On This Day, December 15

Captain Glenn Miller, trombonist, bandleader and the biggest star on the American pop-music scene in the years immediately preceding World War II disappears in a flight over the English Channel on December 15, 1944. Miller departed from an RAF airfield outside of London heading to Paris where he was organizing concerts by the Army Air Force Band for the GIs. General James Doolittle, unified commander of Allied air forces in Europe in World War II, offered the following high praise to one of his staff officers in 1944: “Next to a letter from home, Captain Miller, your organization is the greatest morale builder in the European Theater of Operations.” Miller disbanded his civilian band at the end of 1942, and entered the Army.  After nearly two years spent stateside broadcasting a weekly radio program called I Sustain The Wings out of New York City, Miller formed a new 50-piece USAAF dance band and departed for England in the summer of 1944, giving hundreds of performances to Allied troops over the next six months before embarking on his fateful trip to France on this day in 1944. Find Glenn Miller at the library, on hoopla and in Freegal.


 

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Edna O’Brien, Irish novelist, memoirist, playwright, poet and short story writer considered the “doyenne” of Irish literature, was born in Tuamgraney, County Clare, Ireland on December 15, 1930.  O’Brien’s works often revolve around the inner feelings of women, and their problems in relating to men, and to society as a whole. Her first novel, The Country Girls, is often credited with breaking silence on sexual matters and social issues during a repressive period in Ireland following World War II. Philip Roth considers her “the most gifted woman now writing in English”, while former President of Ireland Mary Robinson regards her as “one of the great creative writers of her generation.” Find O’Brien at the library and hoopla.

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