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TD Summer Reading Club Halftime!

August 10, 2015 | Kate | Comments (0)

We're into August and more than half-way through the TD Summer Reading Club! Here's a little bit about how we've been doing at the Albert Campbell Branch.

I'm sure you all know how the TD SRC works by now, but in case you don't, here's a recap - read a book, answer a question, get a sticker. Here at Albert Campbell, you can find out what question you have to answer by throwing these:

Src dice
Dice lovingly and painstakingly hand-crafted by Yours Truly!

Here's where they can typically be found, because it's way more fun to roll them on the ground!

Src dice on the floor
Special thanks to my foot model!

July has been a good month for book reporting. Lots of kids are coming in to roll the dice and tell us about their books, and we've also had some great written book reports that we've displayed for all to see!

Src book reviews

And it's not just book reporting here at Albert Campbell; we also have programs every day of the week!

Mondays and Saturdays: Family storytimes at 10am

Tuesdays: Senior TD Summer Reading Club activities at 2pm

Wednesdays: Junior TD Summer Reading Club activities at 2pm

Thursdays: Fun Family Films at 2pm and Pyjama Time stories at 7pm

Fridays: Board games and Lego at 2pm

Phew! If that's not enough, you can join us on Wednesday, August 26th at 7pm for our TD Summer Reading Club finale, a puppet show with The Purple Pirate!

I'll leave you with a couple photos of the awesome things that are being created during our Lego and board games program - hopefully you'll be inspired to come in and add your own creation!

Lego Lego3

Pre-Election Reads: Stephen Harper

August 5, 2015 | John P. | Comments (0)

Canada has a federal election scheduled for October 19, 2015. While some voters may have already decided which political party and leader to support, others have not and may be seeking information and research to help them to make a personal, informed decision.  Toronto Public Library can help those individuals in a non-partisan way by providing access to collection items available for borrowing (or using) with a valid Toronto Public Library card. So let us continue…

Stephen Harper is the 22nd and current Prime Minister of Canada and the sixth in terms of length of time of service in office after William Lyon Mackenzie King, Sir John A. Macdonald, Pierre Trudeau, Sir Wilfrid Laurier, and Jean Chrétien. Stephen Harper assumed office as Prime Minister on February 6, 2006 as head of a minority Conservative Party of Canada (CPC) government, following victory in the January 23, 2006 federal election. Stephen Harper won a stronger minority government following the October 14, 2008 federal election . However, the Prime Minister fought the combined opposition parties’ attempts to topple the Harper government by forming a coalition minority government with support from the Bloc Québécois by successfully obtaining a prorogation of Parliament from then-Governor General Michaëlle Jean from December 4, 2008 to January 26, 2009. The CPC government survived a confidence shortly afterwards with support from the Liberal Party of Canada (LPC).

Stephen Harper requested and received a second prorogation of Parliament from the Governor-General from December 30, 2009 to March 3, 2010, citing the importance of the government’s economic plan and coinciding with the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver and Whistler. Public protests were organized in January 2010 in opposition to the prorogation of the Canadian Parliament. However, on March 25, 2011, the Harper government was defeated on a landmark vote of no-confidence by 156 to 145 on the basis of contempt of Parliament, the first such occurrence in any Parliament of a British Commonwealth of Nations country. The subsequent May 2, 2011 federal election resulted in a majority government victory for Stephen Harper’s Conservative Party of Canada with 166 out of 308 House of Commons seats won with 39.62% of the popular vote.

