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Archive for September, 2009

220 years ago, on September 29, 1789, the U.S. War Department first established a regular army with a strength of several hundred men.

United States military history is one of the subject strengths of the Opening History aggregation of digital collections, with over 40 digital collections focusing on this subject. For example, America at War digital collection chronicles the military history of the United States from the 1760s through the Vietnam War and provides an insight into how Louisiana impacted and was impacted by national and international engagements.

The item featured below, courtesy of America at War collection, is a letter from Brigadier General (U.S. Army) to Major Edmund P. Gaines, Recruiting officer, 24th Regiment of Infantry, U.S. Army, written in May of 1812.

Letter, Brigadier General James Winchester (U.S. Army) to Major Edmund P. Gaines, Recruiting officer, 24th Regiment of Infantry, U.S. Army

Letter, Brigadier General James Winchester (U.S. Army) to Major Edmund P. Gaines, Recruiting officer, 24th Regiment of Infantry, U.S. Army

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Famous composer and pianist George Gershwin (1898-1937) was born on September 26, 1898, in Brooklyn, New York. Along with his elder brother lyricist Ira Gershwin, he created enduring songs including The Man I Love, Strike Up the Band, I Got Rhythm and the opera Porgy and Bess.

One of the digital collections in Opening History aggregation — Sam DeVincent Collection of American Sheet Music — contains a number of Gershwin’s well-known songs, published between 1919 and 1923, for example this one:

Gershwin, George, Francis, Arthur. Waiting for the sun to come out. New York: T.B. Harms & Francis, Day & Hunter, 1920.

Gershwin, George, Francis, Arthur. Waiting for the sun to come out. New York: T.B. Harms & Francis, Day & Hunter, 1920.

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On September 19, 1796, George Washington’s farewell address was printed across America as an open letter to the public. The full-text of this farewell address is featured below, courtesy of Making of America digital collection.

Farewell address of George Washington to the people of the United States of America, September 17, 1796. With a German translation by F. W. Bogen

Farewell address of George Washington to the people of the United States of America, September 17, 1796. With a German translation by F. W. Bogen

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The 27th President of the United States William Howard Taft was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, on September 15, 1857.
The photograph below, courtesy of Carnegie Museum of Art Collection of Photographs, part of a Historic Pittsburgh Image Collections, shows the 1910 Founder’s day billboard featuring President Taft.

President William Howard Taft in Billboard for Founder's Day (1910)

President William Howard Taft in Billboard for Founder's Day (1910)

Another photograph (below) from the same collection pictures President William Howard Taft with Pittsburgh Mayor William A. Magee (1873-1938) during Taft’s visit to Pennsylvania in May 1909.

President William Howard Taft with Mayor William A. Magee (1909)

President William Howard Taft with Mayor William A. Magee (1909)

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American track and field athlete Jesse Owens was born in Oakville, Alabama (as James Cleveland Owens) on September 12, 1913. Owens is famous for winning four gold medals at the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin (in the 100-meter dash, the 200-meter dash, the broad jump, and the 400-meter relay), defeating Nazi athletes.

The photograph featured below, courtesy of Teenie Harris Collection, part of a larger Historic Pittsburgh Image Collections , features Jesse Owens arriving at Allegheny County Airport in Pennsylvania in 1942.

Olympic sprinter Jesse Owens arriving at Allegheny County Airport (1942)

Olympic sprinter Jesse Owens arriving at Allegheny County Airport (1942)

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September 8th is celebrated worldwide as the International Literacy Day. The newspaper clipping below, courtesy of Western Waters Digital Library, discusses situation with literacy in United States as of 1936.

Washington highest in literacy; Iowa is next

Washington highest in literacy; Iowa is next

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On September 4, 1781, Spanish governor of California, Felipe de Neve, founded Los Angeles (originally named El Pueblo de la Reina de Los Angeles, or the Town of the Queen of the Angels) near the site of the Indian village of Yang-na.

View of a statue depicting the Governor Felipe de Neve, in Los Angeles Plaza, 1920-1939

View of a statue depicting the Governor Felipe de Neve, in Los Angeles Plaza, 1920-1939


The photograph above, courtesy of California Historical Society Collection, 1860-1960, pictures statue of Governor Felipe de Neve, in Los Angeles Plaza, in 1930s.

The drawing below, courtesy of California Historical Society Digital Archive collection, pictures the Yang-na Indian village.

Drawing depicting a straw hut village of the Yang-na Indians

Drawing depicting a straw hut village of the Yang-na Indians

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