The Twelve Dates of Christmas by Jenny Bayliss | print / digital
I don’t know about everyone else, but I always watch the sameChristmas movies every year; Home Alone, The Santa Clause, Krampus (we all have our favorites!). But this year, with so much time spent at home, I’m finding new holiday favorites to throw into my yearly rotation. Even better, the following titles are available on Hoopla so you don’t even have to leave your couch to find some Christmas cheer!
Research for this article contributed by Scott King-Owen, Ph.D, Teacher, Bexley City Schools.
One month before the First World War ended a second wave of the deadly Spanish Influenza pandemic, initially spread in military encampments by troop movement, found its way into the civilian population of central Ohio. Like Covid-19, a century later, the absence of medicine for treatment or a vaccine for prevention necessitated avoiding crowds, through isolation or quarantine, to control spread of the respiratory virus.
By order of state health officials on October 11, 1918, all schools, colleges, churches, theatres, and places of public gathering in towns with populations of 3,000 or more were closed. Despite Bexley, only a decade old, having a population less than half of that requiring action, local officials followed suit with its more populous neighbor, Columbus.
Christ Lutheran Church suspended services for three weeks until the state allowed local officials to determine when to lift restrictions. Gathering for worship again required adequate ventilation, avoiding overcrowding, and those sick or with ill family members to stay home.
Drug stores including Stuckey Drug Store at the northeast corner of East Main Street and South Drexel Avenue, later renamed Wentz Drug Store, were permitted to remain open after 8:30 P. M. as long as they only sold drugs. All other retail businesses and restaurants were ordered to close early.
Closed just over a month, schools were permitted to open in mid November. However as cases increased and more students were absent most closed again by early December. The Bexley School Board elected to keep students out of the classroom until the new year.
At Capital University, young men uniformed and following military discipline had been housed at Loy Gymnasium, converted into barracks for the newly formed Student Army Training Corps. When the deadly influenza spread among their ranks the Bexley chapter of the local Red Cross stepped in to furnish and supply a hospital room on campus staffed by two trained nurses.
For one Bexley family the impact of the pandemic was particularly devastating, as Anna Schneider and her five children were all admitted to St. Anthony’s hospital ill with influenza. Only her husband Peter was spared and within one week the couple lost two daughters, Margaret, age 4, and Anna, 15 months old. Their deaths occurred in mid March of 1919 as the third and final wave of the pandemic dissipated.
From government orders, closures of schools, business, and churches and the need to avoid public gatherings and crowds the pandemic of 1918 was experienced in ways similar to that in 2020. Masks, the most effective way of preventing the spread of Spanish Influenza and Covid-19, came to symbolize both pandemics and just as gauze for face coverings was hard to find in 1918, personal protective equipment is in short supply today.
To learn more about the 1918 Spanish Influenza and today’s Covid-19 pandemic explore these titles recommended by Local History Librarian David Distelhorst:
The Great Influenza: The Story of the Deadliest Pandemic in History by John M. Barry | print / digital
America’s Forgotten Pandemic: The Influenza of 1918 by Alfred W. Crosby | print
Pale Rider: the Spanish Flu of 1918 and How it Changed the World by Laura Spinney | print / digital
COVID-19: The Pandemic that Never Should Have Happened and How to Stop the Next One by Debora Mackenzie | print
How We Live Now: Scenes From the Pandemic by Bill Hayes | print
This November marks the 30th anniversary of Native American Heritage Month, as declared by President George H. W. Bush in 1990.
The month is a time to celebrate rich and diverse cultures, traditions, and histories and to acknowledge the important contributions of Native people. Heritage Month is also an opportune time to educate the general public about tribes, to raise a general awareness about the unique challenges Native people have faced both historically and in the present, and the ways in which tribal citizens have worked to conquer these challenges.
Did you know that tomorrow, September 15th kicks of National Hispanic Heritage Month?
“The observation started in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week under President Lyndon Johnson and was expanded by President Ronald Reagan in 1988 to cover a 30-day period starting on September 15 and ending on October 15.
The day of September 15 is significant because it is the anniversary of independence for Latin American countries Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. In addition, Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on September 16 and September 18, respectively. Also, Columbus Day or Día de la Raza, which is October 12, falls within this 30 day period.”
To celebrate, check out these titles written by Latinx authors!
Dressed in the costume of an English Militant Suffragette, Mrs William Drake Hamilton, the former Ann Eliza Deshler, attended a celebration carrying a can of nitroglycerin, bricks, and bombs. Her husband, Dr. William Drake Hamilton, dressed as a “suffrage sympathizer,” carried a vote for women banner.
It was the 1910s and Ann Hamilton and her sister, Miss Martha Deshler, members of the Taxpayers’ League, an organization seeking equal suffrage, were among Bexley’s women in the fight for full enfranchisement. The daughters of Deshler Bank President John G. Deshler, whose home was at the corner of Parkview and East Broad Street, hosted suffrage meetings and dignitaries in Hamilton’s Bexley home.
