Monday, November 18, 2013

The President Is Shot

On November 21, 1963, President John Kennedy flew to Texas to give several political speeches. The next day, as his car drove slowly past cheering crowds in Dallas, shots rang out. Kennedy was seriously wounded and died a short time later. Within a few hours of the shooting, police arrested Lee Harvey Oswald and charged him with the murder. On November 24, another man, Jack Ruby, shot and killed Oswald, thus silencing the only person who could have offered more information about this tragic event. The Warren Commission was organized to investigate the assassination and to clarify the many questions which remained.

President Kennedy's death caused enormous sadness and grief among all Americans. Most people still remember exactly where they were and what they were doing when they heard the news. Hundreds of thousands of people gathered in Washington for the President's funeral, and millions throughout the world watched it on television.

As the years have gone by and other presidents have written their chapters in history, John Kennedy's brief time in office stands out in people's memories for his leadership, personality, and accomplishments.

Take a look at the books on the Kennedy display in the Al Harris Library and select something to read about the life and experiences of the president who was killed 50 years ago. Another excellent source of information about the man is the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston, Massachusetts.

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

National Book Awards Finalists for 2013

The National Book Award began in 1950 when a consortium of book publishing groups sponsored the 1st annual National Book Awards Ceremony and Dinner at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City. The goal was to enhance the public's awareness of exceptional books written by fellow Americans and to increase the popularity of reading in general. The event has now become the most important event on the literary calendar.

Today the National Book Awards are sponsored by the National Book Foundation and continue to recognize the best of both established and emerging writers. They recognize achievements in four genres: Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, and Young People's Literature. The winners, selected by five-member, indpendent judging panels for each genre, receive a $10,000 cash award and a crystal sculpture.

The National Book Award Finalists are announced in October and the National Book Award Winners are announced in November. For more information on the National Book Awards, go to

Come check out the National Book Award Finalists display at the Al Harris Library! When the 2013 winners are announced on November 20, the display will be updated with winner information.