On This Day, October 9

On October 9, 1974, German businessman Oskar Schindler, credited with saving 1,200 Jews from the Holocaust, dies at the age of 66. A member of the Nazi Party, he ran an enamel-works factory in Krakow during the German occupation of Poland, employing workers from the nearby Jewish ghetto. When the ghetto was liquidated, he persuaded Nazi officials to allow the transfer of his workers to the Plaszow labor camp, thus saving them from deportation to the death camps. In 1944, all Jews at Plaszow were sent to Auschwitz, but Schindler, at great risk to himself, bribed officials into allowing him to keep his workers and set up a factory in a safer location in occupied Czechoslovakia. By the war’s end, he was penniless, but he had saved 1,200 Jews. In 1962, he was declared a Righteous Gentile by Yad Vashem, Israel’s official agency for remembering the Holocaust. Find Oskar Schindler at the library and on hoopla


On October 9, 1936, harnessing the power of the mighty Colorado River, Hoover Dam begins sending electricity over transmission lines spanning 266 miles of mountains and deserts to run the lights, radios, and stoves of Los Angeles. Initially named Boulder Dam, work on the dam was begun under President Herbert Hoover’s administration but completed as a public works project during the Roosevelt administration (which renamed it for Hoover). When it was finished in 1935, the towering concrete and steel plug was the tallest dam in the world and a powerful symbol of the new federal dedication to large-scale reclamation projects designed to water the arid West. In fact, the electricity generated deep in the bowels of Hoover Dam was only a secondary benefit. The central reason for the dam was the collection, preservation, and rational distribution of that most precious of all western commodities, water. Find the Hoover Dam at the library and on hoopla.


Johanna Hurwitz, author of more than sixty children’s books, was born in New York City on October 9, 1937. After many years working as a librarian, Hurwitz wrote her first book, Busybody Nora, in 1976, one of the first in the chapter books genre for transitioning young readers from shorter stories to novels. Her books include biographies for children of Anne Frank, Astrid Lindgren, Leonard Bernstein, and Helen Keller. Her 1999 book, The Just Desserts Club, combined related short stories with recipes. Find Johanna Hurwitz at the library.

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