Staff members from the Greenfield Public Library will write about recent developments at the library, staff book recommendations, new materials, updates on the new library, upcoming events and programs, and highlights of specific collections. For more information about the Greenfield Public Library, check out our web site.
At the most recent History Book Club, we discussed Douglas Waller’s A Question of Loyalty: Gen. Billy Mitchell and the Court-Martial That Gripped the Nation and the legacy of the brash Milwaukeean, General Billy Mitchell. Mitchell was a pioneering military officer whose viewpoints on the future of military aviation ultimately led him to being court-martialed and eventually found guilty for speaking his mind and undermining American military procedure (violation of the catch-all 96th Article of War).
In a time when airplanes were very little more than wood, cloth, and an engine, Mitchell understood the potential importance of air-power on the battlefield unlike any other of his time. He predicted the importance of the Hawaiian Islands and the rise of Asia, particularly Japan, as one of the countries that the world needed to be concerned of post-World War I. He in fact predicted that the Japanese would strike at Pearl Harbor years before the eventual attack in 1941, and actually predicted the time of the attack within 20 minutes. He had successfully proven that air-power could sink a battleship, a thought once noted as preposterous, during a flight test in 1921; a result that made manly naval admirals weep at the test.
Unfortunately, as smart and prophetic as he was militarily and aeronautically, two things that he could not control ultimately did Mitchell in: his social class and his mouth. Born the grandson of an eminent Milwaukee banker and the son of a Congressman, Mitchell lived a life of excess and privilege that many in the military never dreamed having. Though he was a very ambitious and promising soldier, Mitchell could not help how his lineage perhaps took away from the successes he had earned. His wealthy family may have also shaped his ego. When he asked his family for money, often overspending his bounds, the loans were lent easily, and there was always more money from where that loan came from. Having money often allows people to be more public, more outspoken, fear repercussions less.
Mitchell had the military know-how of airplanes unlike very few in the United States Military. He flew every model of plane that the US Army acquired. He flew scouting missions in France as a General. If anybody had the right to acknowledge the direction of aviation in the military, it was Billy Mitchell.
However, sometimes you just need to put your foot in your mouth. In response to the Navy dirigible Shenandoah crashing in a storm in 1925 that killed 14 on board, an enraged, ignored (in his opinion), and recently demoted Mitchell fired a scathing 6000+ word document at a press conference that accused leaders in both the Army and the Navy of incompetence and “almost treasonable administration of the national defenses.” While the average person may be able to get away about saying some of this about their superiors, in the military atmosphere, such speech could not go undisciplined.
The result was a seven-week media-circus court-martial which was the O.J. Simpson trial of the 1920s, or at least a similar equivalent. Mitchell was tried amongst a jury of his peers (fellow generals including childhood playmate and future Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers Douglas MacArthur) that either loved him or hated him for a variety of reasons. Mitchell was eventually found guilty of his breach of the 96th Article of War and was suspended for five years without pay or title.
The question remains why the US military did not kick Mitchell out outright. Did they value his opinions but not his gabbiness? Mitchell certainly thought so, but it didn’t matter in the end. Though President Coolidge altered the sentence and eventually allowed for Mitchell to receive half-pay, the flamboyant Mitchell resigned from the Army in February 1926. He tried to rally around Franklin Roosevelt’s presidential election in 1932, hoping to get a valuable military or possibly a cabinet position, but nothing materialized. Within ten years of the court-martial, Mitchell was dead at 56.
Unfortunately, Billy Mitchell never got to see most of his ideas come into fruition. His death preceded the beginning of World War II by just three years and he never saw how powerful airpower became on the battlefront, especially with the dropping of the ultimate weapon, the atomic bomb, from an airplane. He never saw the formation of an independent air force, co-equal to the army and navy that he lobbied for for so many years. He never got to see the direction of today’s modern aviation or its advancement to the point of creating drone technology where airplanes do not even need pilots. Compare this to some planes in his time being called “flying coffins” and the term ‘suicide mission’ being an apt and common concept in early aviation.
Despite his military downfall, Billy Mitchell and his legacy are stronger today than ever. Wherever there is an airplane, the legacy of Mitchell is right behind.
Hello Again Blog Readers!
Greenfield Library is brimming with activity for both young and old. Read below to see some of the exciting activities awaiting you at the Library.
