This Month in History: August

picture of astronaut on the moon with MTV banner

Fun fact: MTV is one week older than I am. It started off mainly just showing music videos. Now 40 years later (yes, I'm admitting my age), I'm not really sure how much music is actually on MTV. I don't have cable, but from what I gather from their website it seems to be mostly reality shows. Granted - MTV had early success with The Real World back in 1992 (before the big reality boom of the late 90s/early 2000s), so it's not as if that wasn't already part of their legacy. Still - I miss the days of the VJs.

 

If you'd like to read about television:

Television: From Concept to Consumer by Steven Otfinoski - Whether you like to watch live broadcasts of your local sports teams, discuss the results of the latest reality shows with your friends, or stream shows on your laptop, you probably have a wide range of TV shows that you like to watch. Readers will find out how these shows are created and broadcast into millions of homes around the world. They will also learn about the history of television, explore a variety of different careers within the television industry, and take a look at some of the most groundbreaking shows ever made. - (Scholastic)

12 Great Moments That Changed TV History by Lori Fromowitz - This book covers key moments from the introduction of the television at the 1939 World's Fair, to I Love Lucy (fun fact: Star Trek exists because of Lucille Ball), the moon landing, Sesame Street, and of course MTV. Each moment has a 2 page spread, and there is a fact sheet and glossary in the back. It's a great tie-in to the next event below, as there are quite a few pages that focus on events in the 60s.

What Happens at a TV Station? by Amy Hutchings - Join Buddy, every first-grader’s favorite Weekly Reader® pal, as he goes behind the scenes at interesting real-life places where people do interesting real-life work. What Happens at a TV Station? takes readers inside a TV station where a talent show is being taped. - (Gareth Stevens Pub)

 

If you'd like to read about the 80s:

The Eighties by Adrian Gilbert - Traces the events, trends, and important people of the 1980s, including science, technology, fashion, music, art, architecture, sports, entertainment, and news. - (Baker & Taylor)

Drawing on Walls: a Story of Keith Haring by Matthew Burgess - Often seen drawing in white chalk on the matte black paper of unused advertising space in the subway, Haring's iconic pop art and graffiti-like style transformed the New York City underground in the 1980s. A member of the LGBTQ community, Haring died tragically at the age of thirty-one from AIDS-related complications. Illustrated in paint by Josh Cochran, himself a specialist in bright, dense, conceptual drawings, this honest, celebratory book honors Haring's life and art, along with his very special connection with kids.- (Perseus Publishing)

 

Woodstock logo on the left, a red background, Jimi Hendrix picture on the right

It's hard to talk about the 60s without mentioning Woodstock. This music festival has become an icon for the era and a symbol of the hippie movement. As much of a stellar lineup there was for the festival (Joan Baez, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, The Grateful Dead, Santana, The Who), there is an equally stunning list of bands who turned it down for various reasons (The Doors, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin). If you want a bit of nostalgia and to introduce your kids to the concept of the "Who's on first?" bit, may I suggest this video (though you may have to explain the joke).

 

If you'd like to read about Woodstock and the 60s:

What was Woodstock? by Joan Holub - On August 15, 1969, a music festival called "Woodstock" transformed one small dairy farm in upstate New York into a gathering place for over 400,000 young music fans. Concert-goers, called "hippies," traveled from all over the country to see their favorite musicians perform. Famous artists like The Grateful Dead played day and night in a celebration of peace, love, and happiness. Although Woodstock lasted only three days, the spirit of the festival has defined a generation and become a symbol of the "hippie life." - (Penguin Putnam)

What was the Vietnam War by Jim O'Connor - The Vietnam War was as much a part of the tumultuous Sixties as Flower Power and the Civil Rights Movement. Five US presidents were convinced that American troops could end a war in the small, divided country of Vietnam and stop Communism from spreading in Southeast Asia. But they were wrong, and the result was the death of 58,000 American troops. Presenting all sides of a complicated and tragic chapter in recent history, Jim O'Connor explains why the US got involved, what the human cost was, and how defeat in Vietnam left a lasting scar on America. - (Penguin Putnam)

 

If you'd like to read about the musical artists:

Carlos Santana: Sound of the Heart, Song of the World by Gary Golio - Carlos Santana grew up surrounded by music. His father, a beloved mariachi performer, teaches his son how to play the violin when he is only six years old. But when Carlos discovers American blues, he is captivated by the raw honesty of the music. Unable to think of anything else, he loses all interest in the violin. When Carlos finally receives his first guitar, his whole life begins to change. From his early exposure to mariachi to his successful fusing of rock, blues, jazz, and Latin influences, here is the childhood story of a legendary musician. - (McMillan Palgrave)

