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Hill Auditorium ~ One Hundred Years of History

Wed, 05/08/2013 - 9:32am by oldnews

On June 25, 1913, Hill Auditorium was officially opened to the University and the community with the mission to bring the world to Ann Arbor. Grace Shackman's Old News feature tells the story of Hill and the thousands of performers, speakers, events and controversies that have made Albert Kahn's gorgeous building so central to Ann Arbor's history. Old News has published hundreds of Ann Arbor News articles and photographs that chronicle the history-makers, the premiere performers, the celebrations and the one-of-a-kind.

In collaboration with the University Musical Society, the complete UMS Concert Program Archives have been digitized. The program notes offer some of the best music criticism written. In keeping with a long-held Town & Gown tradition, UMS will celebrate Hill's 100th with a big Community Sing of Verdi's Requiem on May 14th, one hundred years to the day that they did the Requium in 1913. Come, sing and be a part of the continuing history of Hill Auditorium.

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AADL Talks to Cynthia Shevel

Mon, 04/29/2013 - 2:15pm by oldnews

In this episode AADL talks to Cynthia Shevel, owner of Middle Earth Gift Shop on South University. Middle Earth came on the scene in 1967 as the first “head shop” in Ann Arbor. The store began as a one-room, 2nd-floor walk-up on Liberty Street. The motto of Middle Earth is “harming only the humorless.” Long-time TreeTowners will remember the great ads Middle Earth ran in The Sun, our contribution to the underground newspaper movement. We talked to Cynthia about the move to South U and the changes over time to the merchandise, the customers and the crew at Middle Earth.

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AADL_Talks_To-Cynthia_Shevel.mp3 12.7 MB

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AADL Talks to Joe O’Neal

Mon, 04/29/2013 - 2:04pm by oldnews

AADL sat down with Joe O'Neal, president of O'Neal Construction who, along with Bill Martin, established the Argus Museum. Joe related how the purchase of the Argus buildings from the University of Michigan in the early 1980s led to the acquisition of cameras, photographic equipment, memorabilia and company publications of the Argus Camera Company. Many of the ideas and leads for the museum collection came from the pages of the Argus Eyes.

Joe's many stories include names familiar to Argus employees and collectors including Milt Campbell, Art Dersham, Don Wallis, Sammy Ross and Tony Vicaro.

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AADL_Talks_To-Joe_Oneal.mp3 10.9 MB

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Ann Arbor Open School Family Stories

Thu, 04/25/2013 - 12:19pm by dubaym

Mike Derhammer's class at Ann Arbor Open spent the winter interviewing family members and thinking about funny and interesting stories from their own lives. Along the way they discovered that storytelling is so much a part of who we are. Sometimes it's fun and enlightening to just stop and listen to each other's tales. We hope you enjoy listening to these stories as much as we did!

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openstories2013.mp3 28.55 MB
Cory 0:00
Aliza 1:52
Loey 3:47
Allison 6:19
Teo 9:06
Devon 12:27
Bao 13:27
Gabi 14:56
Carmen 16:03
Eva 17:14
Ethan 19:22
Jalen 22:17
Serena 24:34
Isa 27:17
Elena 27:47
Mira 28:45
Emma 30:34
Linus 31:15
Covey 34:53
Charles 35:51
Robert 38:05
Xavier 39:41
Kali 44:52
Max 46:09
Tenzin 48:08
Nur 54:35
Sam 58:03

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Argus Camera - The Story Behind the Stories

Wed, 04/24/2013 - 10:32am by Debbie G.

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

Tue, 04/23/2013 - 9:58am by Debbie G.

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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Frederick 'Bud' Stein Dies in Ann Arbor

Fri, 03/29/2013 - 2:46pm by theshhlady

Local Ann Arbor Kiwanis Club and U-M Alumni Association member Frederick "Bud" Stein died Wednesday at age 91 in his Ann Arbor home. He is remembered for his constant community involvement. He grew up in Ann Arbor and graduated from Ann Arbor High School in 1939. He served in the U.S. Navy during World War II, coming back to attend the University of Michigan. He graduated in 1944 with a degree in economics.

He lead the charge for tree-lined widened sidewalks on both sides of the street for downtown Ann Arbor in 1965. That same year, he made a presentation to the National Civic League that won Ann Arbor's first award as an "All American City". He was very involved with the combined YMCA/YWCA.

You can read more about Bud Stein's life and public service works in the website.

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Elizabeth R. Dean Day

Sun, 03/24/2013 - 12:35pm by oldnews

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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Walter N. Koelz

Fri, 03/22/2013 - 9:42am by muffy

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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Ann Arbor Resident's Story of Survival

Sun, 03/03/2013 - 10:54am by theshhlady

A current resident of Ann Arbor has a story to tell about her remarkable survival during a period of tremendous upheaval and bloodshed a lifetime ago and an ocean away. Miriam Garvil's autobiography I Have To Survive: Miriam Garvil's Story is the culmination of twenty years' worth of work. Ninety-two year old Garvil, who resides in an assisted living facility in Ann Arbor, began writing with the encouragement of social worker Ruth Campbell, who continued to assist Garvil's work even after retiring herself.

"I Have To Survive" reveals the author's past growing up in Poland before the outbreak of the Second World War, and recounts her memories of the concentration camps Auschwitz and Bergen-Belsen. She lost her mother, father and sister in the camps, and recalls her promise to her father: "If you don't survive, I will survive for you".

You can find more information on Miriam Garvil and her story in this month's issue of the Ann Arbor Observer.