Stephen Harper was born and grew up in Toronto, Ontario, graduating from Richview Collegiate Institute in 1978. Following a move to Alberta, Stephen Harper enrolled at the University of Calgary and earned a bachelor’s degree in economics and later a master’s degree in economics in 1993. Dissatisfaction with the National Energy Program (NEP) under the Liberal government of Pierre Trudeau led to Stephen Harper severing ties with the Young Liberal Club. He became chief aide to Progressive Conservative MP James Hawkes but dissatisfaction with the Progressive Conservative government of Brian Mulroney led to Stephen Harper joining the Reform Party of Canada. In the November 21, 1988 federal election, Stephen Harper lost against incumbent Calgary West MP James Hawkes but bested Hawkes in the October 25, 1993 federal election and served as a Reform Party of Canada MP for one term, resigning his seat in January 1997, prior to the June 2, 1997 federal election, following a difficult relationship with Reform Party leader Preston Manning. Stephen Harper became vice-president and subsequently president of the conservative think tank National Citizens’ Coalition (NCC). Following the re-election of Jean Chrétien’s Liberal government in the November 27, 2000 federal election, Stephen Harper re-entered the political arena by challenging and defeating Canadian Alliance leader Stockwell Day for the leadership on March 20, 2002, won a subsequent by-election in Calgary Southwest and became Leader of the Opposition in May 2002. Stephen Harper won the leadership of the new Conservative Party of Canada (CPC) on March 20, 2004 and led the CPC to official opposition status against Paul Martin’s minority Liberal government, following the June 28, 2004 federal election.

 

Given Stephen Harper’s tenure as Prime Minister, much has been written about him, his government, and its policies. Consider the following titles for borrowing from Toronto Public Library collections:

 

Books:

 

Stephen Harper

Read an excerpt from The Globe of Mail of John Ibbitson’s new biography Stephen Harper.

Read Bruce Campion-Smith’s overview in The Toronto Star.

 

Dismantling Canada Stephen Harper's new conservative agenda

Read the book review in Quill and Quire.

 

Party of one Stephen Harper and Canada's radical makeover

Read the book review in Foreign Policy Journal.

Read the book review in The Globe and Mail.

Read the book review in The Toronto Star.

 

Harperism how Stephen Harper and his think tank colleagues have transformed Canada

Read the book review in the Literary Review of Canada.

Read the book review in Quill and Quire.

Read Andrew Coyne’s comments on the book in The National Post.

 

The longer I'm Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Canada, 2006-

Read the book review in the Literary Review of Canada.

Read the book review in Quill and Quire.

Read the book review in The Toronto Star.

 

Harper's team behind the scenes in the Conservative rise to power

Read the book review in the Literary Review of Canada.

Read the book review from Policy Options.

Read the book review in Quill and Quire.

 

 

eBooks:

 

Stephen Harper Dismantling Canada Stephen Harper's new conservative agenda Party of one Stephen Harper and Canada's radical makeover The longer I'm Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Canada, 2006-




In his spare time, Stephen Harper, an avid hockey fan and historian, wrote and published A Great Game: The Forgotten Leafs and the Rise of Professional Hockey . (See: Recent Prime Ministerial Writings on Hockey History and Foreign Policy ).

 

As part of making an informed decision in federal election 2015, citizens should avail themselves of information from the media (newspapers, radio, television, online etc.) as the election campaign unfolds. To help with that, Toronto Public Library cardholders can also access the following databases online in seeking information from magazine and newspaper sources:

Canada in Context

Full-text articles, videos, audio files, vetted web sites etc. on a broad range of topics, people, places and events.

Available anywhere.

Sign in with library card.

Access Online

 

Canadian Business and Current Affairs (CBCA)

Full-text business and general interest articles from popular, academic and business periodicals.

Available anywhere.

Sign in with library card.

Access Online

Canadian Newsstand Major Dailies

Full text articles from major Canadian newspapers and television news transcripts.

Available anywhere.

Sign in with library card.

 

Access Online

 

Canadian Newsstand TorStar

Full text of newspapers published by Torstar Media Group including Toronto Star and several Toronto community newspapers.

Available anywhere.

Sign in with library card.

 

Access Online

 

Canadian Periodical Index (CPI.Q)

Articles from general, academic and business magazines. Index from 1988, full text from 1995.

Available anywhere.

Sign in with library card.

