Thursday, December 15, 2016

Happy Holidays! Library Hours for the Winter Interim

Holiday display at the Dick Smith Library - photo by Tracy Holtman

Here are the hours for the winter interim for the Dick Smith Library in Stephenville:

Thursday and Friday, December 15-16: 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday, December 17-18:  Closed
Monday through Wednesday, December 19-21:  8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Thursday, December 22:  8 a.m. - noon
Friday, December 23 through Sunday, January 1:  Closed
Monday through Friday, January 2-6:  8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday, January 7-8:  Closed
Monday through Friday, January 9-13:  8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
through Monday, January 14-16:  Closed
Tuesday, January 17:  Resume regular hours

Holiday ducks at the Texan Hall Library - photo by Lisa Wan

Here are the hours for the Texan Hall Library in the Hickman Building in Fort Worth:

Thursday and Friday, December 15-16: 8 a.m. - 4:45 p.m.*
Saturday and Sunday, December 17-18: Closed
Monday through Wednesday, December 19-21: 8 a.m. - 4:45 p.m.*
Thursday, December 22: 8 a.m. - 11:45 a.m.
Friday, December 23 through Monday, January 2: Closed
Tuesday and Wednesday, January 3-4: 8 a.m. - 4:45 p.m.*
Thursday, January 5:  8 a.m. - 7 p.m.*
Friday, January 6:  8 a.m. - 4:45 p.m.*
Saturday and Sunday, January 7-8:  Closed
Monday through Friday, January 9-13: 8 a.m. - 4:45 p.m.*
Saturday through Monday, January 14-16: Closed
Tuesday, January 17: Resume regular hours

*The service desk in the Texan Hall Library will not be staffed between noon and 1:30 p.m. these days.

The staff of the Tarleton Libraries wish you all a wonderful holiday season and a restful break!

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Extended hours - All Night Study

Finals are well underway!   Hope everyone is aware that the library has extended hours for finals to help you get your study time.   We opened Sunday at 12 noon and will remain open until Wednesday at 7:00 p.m.  You still a day or two left for studying and to complete those projects!

Friday, December 9, 2016

What is the Electoral College?

For only the fifth time in US history (1824, 1876, 1888, 2000, 2016) the candidate who received the most popular votes will not be elected President of the United States. Why is this? Because the US doesn’t elect Presidents by popular vote, but by a process known as the Electoral College. Whichever candidate wins a majority in the Electoral College becomes President regardless of the popular vote. Although Clinton is ahead in the national popular vote, Trump has won the  popular vote in enough states to win 306 electoral votes. Which is much more than the 270 needed to win. 

[Here you can see the popular vote totals nationwide and broken down by state. These numbers are compiled by David Wasserman an editor with The Cook Political Report.]
Meeting of the Ohio Electoral College in 2012. This photo is in the public domain.

Article II Section 1 of the US Constitution says: “Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress...”  

Since 1832, all states except one began allowing their electors to be chosen by popular vote (South Carolina began in 1868).If you voted on November 8th you weren’t actually voting for a Presidential candidate, instead you were voting on which electors will vote for President on behalf of the state. 

Donald Trump won the popular vote in Texas, therefore electors chosen by the Texas Republican Party will be voting in the Electoral College. If Hillary Clinton had won Texas, then electors chosen by the Texas Democratic Party would have been attending the Electoral College.  

Each state is guaranteed a minimum of three votes in the Electoral College, because each state has two Senators and at least one Representative. States with larger populations get more votes because they have a greater number of Representatives. Texas has 38 votes.

The Presidential election of 2016 hasn’t actually happened yet. The members of the Electoral College will vote on December 19th. On that day the electors will gather in their state capitals and write down their choice for President and Vice President. They are supposed to vote for whoever won the popular vote in their state. However, they don’t have to. Some (but not all) states have penalties for electors who don’t follow the popular vote of their state. Occasionally, there are faithless electors who don’t vote the way they are supposed to. However, there have never been enough faithless electors to change the outcome of an election. A Texas Elector has made news recently saying that he will not vote for Donald Trump. 

