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Letter written on Titanic fetches $200,000 at UK auction house

TODAY: A letter from two Titanic survivors written just hours before the ship hit an iceberg sold for $200,000 at an auction in England on Saturday, according to the auction house Henry Aldridge & Son.

"This morning Eva and I went to church…and she sang out loudly, she is very bonny,” wrote Esther Hart from the library of the Titanic on the ship’s signature stationary, referring to her 7-year-old daughter, Eva.

Photo: Henry Aldridge and Son via

Source: breakingnews
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Jan. 17, 1976: Sculptor Selma Burke

Selma Burke, one of the 20th century’s most prolific artists and sculptors, went to the White House in 1943 to draw President Franklin Roosevelt. The semi-classical image she created showed the nation’s leader with his head held high, prominent cheekbones and a taut jaw.

The likeness was intended for a new Recorder of Deeds building in Washington, D.C.  but was later adopted for the dime. First, however, all of the Roosevelts had to approve it.

Eleanor Roosevelt dropped by Burke’s New York studio on Jan. 10, 1945. While Mrs. Roosevelt liked the drawing, she felt the artist had made her husband look too young. But Ms. Burke replied that she wanted the presidential profile to be timeless.

Born into poverty in Mooresville, North Carolina, Ms. Burke dug her fingers into riverbank clay as child. She was one of 10 children born to an Episcopal minister and a mother who did clerical work and lived to be 103. The family moved to Washington, D.C.  and Philadelphia.

Ms. Burke arrived in Harlem for that neighborhood’s famous cultural renaissance during the 1920s. She earned her living as a nurse but continued to study art during the Depression.

She married Claude McKay, a poet and one of the older Harlem Renaissance figures. The couple’s social circle included the witty Dorothy Parker, novelist Sinclair Lewis, the playwright Eugene O’Neill, poet Langston Hughes, singer Ethel Waters and artist Max Eastman.

The couple had a stormy marriage and later divorced.

In the 1930s, Ms. Burke traveled to Europe, where, along with photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson, she studied drawing with Henri Matisse in Paris.

After World War II broke out, Ms. Burke joined the U.S. Navy, driving a truck at the Brooklyn Navy Yard.  While on the job, she injured three discs in her back and was hospitalized. Doctors told her she would not walk again.

Regardless, she entered the nationwide competition to draw President Roosevelt and won.

Her other work included likenesses of Booker T. Washington, abolitionist John Brown and President Calvin Coolidge. Her sculpture also can be seen at Hill House in the city’s Hill District.  

Ms. Burke taught art in Pittsburgh for 17 years and operated her Selma Burke Art Center in East Liberty from 1972 to 1981.

In 1979, Ms. Burke was 78 when she was honored for her contributions to visual arts at the White House by President Jimmy Carter. He praised her as a “shining beacon” for aspiring artists.

Ms. Burke retired to New Hope, Pa., where she died at age 94 in 1995.

— Marylynne Pitz

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Source: pgdigs
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it all fun and cheery until 101 Dalmatians… CRUELLA!!

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Source: derdermewmew



WHOA! Not very nice. The cold OBVS bothers YOU

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Source: communists
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Amanda and Donna both agree that the Batgirl sneakers are THE BEST.

Also, it’s National Library Workers Day.  Woohoo, party at the Reference Desk!

Partaaay!  We’ll bring the Bat-shots

Pour .5oz Captain Morgan into pint glass, and fill halfway with Coke. Pour Bailey’s, Vanilla vodka, and root beer schnapps in equal parts into shot glass. Sing “NANANANANANANANA BATMAAAAAAAN” and drop the shot glass into the pint glass. Drink quickly, before the Bailey’s curdles! Tastes like a root beer float, feels like a Batarang to the face.

Holy Dewey Decimal System, Batman!

— Petra

Melanie! Get on this for Halloween!

Source: emmetoneallibrary


New York Times journalist Carlotta Gall spent more than a decade reporting from Afghanistan and Pakistan after 9/11. Her book, The Wrong Enemy, offers new information about how Islamabad has helped the Taliban in Afghanistan, and how Pakistan’s intelligence agency may have helped Osama bin Laden hide out in Abbottabad, Pakistan:

"We knew [bin Laden] was hiding almost in plain sight in Pakistan, but when I finally learned this from an inside source – so, someone who really did know — it made sense that they were hiding him and protecting him to use him, I think, for their own reasons.

I think one of the reasons was that they knew he was a powerful figurehead of al-Qaida [and] of Muslim fighters around the world, and I think they wanted him on their side, a bit controlled, to use him for their own policy-making. And so they used him to control and influence their own militant proxy forces that Pakistan has been fostering and sponsoring for several decades now … [including] to fight in Kashmir …

I think also they didn’t want to be the nation that handed him over to the U.S., to be seen by other Muslims as the ones who betrayed this hero or Muslim warrior, as he’s often seen …

They were always telling the west that the trail had gone cold. [Pakistani] President [Pervez] Musharraf came to Washington and said that: We have no information, maybe bin Laden is dead. There was a failure not only to cooperate with the U.S., who was supposed to be the great ally and has pumped money and assistance into Pakistan for this last decade or more, but there was actually genuinely an effort to mislead and to hide him when they knew that this was the one great target for America after Sept. 11.”

Photo : Osama bin Laden’s hideout in Abottabad, Pakistan via Getty Images

Source: nprfreshair



It was an incredible honor to get the opportunity to tattoo a tattoo machine parts mandala on @sobaone, who built the tattoo machines I have used to make a living with for the past 5 years (when I was clued into how awesome his machines are.) Going to bed super grateful and stoked on life tonight.

Little Jenn Small

that TEAL tho

Source: littlejennsmall


Still Going Strong
One Year later, Boston continues to heal.

April 15th marks one year since the Boston Marathon bombings. Lives were forever changed, but even through tragedy, there remains an incredible amount of strength and resilience. We take a look back at the difficult healing process of a city coping with unspeakable loss, while still staying ‘Boston Strong.’
See the images on GettyInFocus

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Here’s the link for more information about the PS244 fundraising campaign

Here’s the link to the GIVE IT ALL TO ME Library Collection at

Check it out! The good folks dropped me a line about this project last week, and I’m happy to boost for Library Week.

Signal boost

Source: mildhorror