Access Online

 

 

(See also: Pick a PM: Prime Ministerial Biographies and Memoirs )

(See also: Pre-Election Reads: Elizabeth May )

(See also: Pre-Election Reads: Thomas Mulcair )

(See also: Pre-Election Reads: Justin Trudeau )

Ribfests and Ribs Recipes

August 4, 2015 | John P. | Comments (0)

Summertime is the time for people who like to eat spare ribs and enjoy the summer weather too! Whether you enjoyed the Toronto Ribfest in late June and early July, or more recently attended the Scarborough Ribfest at Thomson Memorial Park, you might be one of those people who would like to duplicate the experience at home with delicious spare ribs. If you have never cooked or barbecued ribs before, sure you might be able to find some good recipes on the Internet but please do not forget to consider borrowing some titles from Toronto Public Library collections as you search for that perfect ribs recipe (or for other grilling recipes if spare ribs are not your first choice):

Books:

America's Best Bbq 100 Recipes from America's Best Smokehouses, Pits, Shacks, Rib Joints, Roadhouses, and Restaurants The kamado smoker & grill cookbook delicious recipes and hands-on techniques for mastering the world's best barbecue The big flavor grill no marinade, no hassle recipes for delicious steaks, chicken, ribs, chops, vegetables, shrimp, and fish 100 grilling recipes you can't live without The best ribs ever 100 killer recipes including slaws, baked beans & finger-lickin' sauces Grilling surf and turf 140 savory recipes for sizzle on the grill Ribs, chops, steaks, & wings irresistible recipes for the grill, stovetop, and oven Chez Jacques traditions and rituals of a cook with 100 recipes

eBooks:

America's best BBQ 100 recipes from America's best smokehouses pits shacks rib joints roadhouses and restaurants Bobby Flay's Throwdown! more than 100 recipes from Food Network's ultimate cooking challenge

Pre-Election Reads: Thomas Mulcair

August 4, 2015 | John P. | Comments (0)

Canada has a federal election scheduled for October 19, 2015. While some voters may have already decided which political party and leader to support, others have not and may be seeking information and research to help them to make a personal, informed decision.  Toronto Public Library can help those individuals in a non-partisan way by providing access to collection items available for borrowing (or using) with a valid Toronto Public Library card. So let us continue…

Thomas “Tom” Mulcair is the current leader (since March 24, 2012) of the New Democratic Party of Canada (NDP) and Leader of the Official Opposition in the House of Commons of the 41st Parliament of Canada.  Mulcair was elected the Member of Parliament in a by-election for the electoral district of Outremont on September 17, 2007 and was subsequently re-elected in the 2008 and 2011 general elections. Mulcair served as a co-Deputy Leader of the NDP and became Opposition House Leader following the 2011 general election. Following the death of Jack Layton in August 2011, Mulcair contested the leadership of the NDP, winning the position on the fourth ballot in March 2012.

Thomas Mulcair graduated from McGill University in 1977 with degrees in common law and civil law. After being called to the Bar of Québec in 1979, Mulcair worked for the provincial Ministry of Justice in the Legislative Affairs Branch and subsequently in the Legal Affairs Directorate of the Superior Council of the French Language. In 1983, Mulcair became Legal Affairs Director at Alliance Québec. After going into private practice in 1985, Thomas Mulcair became the reviser of Manitoba statutes following the Supreme Court of Canada’s ruling in the Manitoba Language Rights case. Serving as President of the Office des professions du Québec from 1987-1993, he argued for transparency in disciplinary hearings and facilitated dealing with cases involving alleged sexual abuse of patients.   

Prior to federal politics, Thomas Mulcair also served in Québec provincial politics as the Member of the National Assembly for Chomedey for the Québec Liberal Party, winning election in the 1994 provincial election and re-election in the 1998 and 2003 provincial elections. Following the 2003 Québec provincial election, Premier Jean Charest appointed Mulcair as Minister of Sustainable Development, Environment and Parks. Québec’s National Assembly unanimously passed Mulcair’s Sustainable Development Plan in April 2006. As part of the plan, Thomas Mulcair had included an amendment to the Québec Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms for the right to live in a healthy environment respecting biodiversity.

 

Thomas Mulcair’s autobiography Strength of Conviction was just released so consider borrowing the title from Toronto Public Library collections:

Book:

Strength of Conviction

 

Ce livre est également publié en français:

Le Courage De Ses Convictions . Placer une cale de demander une copie de ce titre - ici.

