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Happy Polish American Heritage Month!

Tue, 10/15/2013 - 7:04pm



Celebrate Polish American Heritage Month (ongoing throughout October) at the AADL! This annual event was first started in 1981 and celebrates Polish history, culture and pride, as well as the many achievements of Polish Americans. Whether or not you have Polish heritage, participating in Polish American Heritage Month is fun and easy. Listen to [:catalog/record/1263200|traditional Polish fiddle music] by the Karol Stoch Band and try your hand at some Polish [:|recipes]. Kids may enjoy hearing ancient Polish [:catalog/record/1083307|fables and folktales] read aloud to them, too.

The library also has many books written in Polish in our World section, as well as books and CDs to help you learn and master the Polish language, whether you are an interested beginner or an out-of-practice native speaker. Try [:catalog/record/1376840|Colloquial Polish: the complete course for beginners], or [:catalog/record/1358603|Mastering Polish with 2 audio CDs], which also comes with a Polish-English dictionary.

For information about Polish history in Michigan, read about the first Polish people to settle in Detroit in [:catalog/record/1352614|Detroit’s Polenia], by Cecile Wendt Jensen. You can also learn about the contributions Polish people have made to Michigan culture and about the attraction that many Polish people feel to our state in [:catalog/record/1190108|Poles in Michigan], by Dennis Badaczewski.

Happy Polish American Heritage Month, and Miłego dnia!

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Blog Post

The State Theater ~ State of the Art Movie House

Sat, 09/14/2013 - 10:52am


The opening of a new movie theater is always a big news item but it was especially noteworthy for the [|State Theater]. The State opened in the midst of World War II when Ann Arbor and Washtenaw County were focused on their role of building [|bombers] and [|equipment] for the United States military. The building of the theater was announced in [|November, 1940] with a planned opening date of August 1941. When the theater finally opened in March, 1942, the Ann Arbor News devoted an [|entire section] of the March 17th issue to the gala event.

The section included articles on the [|Butterfield Company] and its founder, [|W. S. Butterfield.] The News reported on the [|modern equipment], the [|modern design], the [|modern screen], even the [|cooling system]. The building of the State involved [|35 companies], including many local firms. To make way for the theater, [|six businesses] were removed. Butterfield moved [|Majestic Theater] manager [|Larry Mull] and his [|staff] to the State.

[|Local businesses] took out dispaly ads welcoming the State, and the PR machine of the movie studios went into high gear sending [|telegrams] from stars like Clark Gable, Norma Shearer and Mickey Rooney congratulating the State. The opening movie was [|The Fleet's In] starring Dorothy Lamour and William Holden. The News even reached back into their archives to recount the famous [|student riot of 1908] at the Star Theater.

Grace Shackman's Then & Now article on the [|Whitney Theater] fills in the local theater scene. Old News had published articles on many of Ann Arbor's [|theaters].

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The Gardens of Ann Arbor - A Walk Through the History of the Ann Arbor Garden Club

Tue, 09/10/2013 - 10:08am


For more than 80 years the [|Ann Arbor Garden Club] has been beautifying the public and private lands of Ann Arbor. Old News is launching a new [|Feature] on the history of the AAGC this Wednesday, Septemeber 11, at 7:00 p.m. at the [|Pittsfield Branch Library]. Grace Shackman's article highlights the Garden Club's commitment to their original mission, to assist the citizens of Ann Arbor to grow a beautiful city through [|education], [|outreach], [|community service] and [|public events]. The Feature includes hundreds of articles and photos from the archives of the Ann Arbor News.

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Blog Post

The Battle On Broadway Hill: When The Soap Box Derby Came To Ann Arbor

Sun, 08/18/2013 - 3:06pm


In 1936 the Ann Arbor Daily News and Chevrolet brought the [|Soap Box Derby] to Ann Arbor, promoting the race with [|page one stories], plenty of [|pictures] of local boys and [|display ads] meant to entice every boy in the county to enter the Derby. [|Officials] were appointed, the [|rules explained] and the "long, smooth and straight" [|Broadway Hill] named as the site of the race. The [|lead-up] to the race gave News photographers plenty of display space for their [|pictures] of local hopefuls [|building] and [|testing] their cars. More than [|6,000 fans] watched [|John Mayfield] win the inaugural Battle on Broadway Hill. In 1937, the [|page one story] promoting the Soap Box Derby was bigger, the [|coverage more extensive] and the [|prizes] offered by local merchants really cool. The Chief of Police talked [|crowd control] as race day on Broadway Hill approached. [|Controversy] over his residency did not stop Merlin Hahn from [|winning] the 1937 crown. Although there was plenty of interest by [|young girls in the race], the [|Soap Box Derby] did not allow girls to compete until 1971. Enjoy the articles and pictures and, if you can, help us solve the [|mystery]: who is [|Babs?]