On January 6th, 2017 the ballots from the Electors will be sent to the President of the Senate (who is also the current Vice President of the US Joe Biden) and they will be counted before a joint session of Congress. 

The library has several books about the Electoral College if you want to learn more:

After the People Vote: A Guide to the Electoral College edited by John C. Fortier
Proposals for Presidential Election Reform: National Popular Vote and Electoral College Options by Maureen Stone
Taming the Electoral College by Robert W. Bennett
Who Will Be the Next President: A Guide to U.S. Presidential Election System by Alexander S. Belenky
Wrong Winner: The Coming Debacle in the Electoral College by David W. Abbott and James P. Levine

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Air Raid Pearl Harbor X This Is Not A Drill

Today is National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day and commemorates the seventy-fifth anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. The events of that day would become a seminal event in American history. America lost some of her innocence that day. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt rightly called this a "day that will live in infamy". Archives play a role in our remembrance of Pearl Harbor and World War II. The image is a broadside created in 1942 by Allen Sandburg issued by the Office of War Information in Washington D. C., and is courtesy of the U. S. Naval Historical Center. The quotation is from Lincoln's Gettysburg address.

One of the most iconic images of the attack is that of the battleship USS Arizona (BB-39) on fire and sinking. James Buchanan Reed, Jr, Tarleton class of 1933, was a storekeeper first class on board the Arizona. He did not survive the attack and his body lies with that of more than 900 of his shipmates inside the hull of the Arizona.

The National Archives (NARA) has digitized many of the images and documents related to Pearl Harbor and World War II. By searching NARA's Archival Research Catalog (ARC) for digital copies one can find images of the attack and its aftermath. Included are the familiar images and those of battleships that had rolled upside down due to damage being righted. Documents include the famous Air Raid Pearl Harbor X This is not a drill radio message. The Library of Congress American Memory Today in History page has numerous links to documents and sources. These sources include man on the street interviews that conducted on December 8, 1941 to capture the public's initial reaction to the bombing. The Library of Congress also has a Veteran's History Project that preserves oral history interviews with World War II veterans' and those of latter wars.

The Oregon State Archives has on online exhibit that features the experience of the Willamette University football team at Pearl Harbor. The team was in Hawaii to play a post-season game. They had played the previous day and were waiting for a sightseeing tour of the island when the attack occurred. I will not tell the whole story, but the team was inducted into the Army and placed on sentry duty, and did make it back to Oregon.
American forces would not attack the Japanese homeland until April 18, 1942. In a daring plan using land based B-25 bombers to take off from the aircraft carrier USS Hornet (CV-8). The pilot of the number three plane was Tarleton graduate Robert Gray. His crew’s mission was to bomb a steel mill, a chemical company, and a gas company, all in Tokyo. The crew hit all their targets. Unable to make an airfield, Gray and his crew bailed out over China. All of his crew members survived the bailout and made their way back to United States forces. 

Gray was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for the Doolittle raid. He was born in Killeen, Texas and a member of the 1940 class of Tarleton majoring in Civil and Aeronautical Engineering. Robert Gray was killed in action in a B-25 crash during a combat mission six months to the day of the Doolittle raid on October 18, 1942 near Assam India. Robert Gray airfield at Fort Hood Texas is named in his honor. Today there is only one surviving member of the Doolittle raid In the image on the right Robert Gray is the second person on the left. (Official USAF photo) 

While it the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and America’s entry was certainly the big news story nationwide. For Tarleton the big news story in the December 9, 1941 J-TAC was winning the bugle at the first Silver Taps ceremony. A smaller article noted that Hawaii and the Philippines were attacked by Japan and the President and Congress had declared war on Japan, that all national resources would be turned to national defense and that a number of causalities had been reported in the fighting in the Pacific.