#TBT: Charlie Parker’s First Recording


For today's Throwback Thursday, let's remember jazz musician Charlie Parker (1920-1955), who first recorded 75 years ago on April 30, 1941. Charlie Parker was a legendary Grammy-winning jazz alto and tenor saxophonist who, with Dizzy Gillespie, created the musical style called bop or bebop. Celebrate the musical talent of Charlie Parker with these library materials. Archives Charles Walton Papers are an […]

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Chicago Classics: The Oz Books

Long before Lemony Snicket, Captain Underpants, Dr. Seuss, Henry Huggins, Ramona or Pippi Longstocking, there was Oz. Scraps, The Patchwork Girl of Oz, became a movie star before Raggedy Ann was even a twinkle in her parents’ eyes. In 1900, L. Frank Baum, while living on Chicago’s Humboldt Boulevard, published the The Wonderful Wizard of […]

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Poetry and the Heritage Press Archives

Heritage Press Archives, box 2.

Poetry should treat, Of lofty things, Soaring thoughts, And birds with wings.—Langston Hughes April is National Poetry Month. Let's celebrate by taking a look at the history of an important publishing company, Heritage Press. Heritage Press, founded by Paul Breman and operated out of London from 1962 to 1975, was one of the most important publishers of black […]

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Celebrate Shakespeare 400 Chicago Day

As You Like It

April 23, 2016 has been proclaimed by Mayor Emanuel as Shakespeare 400 Chicago Day. This day celebrates both the birth and death anniversaries of the playwright, and encourages all Chicagoans to enjoy his lasting influence. Happily, Mother Nature seems to be celebrating too. With warmer weather and daffodils in bloom, has Chicago's typical winter of discontent finally made way for […]

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Biggest Bean of All!

Cloud Gate assembly complete

Did you know that April 22 is National Jelly Bean Day? As you consider this, hopefully with a handful of jelly beans, did you know that Chicago has the biggest "bean" in the world? Just don't try to eat it! Cloud Gate, lovingly known to Chicagoans as "the Bean," is Anish Kapoor's iconic sculpture located in […]

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Vivian G. Harsh: Librarian of the Chicago Black Renaissance

Harsh at desk

In January 1932, the George Cleveland Hall Branch of Chicago Public Library opened at 48th Street and Michigan Avenue in Chicago’s Bronzeville neighborhood, during an era that would later come to be known as the Chicago Black Renaissance. The previous summer, the Chicago Defender newspaper announced that a Miss Vivian G. Harsh, with 20 years of service “and considered […]

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Quiz: How Well Do You Know The Third Coast?


Throughout the 2015-2016 season of One Book, One Chicago, we've been exploring The Third Coast by Thomas Dyja. As the season draws to a close at the end of April, test your knowledge of this season's book with our quiz! Test your expertise with our quiz by Tuesday, May 3, and you'll enter a drawing for a grand […]

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AME Church Celebrates 200 Years of Spiritual and Social Salvation


This month, the African Methodist Episcopal Church celebrates its 200th anniversary. The church has a long history of social activism and spiritual edification. Many AME churches served as stations on the Underground Railroad, helping to usher fugitive slaves to freedom in places like Michigan or Canada. One such station was Chicago’s own Quinn Chapel AME Church. […]

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