Where does Thanksgiving Dinner Grow?

Linda Zellmer, Government Information and Data Services Librarian at Western Illinois University, has used data from the 2007 Census of Agriculture and a geographic information system to develop a set of maps showing where the foods consumed at the traditional Thanksgiving dinner, such as turkey, cranberries, squash, and green beans, are grown. A comprehensive poster including all of the maps shows where all of the Thanksgiving foods are grown in the United States.
The maps and posters based on data from the 1997, 2002 and 2007 Census of Agriculture are available on her web site at:
http://faculty.wiu.edu/LR-Zellmer/thanksgiving.html .
The comprehensive poster titled “Where does Thanksgiving Dinner Grow?” is available at:
http://faculty.wiu.edu/LR-Zellmer/thanksgiving/2007/Turkey07Poster.pdf

Happy Thanksgiving!

The AUM Library wishes you a very Happy Thanksgiving as we pause to reflect on the past year and look forward to the new year and all that it holds for us.
Here are some interesting facts about Thanksgiving that each of us should know:
The first Thanksgiving celebration can be traced back to the Plymouth Pilgrims in the fall of 1621.
The first Thanksgiving feast was held to thank the Lord for sparing the lives of the survivors of the Mayflower, who landed at Plymouth Rock on December 11, 1620. The survivors included four adult women and almost forty percent children.
The Wampanoag chief Massasoit and ninety of his tribesmen were also invited to the first thanksgiving feast. Governor William Bradford invited them for helping the Pilgrims surviving and teaching them the skills of cultivating the land.
The celebration in 1621 lasted for three days and included games and food.
The president to proclaim the first ‘National Day of Thanksgiving’ in 1789 was George Washington.
Sarah Josepha Hale, a magazine editor, campaigned to make Thanksgiving a National Holiday in 1827 and succeeded.
Abraham Lincoln announced Thanksgiving to be national holiday in his proclamation on October 3, 1863.
The ‘wishbone’ of the turkey is used in a good luck ritual on Thanksgiving Day.
Puritans of the Mayflower used to drink Beer.
Source: http://primtalkradio.com/0ct31.pdf
How the Turkey Got Its Name
There are a number of explanations for the origin of the name of Thanksgiving’s favorite dinner guest. Some believe Christopher Columbus thought that the land he discovered was connected to India, and believed the bird he discovered (the turkey) was a type of peacock. He therefore called it ‘tuka,’ which is ‘peacock’ in Tamil, an Indian language. Though the turkey is actually a type of pheasant, one can’t blame the explorer for trying.
The Native American name for turkey is ‘firkee’; some say this is how turkeys got their name. Simple facts, however, sometimes produce the best answers—when a turkey is scared, it makes a “turk, turk, turk” noise.
At one time, the turkey and the bald eagle were each considered as the national symbol of America. Benjamin Franklin was one of those who argued passionately on behalf of the turkey. Franklin felt the turkey, although “vain and silly”, was a better choice than the bald eagle, whom he felt was “a coward”.
Source: http://www.factmonster.com/spot/tgturkeyfacts.html