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STUDENT ART ON DISPLAY
Celebrate Youth Student Art Month at the Greenfield Library with a reception in the Community Room on Sunday, March 2 from 1:00-5:00pm. There will be a “Make and Take” project sponsored by the Milwaukee Art Museum and Kohl’s Family Fun, as well as light refreshments. The art, created by Greenfield public school students will be on display throughout March in the library Community Room, Children’s Library, lobby display case, and on the second floor mezzanine area. Artwork on display in the Community Room will be available for viewing Monday evenings from 5:00-8:00pm (except March 31), Wednesdays from 10:00-3:00pm (except March 26), Fridays from 10:00-5:30pm and Sundays from 1:00-4:00pm.
DR. SEUSS BIRTHDAY PARTY
“I am what I am! That’s a great thing to be! If I say so myself, HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME!”
All are invited to a Dr. Seuss Birthday Party on Tuesday, March 4 at 6:30pm in the Greenfield Library Community Room. We will have stories, crafts, fun, and of course…cake! The event is free and no registration is required.
PET CRAFTS PROGRAM
Whether it is your dog, your grandma’s cat, or your friend’s box turtle, every pet deserves a toy. All middle and high school students are invited to attend a FREE Pet Craft Creation workshop on Tuesday, March 11 from 3:00-4:30pm in the Greenfield Library Community Room. We will make rope dog bones or fleece cat toys to take home to your pet. Maybe we will have that turtle craft session in the future.
ADULT BOOK CLUB REUNITES
The Greenfield Book Discussion group meets again Wednesday, March 12 at 7:00pm to discuss Lorna Landvik’s novel Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons. This book brings together a group of diverse women over forty years and their own personal book club and interactions. What will they say and do next? I guess that you will just have to get the book and find out. Request a copy of the book online at http://countycat.mcfls.org or call us at 414-321-9595 x104.
DEEP IN THE STACKS: JOHNNY CASH
February 26 would have marked the 82nd birthday of country legend, Johnny Cash. Much of the “Man in Black’s” deep bass-voiced music echoed themes of sorrow, love, and redemption. Cash influenced countless artists and left a large body of music at his death, including “Folsom Prison Blues,” “Ring of Fire,” “A Boy Named Sue,” and his much acclaimed American Recording sessions with producer Rick Rubin in his later years.
When Johnny Cash sang, whether he wrote the song or not, he owned the song, with that deep, gravelly voice mixed with the Tennessee 3’s boom-chicka sound. He was not only a country legend, but a music legend, and he is deeply missed. The following are some of the holdings from and about the Man in Black at Greenfield Library.
-Cash – Editors of Rolling Stone Magazine 781.642 CASH
-Cash: The Autobiography – Johnny Cash/Patrick Carr LP 781.642 CASH
-Johnny Cash: The Life – Robert Hilburn BIO CASH, Johnny
-Up Close: Johnny Cash: A Twentieth-Century Life – Anne E. Neimark J BIO CASH, Johnny
-American Recordings CD COU CAS
-American III: Solitary Man CD COU CAS
-American IV: The Man Comes Around CD COU CAS
-American V: A Hundred Highways CD COU CAS
-American VI: Ain’t No Grave CD COU CAS
-Biggest Hits CD COU CAS
-God CD REL CAS
-Gospel Collection CD REL CAS
-I Walk the Line CD COU CAS
-Love CD COU CAS
-The Mystery of Life CD COU CAS
-Ring of Fire: The Johnny Cash Musical Show: Original Broadway Cast Recording CD MUS RIN
-The Sun Years CD COU CAS
-Wanted Man CD COU CAS
Walk the Line – DVD WAL
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Thank you for reading and we look forward to seeing you at Greenfield Library soon.
WELCOME BACK BLOG READERS!
Love is in the air with Valentine’s Day approaching. Bring your sweetheart to Greenfield Library and read below about some of the activities occurring at the Library.
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TAX SEASON IS HERE!
It is the beginning of the year and that means that Uncle Sam is once again digging deep into our pockets during a new tax season. Greenfield Library is here to make the only season worse than this everlasting winter a painless and hopefully profitable one once those rebates start coming back.
-Homestead Tax forms are available at the reference desk at no cost!
-Federal and state tax forms will be available to photocopy or print at the reference desk for 15 cents per page. However, the first five pages you print are free! Ask at the reference desk.
