Category Archives: Grand Rapids History

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

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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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Grand Rapids Press now Full-Image

You asked for this – and now it’s here –  full-page images for the Grand Rapids Press from 2018 to the present, as delivered through the Newsbank Michigan Newspapers database. (Off-Campus users should logon with last name and 7-digit Raider number.)  Other versions of the Press do not include graphics at all, OR, the MLive free version  does not include all the articles published in the print version of the Grand Rapids Press.     To see what other newspapers GRCC licenses, check out the News Subject Guide!GR Press front page
Grand Rapids Press image

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Filed under Collection Development, Database, General News, Grand Rapids History, Periodicals

Closed Labor Day Weekend

The Library & Learning Commons (LLC) will be open Friday, August 30 from 7:30 AM – 5 :00 PM – and then CLOSED through Monday, September 2 for the Labor Day weekend.  We’ll reopen on Tuesday, September 3 at 7:30 AM with regular LLC hours.

Labor Day evokes parades, farmers’ markets, golfing, a trip to Lakes Michigan, sales at the mall and online, the Michigan State Fair, and more.  Read WHY we have the opportunity to enjoy these last days of summer.

Grand Rapids Labor Day parade - historical photo

Grand Rapids Labor Day Parade (circa 1908-1911) up N. Canal St. (Lower Monroe) taken from the top of  the Boston Store in the former dimestore row. From the Grand Rapids Public Museum Collection: (

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Filed under Event, Grand Rapids History, Library Services