You’re an individual, which means there’s nobody else on earth just like you! So, please join us for Children’s Storytime in the library on Wednesday, March 8th from 9:00-10:00 a.m., or we’ll certainly feel sad to have missed the one and only You!
In the Circulation Desk exhibit area, books remind us of the 150th anniversary of the birth of Laura Ingalls Wilder (February 7, 1867-February 10, 1957), beloved author of the “Little House on the Prairie” books. Her life as a published writer only began after she published her first book at the urging of her daughter at the age of sixty-five. Before that she and her parents and siblings, then she and her husband, lived often hard and disaster punctuated lives on the American frontier.
Born in Wisconsin, Wilder eventually lived for periods of time in Kansas, Minnesota, Iowa, South Dakota and Missouri. Perhaps the frontier offered new land and opportunities, but also demanded incredible determination and resilience. Yet Wilder could still marvel at the wonder of it: “I began to think what a wonderful childhood I had had. How I had seen the whole frontier, the woods, the Indian country of the great plains …”
Books now on display in the Erwin Library Circulation Desk exhibit area highlight the immigrant experience in the United States, beginning with noting that the Ellis Island Immigration Station (opened in January 1, 1892) now celebrates its 125th anniversary of existence, first as the initial, and possibly most crucial stop for immigrants from all over the world arriving in ships that had just crossed the Atlantic ocean, and finally as a major educational tourist destination which is part of the Statue of Liberty National Monument.
The history of Ellis Island, though it was not the only station to welcome hopeful new citizens of the U.S., is probably the most well-known, and the number and diversity of people who passed through it is truly staggering. For example, “On April 17, 1907, an all-time daily high of 11,747 immigrants received is reached; that year, Ellis Island experiences its highest number of immigrants received in a single year, with 1,004,756 arrivals.”
After the U.S. became a world power following the end of W.W. I, most immigrants applied for papers and were processed in U.S. embassies established in nearly every nation. Along the way, various groups were denied access or deported through Ellis Island, most often for contagious disease or criminal activity, but also because of quotas favoring people of Western European descent, or in fear of groups American were in conflict with at times, such as Germans during the world wars and Russians during “Red Scares.”
Also on display in the library’s Reference exhibit area are books focused on the 75th Anniversary of the beginning of the Internment of Japanese-Americans on February 19, 1942 in what were termed “War Relocation Centers” created all over the western part of the United States. Our exhibit focuses on Manzanar, a camp in California.
“The Japanese Americans could bring only what they could carry—clothes, plates, cups, utensils, linens, toiletry items, and mementos—to the designated collection points. With less than a week to sell their businesses, houses, and valuables, they had no time to get things in order … The relocation centers mirrored small communities with churches, hospitals, libraries, post offices, and schools. The WRA [War Relocation Authority] allowed some internees to leave for temporary seasonal agricultural work. Others attended college, served in the military, or obtained outside employment. Some of the internees remained in the WRA relocation centers until they closed in 1946.”
What did WCC students do in 1972? How about those hairdos .. and that’s the faculty! You’ll see it was a slightly different world, but still Goldsboro and still our school as you flip through thirteen newly digitized WCC Yearbooks (Yearbooks link) published between 1964 and 1985, now part of the WCC Historical Archives. You’ll also find the WCC Campus Voice newspaper (See: Newspapers) published between 1968 and 2008, and the WCC Renaissance literary magazine (See: Campus Publications) for 1985 through the present.