March 25, 1997 'Today in History' Debuts on American Memory Page of the National Digital Library Web Page

Contact: Guy Lamolinara (202) 707-9217

Beginning April 1, the Library will offer "Today in History" from its American Memory home page of on-line collections from the Library of Congress.

"Today in History" is designed to present daily historical facts highlighted by materials from the American Memory collections, available at

For example, April 1 provides links to Life History Manuscripts, which includes memories of April Fools' Day before the turn of the century. Mrs. Sally Skippers remembers pranks and punishments in a rural schoolhouse. The teacher described in the interview "Dr. Samuel Lathan" recalls how "April 1 was dreaded by most rural schoolteachers. The pupils would get inside and lock the teacher out." The Life History Manuscripts collection contains 2,900 documents that tell the life stories of Americans from all walks of life and were produced as part of the Federal Writers' Project of the Works Progress Administration in 1936-40.

The April 1 page will also offer humorous photographs from the Detroit Publishing Company collection of more than 25,000 photographs.

Each day, users can visit the site to learn about the history of the day and to view or hear Library materials relating to that day. Previous offerings will be archived for reference. The site's direct address is

American Memory is an initiative of the National Digital Library Program of the Library of Congress that aims to make millions of the nation's most important American history materials freely available on the Internet. The nearly 400,000 items offered so far include portraits of the presidents and first ladies, documents relating to slavery and the civil rights movement, early short films by Thomas Edison and selected notebooks of Walt Whitman.


PR 97-058
ISSN 0731-3527