 

eBook:

Strength of Conviction

 

 

Ce livre est également publié en français:

Le Courage De Ses Convictions . Placer une cale de demander une copie de ce titre - ici.

 

Read an excerpt from the book courtesy of NOW Toronto.

Read Margaret Wente’s review in The Globe and Mail.

Read Mark Kennedy’s overview in The Calgary Herald.

Read Jen Gerson’s review in The National Post.

 

As part of making an informed decision in federal election 2015, citizens should avail themselves of information from the media (newspapers, radio, television, online etc.) as the election campaign unfolds. To help with that, Toronto Public Library cardholders can also access the following databases online in seeking information from magazine and newspaper sources:

Canada in Context

Full-text articles, videos, audio files, vetted web sites etc. on a broad range of topics, people, places and events.

Available anywhere.

Sign in with library card.

Access Online

 

Canadian Business and Current Affairs (CBCA)

Full-text business and general interest articles from popular, academic and business periodicals.

Available anywhere.

Sign in with library card.

Access Online

 

Canadian Newsstand Major Dailies

Full text articles from major Canadian newspapers and television news transcripts.

Available anywhere.

Sign in with library card.

 

Access Online

 

Canadian Newsstand TorStar

Full text of newspapers published by Torstar Media Group including Toronto Star and several Toronto community newspapers.

Available anywhere.

Sign in with library card.

 

Access Online

 

Canadian Periodical Index (CPI.Q)

Articles from general, academic and business magazines. Index from 1988, full text from 1995.

Available anywhere.

Sign in with library card.

Access Online

 

(See also: Pre-Election Reads: Stephen Harper )

(See also: Pre-Election Reads: Elizabeth May )

(See also: Pre-Election Reads: Justin Trudeau )

Get Tech-Savvy This Summer!

July 30, 2015 | Sharanja T. | Comments (0)

Looking to hone your computer skills this summer? Then make sure you visit your local library! The library is an awesome place to learn new things. At Albert Campbell Branch, we have many books, services and resources available to help you learn about computers.

Here a few things you should check out:

User Education Classes

We offer a variety of hands-on computer classes each month to help you learn more about the Internet, email and computer programs like Microsoft Word, Powerpoint and Excel. You can also find classes to help you learn about social media sites including Facebook and LinkedIn at other library branches. To register for programs at Albert Campbell Branch, please call (416) 396-8890. Find more computer classes at other library branches here

User Education Class

Book-a-Librarian

Did you know you can book a free 30 to 60 minute appointment with a librarian through our Book-a-Librarian session who can help you with research, library information, career information, homework help and more? Make an appointment by calling your local library, completing the following web form or call Answerline at 416-393-7131. To book-a-librarian at Albert Campbell Branch, please call (416) 396-8890.

Computer and Business Books

Through the library, you can access the many books and videos about how to use the computer, setting up social media accounts, business program applications, web and software development, management, marketing, and more. We also have a great selection of business and technology books online. Visit your local library and browse our shelves or check out our website to see what we have.

Downloads and Ebooks

Recently received an e-reader as a gift and don’t know where to start? Don’t worry! We can help. The library has many downloads and ebooks available for a variety of e-readers. We have printable guides and video tutorials to help you get started. If you need more assistance, then book-a-librarian.

Digital Design Classes and Workshops

Looking for a new phone case? Why not learn to print one at the library? The library has three Digital Innovation Hubs Toronto Reference Library, Fort York Branch and Scarborough Civic Centre Branch that offer a variety of classes, including Photoshop, website design and how to design a 3D model.

Free Wi-fi and Computer Use

Free wireless Internet access is available at every branch. You can bring your laptop and a coffee and visit your local library. If you don't have your own device, you can use our library computers. Reservations can be made in any library branch or from anywhere that you have Internet access. You will be able to reserve a computer 3 days ahead excluding the days the branch is closed.