-If you want to find federal tax forms and booklets online, go to http://www.irs.gov/Forms-&-Pubs or order by phone at 1.800.829.3676
-If you want to find state tax forms and booklets online, go to http://www.revenue.wi.gov/html/formpub.html or order by phone at 414.227.4000
AARP FREE TAX ASSISTANCE – GREENFIELD LIBRARY COMMUNITY ROOM
-MONDAYS (FEBRUARY 3 – APRIL 14)
-10:00am – 4:00pm
-TUESDAYS (FEBRUARY 4 – ARPIL 15)
-10:00am – 2:00pm
-Appointments MUST be made in-person with the AARP representatives on days when they are at Greenfield Library. Library staff will NOT make or take appointments.
-Please bring your current tax records and a copy of last year’s income tax return.
BLIND DATE BOOK CLUB
Are you up for a little adventure? Are you in the mood for a little forbidden book love? Greenfield Library, in the spirit of Valentine’s Day now offers a Blind Date Book Club. We wrapped a number of books and only supplied a minimal description on the cover. If your curiosity is piqued, take one or more of these books to the counter and unveil the prose you chose. NO PEEKING…we’re watching. Then, when you’re done, come back and tell us if your book was a stud or a dud. This club is for kids, young adults and adult readers, so everyone can have the blind date experience. We hope it goes well and you meet your dream date.
DEATH BY CHOCOLATE PARTY– FEBRUARY 13
Alert the police now for an expected mass case of chocolo-cide when Greenfield Library hosts our Death by Chocolate Party on Thursday, February 13 from 3:00 – 4:30pm. All middle and high school students are invited to this free event, where there will be chocolate-themed games, crafts and snacks. Xocolatophobes stay home, this party will be a killer!
FAMILY MOVIE MATINEE
Enjoy a mid-winter movie break at Greenfield Library’s Community Room on Friday, February 21 at 1:30pm. We will be showing a new-release family film on our big screen and serving snacks. Which new-release film? You’ll just have to come and find out! See you there.
DEEP IN THE STACKS – SYLVIA PLATH
February 11 marked the 51st anniversary of the death of a writer who left too soon. Sylvia Plath was a poet, novelist and short story writer who suffered from depression most of her adult life. Her most famous work, The Bell Jar, was a semi-autobiographical novel in which the protagonist’s descent into mental illness paralleled Plath’s experiences with clinical depression. Her suicide in 1963 is clouded with controversy and many wonder whether her attempt was intentional or perhaps just a cry for help. Regardless, her impact in the literary world is lasting, despite it being all too brief.
The following are holdings related to Sylvia Plath at Greenfield Public Library.
WRITTEN BY PLATH
-Ariel: The Restored Edition – 811.54 PLA
-The Bell Jar (Book) – F PLA
-The Bell Jar (Book on Tape) – CAS PLA
-The Collected Poems – 811.54 PLA
-The Journals of Sylvia Plath – 800 PLATH, Sylvia (Lower Level – Ask Librarian)
-American Isis: The Life and Art of Sylvia Plath – Carl Rollyson BIO PLATH, Sylvia
-Mad Girl’s Love Song: Sylvia Plath and Life Before Ted – Andrew Wilson 811.54 WIL
-Sylvia Plath – ed. Harold Bloom 800 PLATH (Lower Level – Ask Librarian)
-Wintering: A Novel of Sylvia Plath – Kate Moses F MOSES, Kate
-Sylvia – DVD SYL
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Thank you again for reading our blog and we look forward to seeing you soon at Greenfield Library.
WELCOME BACK BLOG READERS!
February is on us and love, beauty and chocolate are in the air. Get out of that bitter cold and snow and come into Greenfield Library and nestle up with a good book or movie. Here are some happenings for this month.
ART EXHIBIT AND RECEPTION AT GREENFIELD LIBRARY
Greenfield Library is pleased to host an exhibit of original artwork by the students of local artist/art instructor Judith Reidy. The collection of oil and acrylic paintings showcases the talents of students who bring a wide range of artistic experience to their artwork. There will be a reception for family, friends, and the public on Sunday, February 9 from 3:30 to 4:45 on the second floor of Greenfield Library. Come to the library to take in the beauty of this exhibit through February 24.
DEATH BY CHOCOLATE PARTY AT GREENFIELD LIBRARY ON FEBRUARY 13
Back by popular demand, the Death by Chocolate Party will be bigger, badder, and chocolatier than last year! All middle and high school students are invited to this free event, which takes place in the Library Community Room on Thursday, February 13 from 3:00 to 4:30pm. There will be chocolate-themed games, crafts, and snacks. Come hungry and ready to celebrate the greatest food on earth – chocolate!
HISTORY BOOK CLUB REDEPLOYS FEBRUARY 25