On This Day, October 21

The USS Constitution, a 44-gun U.S. Navy frigate built to fight Barbary pirates off the coast of Tripoli, is launched in Boston Harbor. The vessel performed commendably during the Barbary conflicts, and in 1805 a peace treaty with Tripoli was signed on the Constitution‘s deck. During the War of 1812, the Constitution won its enduring nickname “Old Ironsides” after defeating the British warship Guerriére in a furious engagement off the coast of Nova Scotia. Witnesses claimed that the British shots merely bounced off the Constitution‘s sides, as if the ship were made of iron rather than wood. Today, the Constitution is one of the world’s oldest commissioned warship afloat. Find Barbary pirates and War of 1812 at the library, and Barbary pirates and War of 1812 on hoopla.


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Ursula Kroeber Le Guin, American author of novels, children’s books, and short stories, mainly in the genres of fantasy and science fiction, was born in Berkeley, CA., on October 21, 1929.  First published in the 1960s, her work has often depicted futuristic or imaginary alternative worlds in politics, natural environment, gender, religion, sexuality and ethnography. Le Guin has influenced such writers as Salman Rushdie,  David Mitchell and notable futurism and fantasy writers including Neil Gaiman and Iain Banks. She has won the Hugo Award, Nebula Award, Locus Award, and World Fantasy Award, each more than once. In 2014, she was awarded the National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. Find Ursula Le Guin at the library and on hoopla.


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Janet Ahlberg (21 October 1944 – 13 November 1994), née Janet Hall, and Allan Ahlberg (5 June 1938) were a British married couple who created many children’s books, including picture books that regularly appear at the top of “most popular” lists for public libraries. They worked together for 20 years until Janet died of cancer in 1994. Allan wrote the books and Janet illustrated them. Allan Ahlberg has also written dozens of books with other illustrators. Janet Ahlberg won two Kate Greenaway Medals for illustrating their books and the 1978 winner Each Peach Pear Plum was named one of the top ten winning works for the 50th anniversary of the Medal (1955–2005). Find Janet and Allan Ahlberg at the library and on hoopla.

About Avalon Free Public Library

Avalon is a bustling little shore town in southern NJ. Our small population of 1800 expands to about 30,000 at the height of summer. We like to think that we serve them all and then some! Our goal is to make our library available to our patrons wherever they may roam.

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