Customers using Wi-Fi

Snapshots in History: July 29: Remembering Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer’s Wedding

July 29, 2015 | John P. | Comments (0)

 

 

On July 29 and beyond, take a moment to remember the British royal wedding of Charles, Prince of Wales, to Lady Diana Spencer on July 29, 1981 at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London, England. The wedding had a global television audience of some 750 million people. Unfortunately, the aura of the fairy tale wedding did not last, and although the couple produced two children, Prince William and Prince Harry, Prince Charles and Diana, Princess of Wales, separated in 1992 and divorced on August 28, 1996. Just over a year later on August 31, 1997, Diana died in a car crash in Paris, France. The public mourning following Diana’s passing was widespread.

Royal watchers were often fascinated by the twists and turns in Charles and Diana’s relationship with admissions of infidelity along the way. People are in a position to make their own judgment of what happened and why within the marriage and relationship of Prince Charles and Diana, Princess of Wales.

Consider the following titles for borrowing from Toronto Public Library collections:

 

Books:

After Diana William, Harry, Charles, and the royal house of Windsor Charles victim or villain Diana her life & her legacy The housekeeper's diary Charles and Diana before the breakup


Try also the following titles:

Diana vs. Charles: royal blood feud / James Whitaker, 1993.

Diana: a princess and her troubled marriage / Nicholas Davies, 1992.

Charles & Diana: a royal family album: photographs / Tim Graham, 1991.

The Prince and Princess of Wales' wedding day, 1981.

Snapshots in History: July 28: Remembering Terry Fox and the Marathon of Hope

July 28, 2015 | John P. | Comments (0)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

450px-Terry_Fox_monument

 

On July 28 and beyond, take a moment to remember Terrance Stanley “Terry” Fox (Born: July 28, 1958 in Winnipeg, Manitoba; Died: June 28, 1981 in New Westminster, British Columbia), a bone cancer survivor who inspired a nation with his Marathon of Hope running across Canada on a prosthetic leg and a human leg to raise money for cancer research, only to halt his journey after 143 days and 5,373 kilometres on September 1, 1980 just outside of Thunder Bay, Ontario as cancer emerged in his lungs. Terry Fox was determined to finish his run across Canada but his health and cancer treatments would not allow that to happen. However, Terry Fox did live to see his cancer research fundraising goal of $1 per Canadian achieved by February 1, 1981 with some $24 million raised for cancer research. In 1980, Terry Fox became a Companion of the Order of Canada and received the Order of the Dogwood (now the Order of British Columbia).

Terry Fox ranked second to Tommy Douglas on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s (CBC) program The Greatest Canadian in 2004. His grit and determination inspired fellow cancer survivor Steve Fonyo (with one leg amputated like Terry Fox) whose Journey for Lives run resulted in 7924 kilometres run from St. John’s, Newfoundland (beginning on March 31, 1984) to Victoria, British Columbia (concluding on May 29, 1985) with approximately $13 million raised for cancer research. Rick Hansen was a friend of Terry Fox and is well-known for his own Man in Motion world tour in a wheelchair between March 21, 1985 and May 22, 1987 that raised some $20 million towards spinal cord research, rehabilitation, and wheelchair sports.

The annual Terry Fox Run owes its origin to the support of Isadore Sharp, owner of the Four Seasons Hotel, who having lost a son to cancer, donated money to the Marathon of Hope, offered Terry Fox and his travelling companions free accommodation at Sharp’s hotels, and challenged other businesses to support cancer research fundraising. Sharp proposed a fall annual fundraising run in Terry Fox’s name; Terry Fox supported the idea provided that the run be non-competitive in nature with the choice of running, walking, or riding a bicycle. The Canadian Cancer Society was initially unsupportive to the idea, fearing that it would take away from spring fundraising initiatives. Opposition melted away after the first Terry Fox Run raised $3.5 million on September 13, 1981. Schools joined in with a National School Run Day, and the Terry Fox Run has become an annual international event with participation in many countries.

