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Argus Camera - The Story Behind the Stories


Old News has obtained two promotional videos produced by Argus Camera around 1945 and 1953. [|Argus Eyes For Victory] recounts the "miracle of production" that earned Argus several E Awards for excellence in design and manufacture of [|World War II-related materiel] from the U.S. War Department. The video captures the post-war economic optimism while paying tribute to the soldiers, inventors and labor that became known as the Greatest Generation.

In [|Fine Cameras and How They Are Made], the Argus C-Four takes center stage. The narrator intones, "It takes three things to make a fine camera . . ." and with that the film launches into a highly technical and detailed description of every step in the camera-manufacturing process at Argus Cameras of Ann Arbor. Scenes of the scientists and craftsmen creating the Argus C-Four are interwoven with scenes of customers using the camera to take family photos and outdoor shots. Visit AADL's [|Argus Camera online exhibit] and take a walk over to the [|Argus Museum] for even more Argus history.

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Black English Case: Language in the Courts


In the late '70s, Ann Arbor gained national attention for what became known as the [|Black English Case].

It started in July, 1977, when the [|Student Advocacy Center] filed a lawsuit in federal court on behalf of 11 children at King Elementary school, [|charging] the Ann Arbor Public Schools with failing to meet the needs of the children and misidentifying them as handicapped. The scope of the case was quickly narrowed and an [|accord] seemed within reach. Six months later, the AAPS reading plan was [|rejected] by the plaintiffs and the AAPS [|rejected] a counter-proposal. The stage was set for a [|trial] that would be defined by a term, "Black English" and what, ultimately that term means.

King Elementary [|students] and [|teachers] testfied and an array of experts in [|linguistics] and [|education] were called to testify. In early July the defense team for the AAPS [|rested] without calling witnesses and the case was in the [|hands] of [|Judge Charles W. Joiner.] Judge Joiner issued his [|decision] in mid-July, ordering the AAPS to develop a program to assist student who spoke "Black English." Controversy followed as the school board voted to [|appeal], then [|dropped] the appeal. Eventually a curriculum plan was [|developed], then [|amended], and [|criticized].

In September, 1979, King Elementary teachers began [|training] in a [|national spotlight]. A year later AAPS [|reported] to Judge Joiner that the program had been beneficial to students and teachers. The Black English case has remained a topic of [|debate] and [|discussion] in Ann Arbor and beyond.

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Blog Post

Elizabeth R. Dean Day


On March 24, 1981, [|Ann Arbor City Council] declared April 7th being Elizabeth R. Dean Day in memory of the woman who left her estate of nearly $2 million upon her death to the City for the care of her [|trees].

[|Elizabeth Russell Dean] was born in Ann Arbor on Christmas Eve,1884 to [|Sedgwick] and [|Elizabeth Strong Dean]. Sedgwick and his brother [|Henry S.] operated [|Dean & Co.] on Main Street since 1861. Miss Dean died on April 7th, 1964 at the age of 79.

Next time you stroll down Main Street and admire the lovely trees along the [|Elizabeth R. Dean Promenade], know that the [|Elizabeth R. Dean Fund] is still at work keeping our trees healthy and bringing beauty and shade to "[|The City of Trees]".

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Blog Post

Walter N. Koelz


Currently on view at the [|University of Michigan Museum of Art] is a collection of [|Buddhist Thangkas and Treasures] from the Walter N. Koelz Collection, an exhibition in conjunction with the U-M [|Museum of Anthropology]. Because of the fragile nature of these devotional objects, they are rarely exhibited. The show closes on June 9th, 2013.

The awarding-winning docents at UMMA were curious about [|Dr. Koezl] and asked Old News to dig up the Ann Arbor News clippings on this local legend and his incredible collection, amassed through years of travel, with a shrewd collector's eye.

A retired U-M professor of Ecology, Koelz "never drove a car, never slept in a bed, never wed and rarely wore shoes even in winter". He left his estate valued at $1.6 million to the [|Nature Conservancy] in his will. Besides his treasures, he is remembered for the collection of exotic flora and fauna donated to the University, brought back from his travels.

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Guide to Old News for Low Vision Users


There are a variety of [|features] in the Ann Arbor District Library [|Old News] that can be of use to users with low-vision.

Large Article Images and Photos

Articles in Old News are scanned at high resolution and are served up that way on the site. Simply click on any article image or photo you see in Old News to bring it up in its own window. Selecting the expansion button below the article image will blow it up to its full size--often as much as twice as large as it appeared originally in print!

