Saturday, June 30, 2007

973.0992 American Presidents: Interesting Stuff the 2.0 Way

One of the first blogs I started following a few years ago was (and is) the American Presidents Blog. Just full of presidential facts, figures, and trivia...be still my ol' social studies heart! So much fun to read!

You can search thru the blog by president's name...first name alpha order There are also several key historical events (such as World Wars I & II or Cold War) and terms (such as First Ladies, impeachment, or Presidential Libraries) to use in searching for material.

A recent post described a 1500+ item donation of Lincoln memorabilia to the Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum by a private individual. In the collection, is one of Lincoln's top hats, the gloves he wore that fateful night to the theater, and some early handwriting including some math problems and poetry. Can't wait for the opportunity to see more online.

Also attached to the post was a newspaper announcement about the acquisition and what sadden me personally were all the negative reactions to the new collection. So many readers were not impressed or thought it was a useless and wasteful purchase. Yes, I know I'm a nut for stuff like this, but I still think not understanding the value of all these artifacts and "primary sources" of history is sad.

In another post that I found wandering around the blog is the earliest recording of a presidential voice...that of Benjamin Harrison in 1889. It is part of a collection of presidential speeches and recordings from the Vincent Voice Library at Michigan State University. The library has created an online gallery of some of these presidential recordings and are available for use in mp3 or realaudio formats.

[Personal note (please bear with me!): This piece of history is particularly interesting to me because Harrison served on the staff of my great-great-grandfather during the Civil War. I have a photograph of the two of them together and now I have heard the voice of someone who stood in the same room with my relative. A sort of of 6-degrees thing courtesy of the web, don't you think!]
It's these kinds of online resources that make me appreciate even more (if that is possible) the WWW and all the forward-thinking individuals who do what it takes to bring the information to me.

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