Jimi: Sounds Like a Rainbow: a Story of the Young Jimi Hendrix by Gary Golio - Jimi Hendrix was many things: a superstar, a rebel, a hero, an innovator. But first, he was a boy named Jimmy who loved to draw and paint and listen to records. A boy who played air guitar with a broomstick and longed for a real guitar of his own. A boy who asked himself a question: Could someone paint pictures with sound? This is a story of a talented child who learns to see, hear, and interpret the world around him in his own unique way. It is also a story of a determined kid with a vision, who worked hard to become a devoted and masterful artist. Jimi Hendrix--a groundbreaking performer whose music shook the very foundations of rock 'n' roll. - (Houghton)

Shout, Sister, Shout: Ten Girl Singers Who Shaped A Century by Roxanne Orgill - Dip into this collective biography of ten outstanding female singers of popular music in the twentieth century and meet some of the most remarkable women who've ever lived! Through intimate personal details and numerous photographs, interviews, and tidbits of little-known information, music critic Roxane Orgill brings to life ten "girl singers" and the decades in which they did their best work. Readers of Shout, Sister, Shout! will learn about the lives, the loves, and the music of SOPHIE TUCKER (1900s) MA RAINEY (1910s) BESSIE SMITH (1920s) ETHEL MERMAN (1930s) JUDY GARLAND (1940s) ANITA O'DAY (1950s) JOAN BAEZ (1960s) BETTE MIDLER (1970s) MADONNA (1980s) LUCINDA WILLIAMS (1990s) Writing in a friendly, readable style, Roxane Orgill has created a book of great distinction that will fascinate and inspire readers of all ages. - (Simon and Schuster)

 

The Mona Lisa on the left, stereotypical robber on the right

The Mona Lisa is one of the most famous (if not *the* most famous) pieces of art in the world - but that wasn't always the case. You can tell this is true because when it was stolen, no one realized it was missing for over 24 hours! That would be unthinkable today! This theft is what helped skyrocket the work of art to fame. You know who one of the suspects was in the case? Pablo Picasso (yes, *the* Pablo Picasso). You'll have to read about it if you want to find out who it really was and how they pulled it off - and I don't know how you could resist after this paragraph.

 

If you'd like to read about Leonardo Da Vinci:

Leonardo Da Vinci by Stephen Krensky - Leonardo was a creative genius who wanted to understand how things worked. This book traces his life, from his birth in a hilltop village near Florence, Italy, through to his work as a painter, sculptor, and engineer. Leonardo made hundreds of drawings and paintings, including the Mona Lisa - probably the most famous painting in the world. Learn how Leonardo made detailed sketches of the human body and designs of parachutes, helicopters, and armored tanks - many years before the technology existed to build them. - (Penguin Putnam)

Leonardo's Horse by Jean Fritz - Offers the story of Leonardo da Vinci's plan to make a great sculptured bronze horse statue to stand before a palace in Milan and the American man who made the master's dream realized five-hundred years later. - (Baker & Taylor)

Neo Leo: the Ageless Ideas of Leonardo Da Vinci by Gene Barretta -Cleverly shows how Leonardo's ideas foreshadowed modern inventions. At once an artist, inventor, engineer, and scientist, Leonardo da Vinci wrote and drew detailed descriptions of what would later become hang gliders, automobiles, robots, and much more. - (Baker & Taylor)

 

If you'd like to read about famous heists:

Caught: Nabbing History's Most Wanted by Georgia Bragg - A humorous look at how famous people got caught, including Joan of Arc, Blackbeard, Al Capone, and more! Outlaw, assassin, art thief, and spy, these fourteen troublemakers and crooks--including Blackbeard the pirate, Typhoid Mary, and gangster Al Capone--have given the good guys a run for their money throughout the ages. Some were crooked, some were deadly, and some were merely out of line--but they all got Caught! as detailed in this fascinating and funny study of crime, culture, and forensic science. FEATURING HISTORY'S MOST WANTED: Joan of Arc, Sir Walter Raleigh, Caravaggio, Blackbeard, John Wilkes Booth, Jesse James, Billy the Kid, Mata Hari, Typhoid Mary, Rasputin, Vincenzo Peruggia (Mona Lisa thief), Bernard Kuehn (Pearl Harbor spy), Anna Anderson (Anastasia impersonator), and Al Capone. - (Baker & Taylor)