In Honor of our Veterans

This week, the AUM Library is proud to salute our nation’s veterans from all branches of the military, and from all wars and conflicts. Check out these titles and more this week at the Library, and take a moment to remember those who have fallen to protect our freedom.
American Women in World War I: They Also Served
By Lettie Gavin
Gavin draws from the full range of possible sources for this excellent volume. The number of American women who served in World War I ran into the tens of thousands, with 11,000 “Yeomanettes” in the navy alone (they were the first U.S. women to officially don uniforms). Others included army nurses, doctors who volunteered as “contract employees,” the “Hello Girls” who supplied the Signal Corps’ telephone system with English-speaking operators (and were not recognized as deserving of pensions and other benefits until long after most had died), physical therapists, and the volunteers of the Red Cross and Salvation Army. One and all, they overcame sexism, racism, bureaucratic inertia, shells, gas, the Spanish influenza, long hours, short rations, and poor quarters to accomplish a prodigious amount of work. And they did all that without benefit of any “gender studies” concepts or jargon, from which Gavin’s readable, highly recommendable volume is also blessedly free.
Source: http://www.amazon.com/American-Women-World-War-Served/dp/087081432X
Band of Brothers (DVD)
Based on the bestseller by Stephen E. Ambrose, the epic 10-part miniseries Band of Brothers tells the story of Easy Company, 506th Regiment of the 101st Airborne Division, U.S. Army. Drawn from interviews with survivors of Easy Company, as well as soldiers’ journals and letters, Band of Brothers chronicles the experiences of these men who knew extraordinary bravery and extraordinary fear. They were an elite rifle company parachuting into France early on D-Day morning, fighting in the Battle of the Bulge and capturing Hitler’s Eagle’s Nest at Berchtesgaden. They were also a unit that suffered 150 percent casualties, and whose lives became legend.
Source: http://www.amazon.com/Band-Brothers-Damien-Lewis/dp/B00006CXSS/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=dvd&qid=1251809920&sr=1-1
The Coldest Winter: America and the Korean War
By David Halberstam
Pulitzer-winning historian Halberstam first decided to write this book more than thirty years ago and it took him nearly ten years. It stands as a lasting testament to its author, and to the fighting men whose heroism it chronicles. Halberstam gives us a full narrative of the political decisions and miscalculations on both sides, charting the disastrous path that led to the massive entry of Chinese forces near the Yalu, and that caught Douglas MacArthur and his soldiers by surprise. He provides vivid portraits of all the major figures–Eisenhower, Truman, Acheson, Kim, and Mao, and Generals MacArthur, Almond, and Ridgway. He also provides us with his trademark narrative journalism, chronicling the crucial battles with reportage of the highest order. At the heart of the book are the stories of the soldiers on the front lines who were left to deal with the consequences of the dangerous misjudgments and competing agendas of powerful men.
Source: http://aum.worldcat.org/oclc/137324872&referer=brief_results
A Life in a Year: The American Infantryman in Vietnam, 1965-1972
By James R Ebert
Ebert combines interviews and printed primary sources in this brilliant reconstruction of the infantryman’s experience during the Vietnam War. Though accounting for less than 10% of the American troops in Vietnam, the infantry suffered more than 80% of the losses. Ebert, a secondary school teacher in Wisconsin, tells their story chronologically, from the grunts’ induction and training, through their arrival in Vietnam, their first encounters with battle and their final rendezvous with the airplane that would carry them home–the “freedom bird,” one of the numerous military terms, abbreviations and Vietnamese words defined in the glossary. The infantrymen confronted environments from rice paddies to jungles, from densely populated cities to virtually empty countryside. They fought in patrol skirmishes and in division-scale battles. They learned to kill, but few understood a war with no clear objectives. They survived, but most paid a price for their survival. The book belongs in every collection on America’s longest and most controversial war. Source: http://www.amazon.com/Life-Year-American-Infantryman-1965-1972/dp/0891415394

