08 8, 2019

The story of the Willoughby chemical weapons plant

By |2019-08-08T06:00:40-04:00August 8, 2019|

Lewisite_poster_ww2Did you know that Willoughby housed a chemical weapons plant during World War I?

Learn more about this surprising piece of local history during a special program at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 22, at our Main Branch.

Jeffrey Frischkorn, former writer for The News-Herald, will discuss the history of the Ben-Hur Motor Company plant (later home to the Ohio Rubber Company) that was converted to a chemical weapons plant during World War I.

Frishkorn will guide you through 100 years of Lake County history to tell the story of the top-secret chemical weapon agent called lewisite.

This program hosted in partnership with the Lake County History Center. It is free to attend and open to all. We only ask that you register to attend. You can sign up online at (440) 255-8811 ext. 247.

11 4, 2018

Dwight D. Eisenhower: From World War to the Cold War

By |2018-11-04T06:00:30-05:00November 4, 2018|

We concluded our Presidents of the 20th Century series with a focus on Dwight D. Eisenhower.

Eisenhower was a complicated man — a West Point graduate and general who warned about the military-industrial complex; a man who valued duty but also asked to leave his post so he could marry his mistress.

He also oversaw one of our nation’s most fraught periods, including a chilly portion of the Cold War, McCarthyism, and invention of the hydrogen bomb.

Apparently, he was a pretty decent golfer, as well.

Our resident historian Dr. John Foster guides us through this singular president’s life. Foster, in addition to being a reference librarian, also has a doctorate degree in history.

If you missed it the first time or wish to rewatch it, you can view the entirety of our Presidents of the 20th Century series online:

Foster’s next talk will be at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 4, at the Concord Township Community Center (7671 Auburn Road in Concord Township.) He’ll discuss the life and legacy of Alexander Hamilton.

The talk is free to attend and open to all. If you wish to register, call the Concord Township Community Center at (440) 639-4650.

07 9, 2018

Woodrow Wilson: The Rise of American Internationalism

By |2018-07-09T06:00:01-04:00July 9, 2018|

Our resident historian Dr. John Foster continued his US Presidents of the 20th Century series last month with Woodrow Wilson.

We’ve filmed and shared his talk for those who couldn’t join us that night.

Nowadays, Wilson his best known for his failed attempt to launch the League of Nations after World War I. However, his platform and policies still affect both US and global politics. For example, it was his administration that pushed for the 19th Amendment, finally giving women the right to vote in this country.

So find out how Wilson went from failed lawyer to president of Princeton to president of the United States. (As a bonus, you can learn Taft’s favorite meal.)

Our series continues at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 16, with a focus on Harry S. Truman. The talk is free to attend and open to all.

Other historical talks by Foster can be watched on our YouTube page, as well, including:

02 10, 2017

MPL Talks: The Rise of National Socialism in Germany

By |2017-02-10T06:00:21-05:00February 10, 2017|

We host a lot of programs at Mentor Public Library and it’s hard to catch them all.

And sometimes you miss one you really wanted to see.

That’s why we’ve started MPL Talks, where we post full programs online for you to watch at your convenience. It’s not quite the same as being there. (For example, you don’t get to ask questions.) But it’s better than missing out.

Recently, our own Dr. John Foster—who, in addition to being a librarian, also has a doctorate degree in history—discussed the Rise of National Socialism in Germany as part of International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

Foster examined:

  • Adolf Hitler’s rise to popularity and power
  • how the instability and failure of the Weimar Republic created fertile ground for National Socialism
  • the pseudo-scientists who encouraged Germany’s anti-Semitism
  • what a terrible book Mein Kampf  is.

Other historical talks by Foster can be watched on our YouTube page, including:

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