The sisters, among those successful at petitioning Ohio’s Fourth Constitutional Convention to put the issue of equal suffrage before the voters, lost their fight in 1912, and when the votes were tallied Bexley proved “a non-suffrage town.”
Again, two years later, Ohio voters said no, but another Bexley pair had their eyes on a national amendment. Miss Florence Ralston, daughter of Ralston Steel Car Company President Joseph S. Ralston, who like the Hamilton’s lived on East Broad Street in Bexley, joined the College Equal Suffrage League as a student at Ohio State. In 1916 Florence and her mother attended the formation, in Washington D.C, of the National Women’s Party.
The mother and daughter pair were among those representing the local branch of the National Women’s Party at a 1918 meeting with then Senator Warren G. Harding at Columbus’ Southern Hotel. Though Harding did not fully commit to suffrage attendees were “encouraged” that a federal amendment would pass.
That October Senator Harding voted in favor of the Federal Suffrage Amendment, as he did in February and June of the following year. Ratified by the Ohio legislature on June 16, 1919 the women’s right to vote saw final ratification as the 19th Amendment in August of 1920.
For more about the history of the Women’s Suffrage Movement explore these titles recommended by Adult Services Librarian Sue Shipe-Giles:
One of the best problems to have is too many wonderful books to read. For a bookworm like myself to work in a library is a bit like being a kid in a candy store. I have bunches of books I’m looking forward to reading and I thought I would share a few of them.
I’ve been meaning to read one of Laura Zigman’s books forever- she has a great reputation for writing funny, poignant novels with very relatable characters. I was hooked after I read the premise for Separation Anxiety – a middle aged Mom who suddenly, impulsively starts wearing an old baby sling and carrying the family dog around in it to the shock and surprise of her family and friends.
Speaking of hooks, I’m a fool for a good book hook and Darling Rose Gold by Stephanie Wrobel has a doozy. Rose Gold Watts was terribly sick for the first eighteen years of her life and the doctors couldn’t figure out what was wrong with her. But it turns out that nothing was – her Mother was just a really good liar. Now her Mother is getting out of prison and the town is stunned when Rose Gold opens her home to her. Has her Mother forgiven Rose for testifying against her? But Rose is no longer an invalid and she has been waiting such a long time for her Mother to come home. It gives me chills! I’m eager to see if Darling Rose Gold delivers the psychological twists and turns that it promises.
Long Bright River by Liz Moore is a mystery novel about two sisters; Mickey is a cop and patrols the streets and Kasey is in the grip of addiction and lives on the streets. The two sisters are estranged but when Kasey disappears Mickey is driven to find her. I enjoy mysteries and this type really appeals to me – soulful, thoughtful mysteries that delve deep into their characters. The central mystery isn’t as important as the mystery in the hearts of the characters.
The cover for Recipe for a Perfect Wife by Karma Brown made me do a double take – red cover, 1950s image of a housewife holding a knife and teeny little skulls. I couldn’t resist. The story of Alice,a modern day woman who finds cookbook notes and letters from a 1950s housewife – the cookbook has a sunny, perfect housewife outlook and the letters tell the real, darker side of her story. Alice starts to see uncomfortable parallels between her life and that of the ‘50s housewife who felt suffocated by her role and her marriage. Will Alice change her life? The little skulls hint that the solution might be darker than simple self-improvement. There is only one way to find out!
A delightful summer treat that I’m about to bite into is Take a hint, Dani Brown by Talia Hibbert. This novel is the second in a rom-com series about three sisters; the first one Get a Life, Chloe Brown was the perfect romantic confection – lovable characters, witty banter, adorable moments and great sizzle and I’m hoping the second is as good as the first. In the second novel Danika Brown is a hyper focused PhD student and has given up on relationships aside from the occasional fling; big, brooding security guard and former rugby star Zafir Ansari is a secret romantic and a workplace fire drill gone wrong throws the two together. Will Dani seduce Zaf? Will Zaf win over Dani to romance? I can barely wait to find out!
I hope you’re enjoying your own summer reads and as always, Happy Reading!
Raising my two multiracial children for the past twenty-plus years has proved challenging. During this time, we have each encountered a variety of discrimination and misunderstandings. I have been ostracized by other school moms and even harassed by an employer once they met my husband. My son was bullied starting in preschool, while my daughter has had to “prove” on many occasions to classmates, and once even to a teacher, that her dad is really her father.
During these extremely difficult times, I wanted to shed more light on the unique experiences and difficulties multiracial children and their parents encounter. I hope the following books will provide much needed insight and understanding on this topic. All of these titles are available to request through BPL’s catalog.