Consider the following titles for borrowing from Toronto Public Library collections:

Books (Adult):

Terry Terry Fox his story

 

Books (Children):

Terry Fox a story of hope Terry Fox a story of hope 2005 Le courage de Terry Fox Run




Books (English as a Second Language):

The long road 2008 The long road 2002


Books (Literacy):

Terry Fox

 

DVD:

The greatest Canadian. Volume 2, Don Cherry, Sir John A. MacDonald, Terry Fox [1 videodisc] / Canadian Broadcasting Corporation; Morningstar Entertainment, 2004. 135 minutes.

 

 

Snapshots in History: July 25: Remembering the Battle of Lundy’s Lane, 1814

July 25, 2015 | John P. | Comments (0)

Monument at the Lundy's Lane Niagara Falls, Ontario pictures-r-561

Monument to Capt Hall and nine unknown American Soldiers, Lundy's Lane Battleground, Niagara Falls, Canada. Historical 1 War of 1812-14 pcr-1657

 

 

 

On July 25 and beyond, take a moment to reflect back on the War of 1812 and in particular the Battle of Lundy’s Lane (also known as the Battle of Niagara Falls) that took place on July 25, 1814. Earlier in July 1814, American forces attacked across the Niagara River near its source and captured Fort Erie. The Americans followed up with a victory at the Battle of Chippawa on July 5, 1814. The British forces retreated to Fort George at the mouth of the Niagara River on Lake Ontario. American forces had occupied Queenston (near Fort George) for much of July 1814 but fell back to the Chippawa River on July 24, 1814 after harassment by Canadian militia and aboriginal allies. British militia and light infantry advanced to Lundy’s Lane 4 miles (6.4 kilometres) north of the Chippawa River to maintain contact with nearby opposing American forces.

The Lieutenant-Governor of Upper Canada, Lieutenant-General Gordon Drummond, took personal command of British forces on the Niagara peninsula on July 25, 1814. Drummond order some troops to advance south from Fort Niagara along the eastern shore of the Niagara River with the intention of forcing American troops to evacuate the west bank of the river. Instead, American Major-General Jacob Brown ordered a northward advance by U.S. forces with the hope of blunting the British southerly advance.  However, the Americans were not cognizant of the presence of British troops in Lundy’s Lane. Despite some contradictory orders regarding placement of British forces between Major-General Phineas Riall and Lieutenant-General Drummond, additional British troops were force-marched quickly to Lundy’s Lane from Fort George, arriving just in time as the Americans approached Lundy’s Lane.

Late in the afternoon of July 25, 1814, the American 1st Brigade (regular soldiers) under General Winfield Scott left the forested area and emerged in an open field, whereupon they were attacked by British artillery. The Americans sent the 25th U.S. Infantry to outflank the British and Canadian positions on the left side, catching them off-guard and resulting in the capture of the Portage Road and Lundy’s Lane intersection. Prisoners were taken including British Major-General Riall and militia cavalry Captain William Hamilton Merritt (later of Welland Canal fame). British Lieutenant-General Drummond decided to withdraw his centre positions to realign them with the left flank, leaving British artillery open to the possibility of capture. Under orders, Lieutenant-Colonel James Miller of the 21st U.S. Infantry and his troops were able to capture the British artillery. More British artillery fell into American hands when the British column under Colonel Hercules Scott blundered into the U.S. 2nd Brigade commanded by Brigadier-General Eleazer Wheelock Ripley.

British Lieutenant-General Drummond initiated 3 (three) unsuccessful counterattacks in line to recapture artillery with no attempts to harass or destabilize the American lines at concentrated points. This tactic proved costly to both sides with close hand-to-hand fighting with bayonets and musket fire (including friendly fire carried out accidentally carried out on allied troops by both sides). The resulting flashes from exploding gun powder and the subsequent thick smoke must have provided an eerie background atmosphere as men screamed after being shot or stabbed on the battlefield. Despite capturing the British artillery, the American forces withdrew south towards Chippawa and left the British artillery behind.

British troops, Canadian militia, and Aboriginal warriors remained and slept in close proximity to the battlefield until the following morning. It was difficult to ignore the groans of the wounded men on the battlefield and their requests for water. Casualty rates in terms of soldiers killed, wounded, captured or missing were similar on both sides at approximately 900 in total.

