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AADL Productions Podcast: Lola Jones and Carol Gibson

Thu, 06/04/2020 - 1:03pm

Lola Jones and Carol Gibson are well-known to anyone familiar with Ann Arbor history. Over the past 30 years they have sought out and documented the history of the African American experience in Ann Arbor through a series of projects under the moniker Another Ann Arbor; it is largely through their work that the Ann Arbor African American story is a part of our shared community identity. Lola and Carol stopped by the library to talk with us one day about the work they have done over the years and where they are headed next. They shared with us some of the interesting people and events they have learned about and brought to the community in their television program, their documentaries, and their book. You can now watch one of their documentaries online at aadl.org in our video collection. A Woman's Town was produced in 1991 and tells the story of Ann Arbor through the voices of prominent African American women.

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Stars Rising: Why U-M's Detroit Observatory Matters and Where It's Going

Tue, 01/07/2020 - 8:49am

Why is an observatory in Ann Arbor named for Detroit? What made the Detroit Observatory a milestone for the University of Michigan and American higher education? How was the Observatory central to the growth of American astronomical science, when did it lose that role, and how did it get it back? And who were some of the people who made it all happen? Gary Krenz of the University’s Bentley Historical Library will explore these and other questions in this talk. In its 165-year history, the Observatory has gone through many transformations, and it is currently going through another—the construction of an addition to improve access, education, and programming. Krenz will also look at what that project entails and what lies ahead.

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Desserts by Decade: The Dirty 30s with Keegan Rodgers and Patti Smith

Tue, 12/17/2019 - 8:40am

Join us for the latest installment in a new series on the history of desserts by decade.  This month, we will discuss the 1930s!

The decade began with people driving custom convertible Packards and sneaking sips of "giggle juice" (hopefully not at the same time!) and ended with Hoovervilles and Apple Annies drinking "dog soup". People might not have had a lot of dough but they still could make, well, dough! Get the lowdown on some keen recipes from the 1930s with Lakehouse owner/baker Keegan Rodgers and hear about national and local history from historian/writer Patti Smith. Learn how to make a treat from the era while enjoying stories about happenings at the local and national scene. It's the bee's knees!

This event was in partnership with The Lakehouse Bakery

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AADL Talks to Larry E. Wright

Thu, 12/12/2019 - 12:52pm

In this episode, Larry E. Wright, longtime photographer for the Ann Arbor News, talks about being mentored by chief photographer Cecil Lockard, life at a daily newspaper, and how sometimes a photographer's most valuable piece of equipment is his personality.

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Author Event | Paul Vachon Discusses "Detroit: An Illustrated Timeline"

Thu, 09/05/2019 - 12:27pm

Let’s take a walk—a long walk, back over three centuries. At the dawn of the eighteenth century Detroit was established as simply an outpost for the French to take advantage of the fur trade while keeping the British at bay. The new book Detroit: An Illustrated Timeline, by Paul Vachon, points out many of the seminal events and noteworthy turning points of Detroit’s long journey, some little known: the city’s fall to the British during the War of 1812, the existence of slavery in Detroit as late as the 1820's, and Mayor Hazen Pingree’s aggressive advocacy for the everyday citizen against corporate interests. Chapters devoted to the twentieth century highlight Detroit’s underappreciated architectural heritage, the development of its notable cultural institutions, as well as the exploits of assorted scoundrels, such as the Black Legion, the Purple Gang, Harry Bennett and Father Charles Coughlin.

Martin Bandyke hosts author Paul Vachon as he discusses and shows images from Detroit: An Illustrated Timeline.

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Author Event | Vanishing Ann Arbor

Tue, 08/27/2019 - 9:00am

What restaurant did Car & Driver magazine rank as one of the best places for ribs?
When did we finally get a professional fire department? 
What was special about the downtown Denny's franchise?
Which longtime business got a Centennial Award even though it wasn't quite 100 years old? 
And who exactly was the man whose name is still inscribed at Fourth Avenue and Ann Streets?!

Join Vanishing Ann Arbor authors Patti Smith and Britain Woodman as they take you on a tour of our city’s past, from Bach & Abel’s dry goods store to Aunt Agatha’s bookstore. Learn about the history of public schools in Ann Arbor beginning with the log cabin built at the corner of Main and Ann Streets, through the ward schools, and to Ann Arbor High. Find out how folks passed time in the 1880s, from ice skating to bowling to socials. Trace the history of bookstores from Wahr’s and Sheehan’s to Common Language and the Wooden Spoon. Walk the streets with school principal Mary Clark, philanthropist Elizabeth Dean, and publisher Alvin Chase.

Come along to reminisce about the places you remember—Maude’s, Fiegel’s, Drake’s—and learn about the places you don’t.

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AACHM Oral History: Walter Blackwell

Sun, 07/21/2019 - 3:33pm

Walter Blackwell was born in 1930 in Petersburg, Virginia. He shares memories of growing up there as well as in Mount Vernon, New York before serving in the army during the Korean War. He worked for 30 years at the Ann Arbor VA hospital, where he enjoyed helping fellow veterans. After experiencing discrimination in housing and employment, Mr. Blackwell fought for civil rights in Ann Arbor as a member of the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) and mentored black children in his neighborhood.

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AACHM Oral History: Audrey Monagan

Sun, 07/21/2019 - 3:33pm

Audrey Monagan was born in Ann Arbor in 1941, and grew up in a close-knit, predominantly black neighborhood on North Fifth Ave. She remembers attending Bethel AME Church with her grandparents, spending time at the Dunbar Community Center, and helping raise her younger siblings. She attended Jones School and Pioneer High School before working for General Motors, where she was an inspector for eighteen years. Mrs. Monagan has been married to her second husband, Philip, for 48 years.