Did you ever wonder what happened before the “big bang”? Ever wonder how to make a corn dog from crude oil & rocks?


mental flossYou will find the answer to these questions and the history of everything else in the December 2014 issue of Mental Floss!  Get your free copy today from the Virtual Library’s Zinio Magazine collection.

New to Zinio Magazines from the Library? Learn how to get 200+ magazines by reading the Hot Topic – Zinio.

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Need a book for your homework assignment?


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We have you covered with our Gale Virtual Reference Library. You can find these eBooks on our Hot Topics page eBooks for Learning & Homework.  Start with the DK Books collection which has books on most of your homework subjects. Best of all these books are always available!dkebooks2 Then checkout the always available  Britannica collection of non-fiction titles or Duke Classics found in the eMedia Catalog.

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The Story of Thanksgiving Day


1621Being thus arived in a good harbor and brought safe to land, they fell upon their knees and blessed the God of heaven, who had brought them over the vast and furious ocean . . . “ from the journal of William Bradford, 1630. Learn more about the first Thanksgiving Day from the resources gathered together on our Hot Topic – Holidays, Celebrations & More – November.

What does citizenship in America mean? What does citizenship in America mean? What are our rights and responsibilities?


citizenshipHave you forgotten the meanings associated with the Great Seal? Do you know the history behind the song America the Beautiful?

Americans by birth or by choice, we are all united by the common civic values expressed in our founding documents, the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States. This common civic identity binds us together as one nation. The Citizen’s Almanac, a collection of America’s most cherished symbols of freedom and liberty, serves as a modern day lifeline to our rich civic history. From historic  speeches to landmark Supreme Court decisions, The Citizen’s Almanac offers a fascinating look into the fundamental civic values that have helped shape the country we know today.

American History: The Vicksburg Campaign – November 1862-July 1863


vicksburgThe campaign for the control of Vicksburg was one of the most important contests in determining the outcome of the Civil War. As President Abraham Lincoln observed, “Vicksburg is the key. The war can never be brought to a close until that key is in our pocket.” The struggle for Vicksburg lasted more than a year, and when it was over, the outcome of the Civil War appeared more certain.

The Vicksburg Campaign: November 1862-July 1863

Additional resources about the American Civil War maybe found at Hot Topics – American History.

Also read the newspaper accounts of the battle in the Historical New York Times. Just enter the search terms vicksburg campaign. You can also scope the articles down by adding a publication date range. For example: 11/01/1862 to 07/31/1863:

vicksburg campaign