Despite the questionable tactics looking through today’s eyes, the British were able to halt the American incursion into Upper Canada. Following the American withdrawal to Fort Erie, British Lieutenant-General Drummond’s forces pursued the Americans and instigated a siege of Fort Erie.

Consider the following titles for borrowing from Toronto Public Library collections:

 

Books:

 

A crucible of fire the Battle of Lundy's Lane, July 25, 1814 Where right and glory lead the battle of Lundy's Lane, 1814 Searching for the forgotten war 1812 United States Searching for the Forgotten War 1812 Canada


eBooks:

A crucible of fire the Battle of Lundy's Lane, July 25, 1814

 

Please also explore some of the following historical sources that have been digitized for the convenience of readers and researchers alike:

An Account of the battle of Lundy's Lane, fought in 1814, between the British & American armies, from the best and most authentic sources / [Unknown?], 1853. eBook. PDF format.

 

Canada in memoriam, 1812-14; her duty in the erection of monuments in memory of her distinguished sons and daughters; a paper read July 25, 1890...at the annual commemoration of the battle of Lundy's Lane, of 1814, before the L.L. historical society / Sarah Anne Curzon, 1891. eBook. PDF format.

 

eManuscripts:

Pen and ink sketch of Lundy's Lane and district, showing General Brown's encampment, the 9th and 22nd regiments, Forsyth's house, and Mrs. Wilson's / [Unknown?], 1814. eManuscript. PDF format.

Snapshots in History: July 24: Remembering Simón Bolívar

July 24, 2015 | John P. | Comments (0)

Bolivar_Arturo_Michelena

 

Given the backdrop of the current 2015 Pan American Games (and the upcoming 2015 ParaPan American Games) in the Greater Toronto Area, it seemed fitting for Snapshots in History to recognize the origins of some of the South American countries competing at these Games. Consequently, on July 24 and beyond, take a moment to remember Simón Bolívar (born Simón José Antonio de la Santísima Trinidad Bolívar y Palacios on July 24, 1783 in Caracas (the capital of present-day Venezuela); died December 17, 1830 in Santa Marta (in present-day Colombia)), who played a leading military and political role in the establishment of independent countries in Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia, Peru, and Colombia, free from Spanish colonial rule.

Simón Bolívar was born into a wealthy, Creole family but lost both of his parents at a young age. Bolívar received private instruction from a variety of sources but Don Simón Rodríguez proved to be the most influential as both a tutor and mentor by inculcating the ideas of enlightenment, freedom, and liberty in young Bolívar. When his mentor was forced to leave after being accused of conspiring against the Spanish colonial administration, Simón Bolívar entered the military academy Milicias de Veraguas, furthering his knowledge of armaments and military strategy and his belief in liberty that would hold him in good stead during the wars of independence against Spain. In an interesting, historical footnote, Simón Bolívar witnessed the coronation of Napoléon 1 at Notre Dame in Paris that left a strong impression upon him.

While in Europe, Bolívar was influenced by rationalist thinkers of the day such as Rousseau and Montesquieu on political thinking, and Voltaire on philosophical thinking, not to mention Hobbes and Locke amongst others. In Paris, Bolívar also met German scientist Alexander von Humboldt, who having returned from his expedition to Latin America, offered the opinion that the Spanish colonies in Latin America were ready to foster their own destiny. While visiting Rome with Simón Rodríguez, Bolívar pledged to fight for independence from Spain. He was also decidedly opposed to slavery.

Simón Bolívar came back to Venezuela in 1807. With Napoléon 1 naming Joseph Bonaparte as King of Spain and its colonies (including Venezuela), Bolívar joined the independence movement and the Caracas-based movement gained independence in 1810. Consequently, Bolívar undertook a diplomatic mission to Great Britain seeking support, while the fight for independence continued back in South America. Bolívar and his followers invaded Venezuela on May 14, 1813 under the guise of the “Admirable Campaign” (Compana Admirable), leading to the creation of the Venezuelan Second Republic. Bolívar, known as The Liberator (el Libertador), was forced to flee to Jamaica when civil war broke out in the new republic. In exile, Bolívar composed his “Letter from Jamaica” that outlined his plan for a South American republic with a British-type Parliament coupled with a President-for-Life. Needless to say, Bolívar encountered opposition to the idea of a permanent President that could not be removed from office.

