Book Adventures (Almost) Weekly: Issue 18

Today’s Memorial Day issue focuses on history and its records.

However, it’s also Towel Day.

The Sentinel in Pennsylvania tells the story of Moravian records in the Caribbean that provide unusually detailed insight into the lives of slaves in the 18th and 19th centuries. The pages are falling to bits due to bad conditions and vermin, but some interesting tidbits are still legible.

On this Memorial Day, listen to the story of the original Fly Girls – women who served as pilots in World War II. On NPR.

In defense of libraries: The head of the British Library says libraries could outlast the internet. I don’t know about you, but I thought the internet would be here forever… It’s a stirring defense.

Memorial day as the Opening Day of Grilling Season? Seems about right. The Smithsonian Gardens have a blog post on the history of barbequing and outdoor grilling – which goes back to the West Coast in the 1930s. Want to see more? There’s a traveling exhibit called Patios, Pools, and the Invention of the American Backyard.

Preservationists at the National Archives in St. Louis share their story of discovering the “blood chit” of a soldier who crashed in China during World War II. Blood chits (and similar documents) were created to help soldiers who found themselves stranded in friendly but foreign-language-speaking territory.

Did you know the origins of Memorial Day go back to the Civil War?

This spring, read a book that arguably began the environmental movements in the 20th century: Silent Spring, by Rachel Carson (1962). Read more about it in Environment and Society Portal’s blog post on both the author and her book.

From the Department of Random, Conservation Division:

Ways you can contribute to the efforts to clean up the Refugio oil spill.

Wolves in Washington need your help.

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