The Boys of Summer

This week we’re focusing on America’s favorite pastime, baseball! While the New York Yankees and the Philadelphia Phillies are slugging it out for the title of World Series Champion, you can brush up on your baseball history with these featured titles:
Baseball: An Illustrated History By Geoffrey Ward and Ken Burns
(Located on the 4th floor: GV863.A1 W37 1994)
A magnificent, exhaustively researched chronicle in words and pictures of our nation’s pastime, and how it came to be what it is. In their analysis and celebration of baseball’s evolution over 150 years from a game played on vacant city lots in front of a few lookers-on to present-day contests in domed stadia with television audiences approaching one billion, Ward and Burns divide the sport’s history into nine sections (or innings), each with accompanying essays by such notable writers as Gerald Early, Doris Kearns Goodwin, and George Will. Perhaps most noteworthy is this volume’s ability to examine the game while remaining blessedly free from the over analysis and intellectualization that are common to such comprehensive studies. To wit: Babe Ruth is seen not so much as a lens through which a historical era can be studied, but as a great player whose accomplishments helped alter millions of fans’ connection to the game. Also worthy of high praise is the straightforward depiction of black players’ exclusion, stemming from an unwritten agreement among team owners, during the period spanning from the late 1800s until 1947. Burns’ assertion in the preface that baseball is a “powerful metaphor…for all Americans” might be dismissed by some as just a tad ingenuous. However, the true genius of this work is in demonstrating how the baseball diamond does provide a common ground for a nation comprised of disparate elements, overcoming cultural, ethnic, and regional barriers better than nearly any other institution. This companion volume to an upcoming PBS series also stands on its own as a literary achievement.
Source: http://www.amazon.com/Baseball-Illustrated-Geoffrey-C-Ward/dp/0679404597
Clemente : The Passion and Grace of Baseball’s Last Hero By David Maraniss
(Located on the 4th floor: GV865 .C45 M355 2006)
On New Year’s Eve, 1972, following eighteen magnificent seasons in the major leagues, Roberto Clemente died a hero’s death, killed in a plane crash as he attempted to deliver supplies to Nicaragua after an earthquake. Journalist Maraniss now brings the great baseball player back to life. Anyone who saw Clemente play will never forget him–he was a work of art in a game too often defined by statistics. But Clemente was that rare athlete who rose above sports to become a symbol of larger themes. Born in rural Puerto Rico, at a time when there were no blacks or Puerto Ricans playing organized ball in the United States, Clemente went on to become the greatest Latino player in the major leagues, a ballplayer of determination, grace, and dignity who paved the way and set the highest standard for waves of Latino players who followed in later generations.
Source: http://aum.worldcat.org/oclc/63179088&referer=brief_results
Baseball In America & America In Baseball By Donald G. Kyle and Robert B. Fairbanks
(Located on the 4th floor: GV863 .A1 B387 2008)
Presenting views from a variety of sport and history experts, Baseball in America and America in Baseball captures the breadth and unsuspected variety of our national fascination and identification with America’s Game. Chapters cover such well-known figures as Ty Cobb and lesser-known topics like the “invisible” baseball played by Japanese Americans during the 1930s and 1940s. A study of baseball in rural California from the Gold Rush to the turn of the twentieth century provides an interesting glimpse at how the game evolved from its earliest beginnings to something most modern observers would find familiar. Chapters on the Negro League’s Baltimore Black Sox, financial profits of major league teams from 1900 to 1956, and American aspirations to a baseball-led cultural hegemony during the first half of the twentieth century round out this superb collection of sport history scholarship.
Source: http://www.amazon.com/Baseball-America-Prescott-Memorial-Lectures/dp/1603440232/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1257021141&sr=1-1
Yogi Berra : Eternal Yankee By Allen Barra
(Located on the 4th floor: GV865 .B4 B37 2009)
In the introduction to his latest effort, Barra (The Last Coach: A Life of Paul Bear Bryant) says that one of his goals was to create the first comprehensive work written about Yogi Berra, the greatest ballplayer never to have had a serious biography. The result is not only comprehensive but also incredibly engaging, as Barra narrates the life of one of the most eccentric ballplayers of the 20th century. Starting with his modest Italian upbringing in St. Louis, Mo., Berra quickly took a liking to what his father called a bum’s game. And after a short career in the navy, he parlayed his talents into one of the most decorated athletic careers in history, leading the New York Yankees to 10 World Series championships and winning three MVPs. Each of Berra’s baseball highlights is meticulously described, as are his stints as a manager for both the Yankees and cross-town Mets, his relationships with men like Casey Stengel, Mickey Mantle and George Steinbrenner, and his ability to create some of the most famous catchphrases of our time, Yogiisms, as they’re called. Barra’s love of the catcher with the similar name is evident throughout this deserving biography of Yogi.
Source: http://www.amazon.com/Yogi-Berra-Eternal-Allen-Barra/dp/0393062333