Bolívar gained support from Haïti and returned to South America to continue the struggle. He launched independence campaigns in Ecuador and Venezuela with victory at the Battle of Carabobo on June 24, 1821 leading to Venezuelan independence with a triumphant entry into Caracas five (5) days later. 1821 also saw the establishment of a federation called Gran Colombia (comprising modern day Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, and Panama). Subsequently, he became dictator of Peru in 1824, and the creation of Bolivia in 1825 (named after Bolívar himself).

Gran Colombia was difficult to govern and his attempt to create a union of nation-states was met by opposition from different factions. Bolívar declared himself dictator of Gran Colombia temporarily in 1828 and escaped an assassination attempt with the assistance of his mistress and fellow revolutionary Manuela Sáenz. He gave up his position in 1830 and planned to go to Europe in exile but died of tuberculosis on December 17, 1830 in present-day Colombia.

People looking back may question Simón Bolívar’s beliefs and methods but it is hard to argue that he shaped the fortunes and future of much of today’s South America. Even Karl Marx, writing in the 1858 New American Cyclopedia, criticized his wealthy background and his authoritarian, Bonapartist tendencies.

Consider the following titles for borrowing from Toronto Public Library collections, including the novel by Colombian Nobel Prize laureate Gabriel García Márquez – The General in His Labyrinth (translation of El general en su laberinto):

 

Books:

Bolivar American liberator Bolivar the liberator of Latin America The Bolívarian revolution Simón Bolívar a life Simón Bolívar liberation and disappointment The General In His Labyrinth






eBooks:

Bolivar American liberator Bolivar the liberator of Latin America The General In His Labyrinth eBook

 

Snapshots in History: July 21: Remembering the Space Shuttle Program

July 22, 2015 | John P. | Comments (0)

 

 

On July 21 and beyond, remember the United States of America’s Space Shuttle program (officially referred to as the Space Transportation System (STS)) that concluded following the landing of its final flight STS-135 with the orbiter Atlantis on July 21, 2011. The origins of the STS program go back to 1972 but the first manned launch vehicle flight under the program occurred on April 13, 1981 for a thirty (30) year duration and 135 missions flown in total.

While many look back remembering the catastrophic losses of the Challenger and Columbia orbiters and their seven-person crews in 1986 and 2003, the Space Shuttle program had many accomplishments, including spacelab experiments, participation in the construction and servicing of the International Space Station (ISS), repair of the Hubble Space Telescope and orbiting satellites, and the launch of interplanetary probes Magellan, Galileo, and Ulysses

Consider the following titles for borrowing from Toronto Public Library collections:

 

Books:

Leaving orbit notes from the last days of American spaceflight Spies and shuttles NASA's secret relationships with the DOD and CIA To orbit and back again how the space shuttle flew in space Bold they rise the space shuttle early years 1972-1986

Infinite worlds the people and places of space exploration Spacefarers images of astronauts and cosmonauts in the heroic era of spaceflight Wheels stop the tragedies and triumphs of the Space Shuttle Program 1986-2011 The space shuttle celebrating thirty years of NASA's first space plane NASA Space Shuttle 1981 onwards (all models) an insight into the design, construction and operation of the Nasa Space Shuttle The Shuttle story Voyages of Discovery the missions of United States space shuttle Discovery (OV-103) 1984-2011







 

DVDs:

Space voyages Space shuttle Columbia mission of hope When we left Earth Disc 3 the NASA missions



eBooks:

Leaving orbit notes from the last days of American spaceflight Space shuttle 1981-2011 stories from 30 years of exploration Spacefarers images of astronauts and cosmonauts in the heroic era of spaceflight

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