History of Memorial Day

A day that was once known as Decoration Day has evolved into “the unofficial start of summer”, something that the founders probably never even dreamed would occur. Decoration Day was established by the Grand Army of the Republic three years after the Civil War as a time to remember our war dead by decorating their graves with flowers.

Today Memorial Day is set aside by most people as a time to head to the lake, the mountains, the beach or the hometown to celebrate with picnics and barbeques. Memorial Day is celebrated, not so much as a day to honor our fallen, but as a time to spend with family and friends.

The following websites contain information about the history of Memorial Day. May you enjoy the upcoming holiday weekend, and may you spend a part of it remembering our veterans from all of our wars who fought for our freedoms.

  1. Historical Perspective of Memorial Dayhttp://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=4672349
  2. Website from the History Channelhttp://www.history.com/topics/memorial-day-history
  3. United States Department of Veteran Affairshttp://www1.va.gov/opa/speceven/memday/history.asp
  4. Library of Congress – American Memoryhttp://memory.loc.gov/ammem/today/may30.html
  5. A group working to restore the traditional day of observance for Memorial Dayhttp://www.usmemorialday.org/backgrnd.html


Relax with a good book

These rainy days we’ve been having make me want to curl up with a good book.  Forsyth Library not only has academic works to help you with your assignments, but also popular fiction books to help you relax.

Are you a mystery lover?  You’ll find books by Martha Grimes, Elizabeth George, Janet Evanovich, Robin Cook, Mary Higgins Clark, Lisa Scottoline, Kathy Reichs, David Baldacci and more.

Are thrillers more your style? Try Anne Rice, Dean Koontz, Stephen King, or Laurel K. Hamilton.  Prefer chicklit, romance, or romantic suspense? We have Nicholas Sparks, Iris Johansen, Eric Jerome Dickey, Julie Garwood, LaVyrle Spencer, Nora Roberts and more.

You can join Clive Cussler or Jeff Shaara for an adventure, let Robert Jordan, Terry Brooks and R.A. Salvatore show your their sprawling fantasy worlds, or imagine the future with science fiction by Orson Scott Card, Isaac Asimov, and Philip K. Dick.

To find your perfect relaxing read, search our online catalog by subject or author, or browse the General Collection upstairs, in the PS 3500 area.


Commencement 2010

Commencement is upon us once again at Fort Hays State University. Next Saturday, May 15, Gross Memorial Coliseum will be the setting for the 107th FHSU Commencement.

Through the years, commencement exercises have been held in Sheridan Coliseum, Lewis Field and Gross Memorial Coliseum. For a number of years, there were two ceremonies – one in the spring and one in the summer. This year’s Commencement will have something new: a Graduate School Hooding Ceremony from 8:00-9:00 a.m. in Beach/Schmidt auditorium.

The First Annual Commencement took place on July 2, 1903 at the G.A.R. Hall in Hays, after being postponed from May 1903 because one of the graduates could not get back to Hays from Emporia. Miss Freda Schwaller was unable to travel because of flooding which stopped the train from making its trip. Miss Schwaller, Fred E. Lindley and Ida Shaffer were the first graduates of the Western Branch of the Kansas State Normal School.

Program for the 1st Commencement

Final exams and commencement were cancelled in May 1951 after a flood hit the campus on May 22. The graduates were honored at the summer school commencement later that year.

I’ve been to a number of FHSU Commencement ceremonies over the years. My father received his Masters degree on a summer day in Lewis Field Stadium and my niece received her bachelor’s degree several years ago. I have watched my FHSU friends and student workers from the library walk across that stage. My own graduation from FHSU took place on Friday evening, May 14, 1982, and I received my diploma from President Tomanek in Gross Memorial Coliseum. It was a memorable and very sad evening for me. My mother, one of my biggest supporters, was not there because she was in the hospital that night; we lost her early the next morning.

Graduation brings family, friends and your professors together to honor your achievements. It is also a time to reflect on your years at FHSU and a time to look forward to a new chapter in your life. The staff of Forsyth Library is glad to have helped you along the way with your studies. Good luck and best wishes to all of you.

Just for fun, here is an article from American Heritage Magazine titled: 101 THINGS EVERY COLLEGE GRADUATE SHOULD KNOW ABOUT AMERICAN HISTORY.


Congratulations to the FHSU Graduates of 2010!


Choose Privacy Week

May 2-8 is the launch of the American Library Association’s (ALA) Office for Intellectual Freedom’s (OIF) first Choose Privacy Week. The purpose of the event is to help citizens become more aware of their personal privacy and make informed privacy decisions.  Visit the links provided below for more information about various privacy policies, privacy organizations and selected articles about privacy.  Have you read the privacy policies of the services you use?  To see if you are familiar with computer terms used that can affect your privacy play the Computers and Privacy Word Search game.   While online privacy is important, please also consider other aspects of privacy.  The Federal Trade Commission offers the publication: Privacy: Tips for Protecting Your Personal Information.

The Learning Commons has an online tutorial on this topic called Clean Up Your Digital Act!

Why Privacy?

Privacy Basics

5 Facebook Privacy Tips You Need to Know

Facebook Open Graph: What it means for Privacy

Privacy Mythbuster


Facebook Privacy Policy

Facebook Site Governance

A Guide to Privacy on Facebook

Google Privacy Policy

YouTube Privacy Policy (in addition to Google policy)

myspace Privacy Policy

Twitter Privacy Policy

Yahoo! Privacy Policy


Is Your Brain Still Working?

Just to make sure your brain is still working before finals start, try this short quiz:

1.  Hamburgers get their name from the city of Hamburg.  True or False?

2.  What is a curmudgeon?

3.  Does thunder precede or follow a flash of lightning?

4.  Where is Sri Lanka?

5.  Who wrote, “It’s not that I’m afraid to die.  I just don’t want to be there when it happens?”

6.  Which breed of dog is also known as a “sausage dog?”

7.  How many colors are in a rainbow?

8.  Where is the metatarsus?

9.  What restaurant chain originated in 1948 in San Bernadino when two brothers named Richard and Maurice created the Speedee Service System?

10.  What is a nocturnal African burrowing animal that has a thick set body, a large snout, and donkey-like ears?

How Did You Do?

0-1     You could defnitely use a new brain before finals start.
2-5      Did you go to any classes this semester?
6-8      Taking a few more classes wouldn’t hurt.
9-10    Congratulations! You’ve graduated to the top of your class!

P.S.  In case you want to find the answer to any of these questions, please click on the following link:  Credo Reference Books
That link will take you to a database that has online reference books which will help you find answers to all kinds of questions.