to appreciate Michigan wildlife up close.
Sun, 05/29/2016 - 2:58pm by oldnews
Who doesn’t love a parade? And Memorial Day certainly is full of them. Ann Arbor is no exception either. Whether it is the Ann Arbor High Marching Band or Brownie Scouts or just groups of kids watching the parade, we have gathered some wonderful articles and photos. In addition to parades there are other commemorations for this holiday and for Armed Forces Day as celebrated in Ann Arbor. You can find them all here.
Wed, 05/25/2016 - 9:54am by TimG
All Library locations will be closed on Memorial Day Monday, May 30.
Regular Library hours will resume on Tuesday May 31.
Wed, 04/27/2016 - 6:46pm by eapearce
Visitors to the Downtown Library in recent months might have noticed that the fairy door area was “under construction.” Just this week we installed a BRAND NEW fairy door and fairy door fans of all ages will definitely want to come check it out! Located in the same spot as the old fairy door, in the Downtown Youth Department, this new door is super special. You can peek inside to see an adorable scene with a tiny desk, fairy-sized chairs and pillows and little books. There’s even a cute hanging plant—in a thimble, of course! And, this fairy door has a special light that allows you to really see the details that make it so special. Each time you look inside, you’ll notice things that you hadn’t before—like how the walls are papered with dozens of images from old books. The new fairy door is really a treat—come see for yourself!
Mon, 04/11/2016 - 10:07am by oldnews
This week marks the 60th anniversary of the opening of the 'New' Ann Arbor High School in April 1956. Old News has published the photos and articles that tell the story from students campaigning for new digs in February, 1953 to the first commencement in June, 1956. Voters had barely passed the bond when the earth movers starting clearing the old Stadium Hills Golf Course to make way for the new high school. There are great shots of the construction and the various buildings that make up the complex. A cornerstone ceremony was held in December, 1954, led by the AAHS Marching Band. By May, 1955, the building was ready for a Student Council inspection and in November, 1995, the School Board sponsored a public tour that brought a real crowd to the site.
Moving-in started in earnest in February, 1956. On March 30th an army of student volunteers turned out to help AAHS staff to fight the mud and get the school ready for opening day, April 9, 1956. Students filled the halls, tested the equipment, hit the books and had some fun at the not-quite-finished school. Check out the lunch room. While the new school filled up, 'Old' Ann Arbor High School at State & Huron emptied out and silent hallways awaited remodeling by the University of Michigan as the Frieze Building.
The official public tour of the new high school was held on April 15, 1956 and thousands turned out. Guests were welcomed at the door, toured a sleek new lobby, and attended a formal dedication. You can view the original Dedication Program on Old News.
On June 14, 1956, the first Commencement was held at the new high school, featuring both an 1891 graduate and an engagement. Many of the photos we've published on Old News never appeared in the Ann Arbor News so be on the lookout for townies you know.
Wed, 04/06/2016 - 11:05am by antdevee
With its easy to use functions this scanner is great for scanning large amounts of photos in minutes. Insert 4x6, 5x8 or 8x10 prints into the auto feeder and the scanner will do the rest. And anything larger can be scanned by hand; just detach the scanner from the docking station and you're instantly mobile!
Other features include color or monochromatic scan selection, 300/600/1050/1200 DPI scan quality selection and a color display to playback the scanned images. So instead of spending countless hours using a flatbed scanner for your next project use this one instead!
Mon, 04/04/2016 - 3:12pm by muskrat
To celebrate National Poetry Month, AADL has joined with the Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority for poetry on the bus!
In the spirit of the 2006 Poetry Bus and following in the footsteps of Vancouver's Poetry Moves and the Poetry Society of America's Poetry in Motion campaigns, AADL and AAATA have introduced two placards in each AATA bus with excerpts from great poems by John Keats, Li Po, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Claude McKay and others.
See if you can read them all! There are 8 placards and they will be up all month
Then head over to the library to check out more poetry!