News from the Reference Desk Category: History

Women’s Work in World War I

Women have always participated in support work during wartime.  This was especially evident during World War I.  Women served in a variety of capacities sometimes very close to the front lines.  The National Archives holds a vast collection of photographs in its collection of War Department records. You can see several photographs of women at work during World War I in the Unwritten Record Blog prepared by staff at the National Archives.

Women's Land Army WWI

Roads of Yesterday

Summertime in most areas of the United States heralds road construction season. But what was it like for automobile drivers 100 years ago? This video prepared by the Ford Motor Company shows how the Model T was built and what it was like to drive in those early days of the automobile age. Most roads were not paved and snow plowing was nonexistent. Mount Prospect entered the automobile age in full force when William Busse bought his first Buick automobile and eventually became a Buick dealer. Here is a c1920 photograph from the Mount Prospect Historical Society showing William and his son, Fred, with the family’s first automobile. Most of Mount Prospect’s roads were unpaved until the mid-1920s.

Home Movie Day

Older photographs and home movies are rich treasures of family history. Have you been wanting to look at and preserve your older home movies? The Center for Home Movies has designated October as the month to do just that. Over 100 museums and film societies across the world are hosting special events where people can bring their films, view them with others, and get professional guidance about how to best preserve them.

Britannica Library

britannica libraryThe Library now subscribes to the excellent and authoritative Encyclopedia Britannica’s online presence, Britannica Library. Explore thousands of topics in science, social studies, language arts, and mathematics for school projects, review concepts taught in the classroom, or learn something new. Very impressive are the more than 90,000 images, videos, and audio clips. There are 3 levels – children’s, teen, and adult – with great information for everyone. It would be easy to spend an afternoon or evening exploring here.

Flying the Flag – the right way!

It’s that time of year, when Old Glory is proudly displayed.  The United States Flag is one of the most visible and important symbols of our country and the United States Flag Code spells out proper use of the flag.

From a staff, the union (the blue field) should be at the peak, unless the flag is being flown at half-staff.  No other flag should be placed above or to the right of the American flag. The flag can also be displayed vertically, hanging flat so the folds fall free. The union should be uppermost to the flag’s own right (the observer’s left.)

Customarily, the flag is flown from sunrise to sunset, although it may be flown 24 hours a day if properly illuminated during night hours.  Proper illumination is a light specifically for the flag (preferred) or a light source in the area that allows the flag to be identifiable. The flag should not be flown in inclement weather, unless it is made of all-weather material (many are.)

The flag should not touch the ground or be used for draping or decoration. No part of the flag should be used as a costume, in clothing, or for advertising purposes.  Lapel pins are allowed and should always be worn on the left near the heart.

When a flag becomes too worn to display, it should be respectfully disposed of, preferably by burning.  American Legion Post 36 and VFW Post 2992 host an annual Flag Day (June 14) ceremonial burning of worn flags. For more information on displaying the flag, visit the American Legion website at http://www.legion.org/flag/code .