Word of the Week: Opprobrium

Book Cover: Al Franken: Giant of the SenateAs in:
“In late 2005, I told a friend that I was very seriously considering running for the Senate.
‘Why would you do that?’ he asked incredulously.
‘Well,’ I said, ‘I think I could accomplish a lot. And what do I really have to risk?’
My friend looked dubious. ‘Um, public opprobrium?’” (Franken, 2017, p.63).

Franken, A. (2017). Al Franken, Giant of the Senate. New York: Twelve, 2017.

Word of the Week: Prescient

As in: “With Young’s prescient book [The Rise of Meritocracy] in mind, the historian Jerome Karabel has summed up the history of selective college admissions as a ‘history of recurrent struggles over the meaning of “merit”‘” (Delbanco, 2012, p.126).

Delbanco, A. (2012). College: What it was, is, and should be. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

May 17, 1954: Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas

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In a major civil rights victory, the U.S. Supreme Court decides in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka that racial segregation in public educational facilities is unconstitutional. The decision brought an end to de jure tolerance of racial segregation. The case dealt with Linda Brown, a young African American girl who had been denied admission to her local elementary school in Topeka, Kansas, because race. Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka (1954) overturned Plessy v. Ferguson (1896) that ruled “separate but equal” accommodations in railroad cars conformed to the 14th Amendment’s guarantee of equal protection. That ruling was used to justify segregating all public facilities, including elementary schools.

African American lawyer (and future Supreme Court justice) Thurgood Marshall led Linda Brown’s legal and argued that the white school she attempted to attend was far superior to her black alternative and miles closer to her home. In a unanimous decision the Supreme Court ruled the “separate but equal” doctrine unconstitutional because educational segregation stamped an inherent badge of inferiority on African American students.

Word of the Week: Intrepid

As in: “Women were seen as intrepid frontier heroes, even goddesses in the wilderness—provided they had modern equipment” (Rugh, 2008, p.126-7).          WoW_intrepid

Rugh, S. S. (2008). Are we there yet?: the Golden age of American family vacations. Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas.

For definitions of intrepid, consult the Oxford English Dictionary.

Whatever your plans, the Cardinal Cushing Library staff wishes you a Summer break full of intrepid adventuring!

On This Day: Studio 54 Opens

studio-54-opening[1]Studio 54, which opened its doors for the very first time on April 26, 1977. The impresarios behind Studio 54 were Steve Rubell and Ian Schrager, college roommates at Syracuse University who got into the nightclub business after their first venture, a chain of steak restaurants, failed to flourish. The woman who made Studio 54 into the celebrity playground was Carmen D’Alessio, a public-relations entrepreneur in the fashion industry, whose Rolodex included names like Bianca Jagger, Liza Minnelli, Andy Warhol and Truman Capote. Her buzz-building turned the grand opening into a major item in the New York gossip columns, and her later efforts—like having Bianca Jagger ride a white horse into the club for her 30th birthday party—stoked the public’s fascination with Studio 54 even further. In addition to celebrities,  political figures like Margaret Trudeau, Jackie Onassis and, infamously, White House Chief of Staff Hamilton Jordan visited the nightclub.

Word of the Week: Foetid

As in: “Pilgrim State’s Rockland’s and Graystone’s foetid                   WoW_Foetid

halls, bickering with the echoes of the soul, rock-

ing and rolling in the midnight solitude-bench

dolmen-realms of love, dream of life a night-

mare, bodies turned to stone as heavy as the moon…” (Ginsberg, 1959, p.19).

Ginsberg, A. (1956). “Howl”. Howl and other poems. San Francisco, CA: City Lights Books.

For definitions of foetid, consult the Oxford English Dictionary.

Get them before their gone! Or at least back in the stacks. In honor of National Poetry Month, Howl and many other books of poetry are on display. Check one out today.

Word of the Week: Doppelgänger

As in: “Halle Berry feeds her pet, just like I do. Nicky Hilton buys leggings and so might I. Through these implied similarities, the magazines cast celebrities and readers as doppelgängers, individuals who share common life experiences” (McDonnell, 2014, p.76).headshot_mcdonnell

McDonnell, A. (2014). Reading Celebrity Gossip Magazines. Cambridge, United Kingdom: Polity Press.

For definitions of doppelgänger, consult the Oxford English Dictionary.

Join us on April 20th for the third in the Cardinal Cushing Book Talk series with Andrea McDonnell, PhD from 5-6pm. You can find the ebook version of Reading Celebrity Gossip Magazines on EBL