Category Archives: Grand Rapids History

SAVE THE DATE: History Detectives launching new Youtube Channel

The award-winning History Detectives Grand Rapids program sponsored by local heritage organizations is back! This year, History Detectives will launch their new Youtube Channel on January 22, 2022!

History Detectives 2022 logo

Eight pre-recorded programs ranging from the shores of Lake Michigan through Grand Rapids to the State Library in Lansing. You will be able to view these programs starting January 22, 2022 at whatever time is convenient to you!

Members of the Greater Grand Rapids Womens History Council will be presenting Unearthing an Army of Women: Diversity in Our WWI Women’s Registration Cards. Join Ruth Stevens, GRCC’s own Sophia Brewer, Andrea Riley Mukavetz, and Sue Thoms to learn about the historical nuggets that can be found in an astonishing new resource. Collected in 1918, Kent County’s 23,000 WWI women’s registration cards are available on a searchable database, ready to reveal the diversity of women volunteers who crossed class, religious, racial, and ethnic boundaries to create, inadvertently, a mine of treasures not limited to Grand Rapids. Sociological, historical, and geographic veins remain largely unexplored. The presenters will highlight individuals and clusters of African American, Native American, and working women to illustrate what the cards can provide state- and nation-wide researchers; as well as fascinating tips on searching: “journalist” was not used, but “Indian” was. Tune in to explore the skills, held or desired, of a forgotten front line.

Click the brochure pages below to learn more about other programs premiering that same day.

History Detectives Grand Rapids 2022 brochure page 1
History Detectives Grand Rapids 2022 brochure page 1
History Detectives Grand Rapids 2022 brochure page 2
History Detectives Grand Rapids 2022 brochure page 2

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Filed under Database, Event, General News, Grand Rapids History, Learning Opportunity, Staff News

Our Veterans’ Stories

Veterans Day is a great opportunity to listen to Grand Valley State University’s Veterans History Project videos. West Michigan male and female veterans – including Grand Rapids Junior College / Community College alums – shared their military experiences first-hand with interviewers. These are excellent examples of primary resource materials.

For many years, and continuing today, oral historians at GVSU’s History Department have recorded interviews that are part of the larger Library of Congress’ Veterans History Project. They “collect memories, accounts, and documents of U.S. war veterans from World War II and the Korean War, Vietnam War, and conflicts in the Middle East and elsewhere, and … preserve these stories for future generations.”

Chester Dykema interview image
Dykema, Chester, “Dykema, Chester (Interview outline and video), 2007,” Digital Collections, accessed November 8, 2021, https://digitalcollections.library.gvsu.edu/document/28851.

Listen to one of our own, GRJC alum Chester Dykema, speak of his service.

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Filed under Event, General News, Grand Rapids History, Staff Favorites

616 Day!

616 is Grand Rapids local area code, and today is June 16 – aka 616. Today is also the inaugural 616 Day – what organizers hope will become an annual event. The event will be held TODAY at Celebration Cinema Studio Park Piazza at 123 Ionia Avenue SW.

This first 616 Day is also a crowd-funding fundraiser for a film project from Grand Stand Pictures. The filmmakers are working on a movie version of A City Within A City: the Black Freedom Struggle in Grand Rapids, MI film project – Dr. Todd Robinson’s book, the eBook about which I recently posted.

616 logo

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Filed under Event, General News, Grand Rapids History

A City Within a City : The Black Freedom Struggle in Grand Rapids, Michigan

It’s not a new book, but it’s a great read. And, it’s finally available in unlimited user eBook format – that’s great since our print book is usually checked out. Dr. Todd Robinson‘s A City Within a City : The Black Freedom Struggle in Grand Rapids, Michigan. “Robinson examines the civil rights movement in the North by concentrating on the struggles for equality in Grand Rapids, Michigan. School integration and bureaucratic reforms as well as the role of black youth activism detail the diversity of black resistance. Understanding race relations in Grand Rapids has broader implications for illuminating the twentieth-century African American urban experience.”

A City Within a City : The Black Freedom Struggle in Grand Rapids, Michigan

Logon with your last name and 7-digit Raider number.

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Filed under Collection Development, General News, Grand Rapids History, Staff Favorites

Musical Moods This Friday

Moods written in instrumentsNext to commencement, the annual Musical Moods concert is the longest-running event at GRCC.  A collage concert featuring all of the performing ensembles of the Music Department, Musical Moods was the brainchild of Albert Smith, longtime chair of the department.  The first Musical Moods was held in 1948 and in its early years featured the band, orchestra and choir.   Over the years, new groups have been added to the mix, including the Guitar Ensemble, the Jazz Orchestra, the Madrigal Singers, the Percussion Ensemble, Shades of Blue, the String Quartet, the Wind Ensemble, and student soloists, duets and ensembles.

Until 1956, the concert was held at the East Building gymnasium.  It has bounced from venue to venue over the years due to the lack of a performing arts center at the college.  Check out some of the past Musical Moods concerts.

  • Friday, February 21
  • 7:00 p.m.
  • East Grand Rapids High School Performing Arts Center- 2211 Lake Dr. SE 49506
  • Admission:  Adults $11.00; Students/Seniors $6.00
  • All GRCC Students with current Raider Card ID- FREE/ All GRPS Students with current ID Card- FREE

Musical MoodsMusical Moods 1957 program

Musical Moods undated

For more GRCC history, see Open Door: Grand Rapids Junior/Community College, 1914-2014. Photos and text courtesy of GRCC Archives.

 

 

 

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Filed under Event, General News, Grand Rapids History