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29, January 2014

Local Authors Win Lifetime Achievement Award

The American Library Association announced this week that Patricia and Fredrick McKissack of Chesterfield have received the 2014 Coretta Scott King–Virginia Hamilton Lifetime Achievement Award. The annual award is presented in even years to an African American author and/or illustrator who has made a significant literary contribution in books for children and/or young adults. Read more »

24, January 2014

Beer Can Appreciation Day

It’s January 24, and surely you know what that means: Beer Can Appreciation Day! On this day in 1935, the first canned beer was sold by the Krueger Brewing Company. After initial resistance from the imbibing public, the market exploded—today half of beer sales are canned products. Read more »

19, January 2014

An Irish Perspective of Martin Luther King Jr. Day

This January 20th is Martin Luther King Jr. Day, a day to commemorate the life of the leader of the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s. Far across the Atlantic Ocean, in Ireland, King’s speeches and the events of the Civil Rights Movement in America were broadcast throughout the country. Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy goes far beyond the improvements he brought to the lives of African American people in the US; for example, his actions and his words were taken up by nationalist civil rights campaigners in Northern Ireland. Read more »

17, January 2014

Civil War Love Letters: January 17, 1864

Libby Prison
Richmond Va.
Jany 17th [1864]

Molly Dear Read more »

13, January 2014

Civil War Love Letters: January 13, 1864

Hotel De.'Libby
Richmond Va
Jany 13th [1864]

Molly Dear

I wrote on the usual day, but I afterwards suppressed the letter as I thought it w'd not go through, so outside of the fact that I am well & in good spirits I have no news to tell. I will write you as usual, but other correspondence will be small until this scarcity of items is done away with. I hope my dear girl you are well and enjoying yourself in St. Louis, and that all goes well with you and your friends. Read more »

10, January 2014

Civil War Love Letters: January 10, 1864

While James endured the monotony of life at Libby Prison, he realized that Union soldiers in other Confederate prisons in Richmond and the surrounding area suffered far greater hardships. In November 1863, only half of the over 6,000 prisoners at Belle Isle Prison, located on an island in the James River, had tents for shelter. The rest had to dig holes or pile on top of each other to stay warm during a brutally cold winter. At the same time, smallpox killed over 100 prisoners at Danville Prison, located 140 miles southwest of Richmond. Read more »

4, January 2014

Civil War Love Letters: January 4, 1864

Hotel DeLibby
Richmond Va
Jany 4th 1864

My Dear Molly Read more »

30, December 2013

Paradox in the Garden

To the furthest degree possible, they took charge of their lives. Among the tangible signs of black initiative and autonomy, the foremost spatial statements were the extensive vegetable gardens, sometimes as big as half an acre per person, in which [they] raised much of their own food.
—J. M. Vlach, 1993 Read more »

18, December 2013

Civil War Love Letters: December 18, 1863

Libby Prison
Richmond Va.
Decr. 18th 1863

My Dearest Mollie

For general news I must refer you to my note to Alex. I received yours of 29th Nov'r two days ago. I am in good health, and keep improving daily up to this time. I am so glad to hear good news from you, that I almost forget I am imprisoned. On comparison, I find I am no worse off now, than if I was in the field, so I take heart of grace and hope on as usual. Read more »

14, December 2013

Civil War Love Letters: December 14, 1863

Libby Prison Hospital
Richmond Va.
Dec'r 14th 1863

My Dear Girl Read more »