Great Art Thefts by Charlotte Guillain - 'Great Art Thefts' examines famous art crimes and the hunt to find the thieves. Part of the Treasure Hunters series, 'Great Art Thefts' offers a crosscurricular mix of science & technology and history, with a fun, dramatic approach. Art thefts covered in the book include the Mona Lisa, the Scream, the Millennium theft from the Ashmolean Museum, and the greatest ever single art theft: the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum heist. The book also looks at the motives for these crimes, and the measures that can be taken to protect valuable works of art from unscrupulous criminals. - (Capstone Pr Inc)

Robbers! True Stories of the World's Most Notorious Thieves by Andread Schroeder - Determined to beat the odds, professional thieves spend their lives figuring out ingenious ways to steal other people's possessions. In Robbers! you'll uncover the dirt on eight cunning master thieves, including: Master-of-disguise Willie Sutton, who robbed banks in costume; D. B. Cooper, who hijacked a plane, demanded $200,000, and parachuted to safety; London's Great Train Robbers, who held up a moving train to pull off one of the largest ever hauls of banknotes! Each story offers a glimpse into the high-octane underworld of the boldest of robbers. The writer's fascination with criminal masterminds and the illustrator's action-packed graphic depictions of real-life thievery make this a compelling read for fans of mischief, mayhem, and bad guys on the run. - (Firefly Books Ltd)

 

A photo of Loch Ness with a silhouette of Nessie in the foreground

Well if you read the story, he technically wouldn't be the *first* person, as some accounts have him stumbling upon a group of men on the shore, one of which had been bitten by the monster. So they'd be the first - he's just the first recorded account. The story goes that after he sees the group, he orders someone to swim across the lake to retrieve a boat (yeah, I know - this is like a classic horror movie). The person does, but the monster comes after him. Columbia makes a sign of the cross and rebukes the monster, who turns tail and swims away. The next sightings don't happen until WAY later in 1933, when a road is built next to the lake. Coincidence? 

 

If you'd like to read more about the Loch Ness Monster and other cryptids:

Investigating Bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster, and Other Cryptids by Heather Moore Niver - Bigfoot, Nessie, and mermaids: what do these cryptids share in common? No matter how doubtful we are of their existence, a part of us persists in asking, "Could they be real?" With a skeptical tone, this title tracks the most popular cryptozoological creatures from their mythological origins to modern attempts to prove their existence. Scientific explanations-including archaeological records and alleged physical evidence-are presented and assessed. Regardless of their veracity, the place these beasts hold in television, movies, and books is a cherished one, and it merits a thorough investigation. - (Rosen Pub Group)

Loch Ness Monster by Ken Karst - An in-depth study of the Loch Ness Monster, examining legends, popular reports, and scientific evidence that supports or refutes the existence of the mysterious phenomenon. - (Baker & Taylor)

The Loch Ness Monster by Erin Peabody - In The Loch Ness Monster, readers learn about all the sightings and proof of it, from the famous photograph to the huge "footprints" found by the Loch. It also discusses other history about the monster, such as how Nessie became a major figure in popular culture, and other mythical beings that came from Scotland. Complete with engaging anecdotes, interesting sidebars, and fantastic illustrations, kids won't want to put this book down! - (Simon and Schuster)

 

If you'd like to read more about Scotland:

Child of St. Kilda by Beth Waters - Norman John Gillies was one of the last children ever born on St Kilda, five years before the whole population was evacuated forever to the British mainland. People had lived on these islands for over four thousand years, developing a thriving, tightly-knit society that knew nothing of crime or money, and took care of its weakest members without hesitation. At the mercy of the seasons and the elements, a unique lifestyle evolved, based around resilience, mutual trust and caring. What was it like to grow up in such harsh conditions? Why and how did this ancient way of life suddenly cease in 1930? Where did the islanders go, and what became of them? And what became of Norman John, child of St Kilda? - (Childs Play Intl Ltd)

Myths and Legends of Ancient Britain and Ireland by World Book - Where did the people of Ireland come from? Who was King Arthur? Who was Finn MacCool? Through engaging narration and colorful illustrations, Myths and Legends of Ancient Britain and Ireland helps children explore the rich mythologies and legends of the many cultures of the peoples of Britain and Ireland. Helpful special features include phonetic pronunciations and a pronunciation guide and a glossary of special terms.

Scotland by Nelson Yomtov - Though it is a part of the United Kingdom, Scotland is home its own distinctive culture and history. Readers will get an up-close view of everything from the natural beauty of the Highlands to the city streets of Glasgow and Edinburgh. They will also explore Scotland's rich history, sample its cuisine, and discover the traditions its people have held for centuries. - (Scholastic)

Originally Posted by StephanieT on July 26, 2021