The Library of Congress named the 88 books that shaped America. The usual suspects make the list, but there are a few surprises:
- A Curious Hieroglyphick Bible (1788)
- William Holmes McGuffey, McGuffey’s Newly Revised Eclectic Primer (1836)
- Samuel Goodrich, Peter Parley’s Universal History (1837)
- William James, Pragmatism (1907)
- Jack Ezra Keats, The Snowy Day (1962)
Saturday night… Waiting by the phone…
Kidding, we hope that’s not the case for you. This is from a series of pictures from the Dec. 11, 1944, issue of LIFE depicting a teenage girl on the phone. (Nina Leen—Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images)
See more photos here.
On the afternoon of April 30, 2012, steelworkers placed the first column on the 100th floor at One World Trade Center (still called, by some, the “Freedom Tower”) and New York City will again have a new tallest building on its skyline. But no matter how much higher One World Trade climbs, however, and whatever skyscrapers follow in the years and decades to come, there will always be one building in New York City that looms larger, and is looked on more fondly, than any other.
The Empire State Building opened for business on May 1, 1931, in the midst of the Great Depression, with New York governor Al Smith’s grandchildren cutting the ceremonial ribbon that introduced the 102-story masterpiece to the world. For four decades, it was the tallest building on the planet, before it was finally surpassed in 1972 by the World Trade Center towers anchoring lower Manhattan three miles south. Today, long after it lost the title as the tallest building in the world, and at a time when taller structures (everywhere, but especially in Asia) are rising at a dizzying clip, the ESB nevertheless still stands alone — literally and figuratively — on the Manhattan skyline.
Read more about the history of the Empire State Building here.
April 30, 1945: Hitler commits suicide.
In the spring of 1945, LIFE’s William Vandivert was one of the first photographers to document the ruins of Berlin and the burned-out bunker beneath the city where Hitler and Eva Braun spent their final hours
In his typed notes to his editors in New York, Vandivert described in detail what he saw. For example, of the sixth slide in this gallery he wrote:
“Pix of [correspondents] looking at sofa where Hitler and Eva shot themselves. Note bloodstains on arm of soaf [sic] where Eva bled. She was seated at far end … Hitler sat in middle and fell forward, did not bleed on sofa. This is in Hitler’s sitting room.”
Remarkable stuff — but, it turns out, only about half right. Historians are now quite certain that Braun actually committed suicide by biting a cyanide capsule, rather than by gunshot — meaning that the blood stains on the couch might well be Hitler’s, and not Eva Braun’s, after all.
Read more here.
On this day (September 27th) in 1066, William the Conqueror and his troops started their voyage at the mouth of the Somme River in France, thus beginning the Norman Conquest of England.
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