Update! Turns out "Babs" is the name of the car piloted by 1938 Soap Box Derby winner Lynn Smith and he named the winning car after his sister, [|Babs Smith.] In an interview granted to the News after his victory, [|Lynn tells all.]

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You Call This Hot, Sonny?

Wed, 07/17/2013 - 8:39pm


On Wednesday, July 8, 1936, the temperature in Ann Arbor [|reached 100 degrees]. [|Thursday] no relief was in sight so the kids took [|to the water]. By [|Friday] area residents were being felled by the high temperatures. On [|Saturday, July 11,] the weatherman forecast a break in the weather, but he was wrong. The [|next day] temperatures again reached 100. On [|Tuesday] the weatherman again forecast a break in the weather and [|Wednesday, July 15,] relief finally arrived. The two consecutive days of 100+ degrees set a record for Ann Arbor. The high temperature record, however, had been set in July, 1934, 105.2 degrees.

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Blog Post

AADL Talks To Herb David

Mon, 07/15/2013 - 7:50pm


On April 12, 1962, the Herb David Guitar Studio opened in a basement on South State and one of the great success stories in Ann Arbor and the music business began. AADL talked to [|Herb David] shortly after the closing of his landmark studio on East Liberty, almost 51 years to the day the studio opened. Herb's influence extends beyond the [|students he taught to love music], the musicians who bought his [|handmade instruments], the local bands he [|nurtured and promoted], to the top musicians that visited his studio to talk "shop" and discovered David's [|wide range of interests] in philosophy, cultures and travel. Herb's genuine concern for his community and the power of music to transform lives as well as his great sense of humor shine through in this podcast.

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AADL_Talks_To-Herb_David.mp3 18.4 MB

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Tonight: Townie Trivia Night at LIVE: Show Off Your Weird Ann Arbor Knowledge!

Mon, 06/03/2013 - 8:17pm

[img_assist|nid=226251|title=UFO Sketch|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=100|height=78]Thursday, June 13 | 7-9pm | [|Live, 102 S. 1st Street] | Adult

Think you're an expert on all things Ann Arbor? Love trivia, but looking for something that hits a little closer to home than general pop-culture quiz nights? [|Join us at Live], just a few blocks from the library, for our own version of a pub quiz!

Whether you're a history buff or just think you're hot stuff at searching, AADL's Townie Trivia is your chance to show off your deep local knowledge, learn tidbits about the wild and weird parts of A2's past (complete with photos from our Old News archives), and perhaps enjoy a frosty beverage, while leaving the other trivia buffs in the dust.

The set-up for [|Townie Trivia] is a little different than you might be used to at other trivia events. While some pub quizes make you leave your smartphone at the door, we'll actually be providing each team with a dedicated iPad for research and scoring.

Use a combination of old-timer knowledge and tech savvy to show the other teams who's boss. Show up with an already-formed group of 4-5 members, or go solo -- either is OK. Although the event is intended for adults, all ages are welcome, so if you have a sharp teen who's a potential team member, bring them along!

At the end of the night, we'll have prizes for the winning and runner-up teams!

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AADL Talks to Rhonda Gilpin

Wed, 05/15/2013 - 4:23pm


One of Ann Arbor’s Heritage Businesses, [|The Caravan Shop] has been an anchor in the historic [|Nickels Arcade] for over 80 years. Opened in 1927 by [|Frank] and [|Jean Karpp], it is known for its eclectic merchandize with an international flavor.

Recently, its current owner [|Rhonda Gilpin] talked with us about the history of the shop, how she came to own it and her goal of keeping it a family business. She talked about the pleasures and challenges of doing business in a college town. Rhonda is also the owner of [|Arcadian Antiques and Collectibles] located in the Nickels Arcade. She credits the "Think Local" initiative and the nice mix of new businesses for the improved retail climate in Ann Arbor.

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AADL_Talks_To-Rhonda_Gilpin.mp3 9.7 MB

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Blog Post

Hill Auditorium ~ One Hundred Years of History

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


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


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