OCR Text

Many of the articles in Old News appear with Optical Character Recognition text that is readable by screen readers. Look below the article image and look for the "View Uncorrected Scanned Text" section. AADL staff and patrons are working to correct the errors in this OCR and add OCR to articles from which it is missing.

PDF Copies of Historic Newspapers

Many of the newspapers in Old News have been digitized as full issues and are provided on Old News as issue PDFs in addition to being broken into separate articles. After selecting a newspaper from the [|Papers] page, just pick any issue you wish to see by clicking on its date. You'll see an option to "Download PDF" on each issue. These PDFs have large images of each page and text underneath for any screen reader to access.

AADL Local History Podcasts

Old News isn’t just for reading, it’s also for listening. Take a step back in time while listening to [|Old News Podcasts]. AADL talks to locals and “townies” on a variety of topics including Argus Camera, the turbulent 60’s, University of Michigan Sports, and heritage businesses such as Schlanderer & Sons and Vogel’s Lock & Safe, and more.

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Martha Rock Keller, Local Artist and Ambassador


Martha Rock Keller ([|obituary]), well-known local artist and educator died Wednesday, February 13, 2013. She was 86.

An alumnus and faculty at the University of Michigan and other local colleges, she is also a frequent contributor to the Ann Arbor News. She has served as a juror for the [|Ann Arbor Street Art Fair].

In 1985, her work was included among other American women artists in an exhibition at the United Nations Conference on Women in Nairobi (Kenya). In the summer of 1989, Martha Keller was selected to exhibit her paper fountains at Tubingen, one of the [|Ann Arbor Sister Cities], in the [|Ann Arbor-Tubingen Exchange Program] to promote international understanding.

The Old News team had digitized many of the Ann Arbor News articles on and by [|Martha Rock Keller].

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Inaugural Gowns - 1933


On March 4, 1933, the Ann Arbor News ran photos of [|Eleanor Roosevelt and Anna Roosevelt] in the gowns they would wear for the Inaugural Balls. The designer of the gowns was [|Sally Milgrim] and the light blue gown you see in the News photo of Mrs. Roosevelt was considered one of Mrs. Milgrim's triumphs. Later tonight we'll get the first glimpses of Mrs. Obama's [|Inaugural Ball] gown. [|Jason Wu] designed the 2009 Inaugural gown which is now part of the [|First Ladies] collection at the Smithsonian.

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Professor Shaun Jackson - Inventor and Mentor Dies at 63


As reported in the [|Michigan Daily], Prof. Shaun Jackson died Tuesday from burns suffered in a plane crash last weekend. We've digitized Ann Arbor News articles about [|Prof. Jackson], an award-winning designer and inventor who inspired generations of students at the [|University of Michigan School of Art and Design.]

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Frank Lloyd Wright's Legacy in Ann Arbor


[|Frank Lloyd Wright in Ann Arbor], a Then and Now article by local historian [|Grace Shackman] detailed history of the house, and the continued efforts of the architectural community to restore and conserve Ann Arbor's beloved Frank Lloyd Wright home - one he built for Bill and Mary Palmer, just because they asked, known locally as the [|Palmer House].

Though he never built another home in Ann Arbor, his legacy is woven into the fabric of the community. Many of the local architects, among them [|Alden Dow] and [|Lawrence R. Brink] were students of FLW, while others like [|George R. Brigham, Jr.] were known for designs inspired by FLW's philosophy.

This generation of architects in turn passed along the FLW influence to the next generation - well-known architects [|Robert Metcalf] was in fact, [|a protege] of George R. Brigham.

Read up on local [|architects] and browse through [|AADL's Architecture Archive] to discover more of Ann Arbor's architectural history.

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Powering Ann Arbor: The Huron River Dams


Ann Arbor may be known as "Tree Town" but it was the Huron River and it's potential for industry and commerce that brought settlers to the area. Grace Shackman's Then & Now article [|The Broadway Bridge Parks] provides a succinct history of dam-building on the Huron beginning with Anson Brown's in 1830. Old News has assembled [|articles on the dams] including the [|tragic tale] of a 1913 accident at Barton Dam and the [|lone survivor.]

Architect [|Gardner S. Williams] designed nine dams along the Huron River including Barton in 1912, Argo in 1913 and Geddes in 1919. The dams were on-again, off-again sources of [|hydroelectric power] for the city. Read Shackman's article on the old [|Municipal Beach] at Argo Park, the precursor to the great recreational facilities now available at [|Argo Park.]