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June 23 marks the anniversary of two events of great cultural and political significance to the United States and, in particular, American women.

In 1960, the FDA formally approved Enovid for use as an oral contraceptive, making it the first approved birth control pill in the world. Enovid had been prescribed since 1957 as a treatment for menstrual disorders, but the FDA’s official recognition and approval of its contraceptive properties ushered in a new era of freedom and debate about reproductive rights. You can read more about the development of The Pill in Jonathan Eig’s The Birth of the Pill  and about its impact on American society in America and the Pill by Elaine Tyler May; we have both in our collection.

Representative Patsy Mink, a co-author of Title IX. The law was renamed after her in 2002 as the Patsy Takemoto Mink Equal Opportunity in Education Act

Representative Patsy Mink, a co-author of Title IX. The law was renamed after her in 2002 as the Patsy Takemoto Mink Equal Opportunity in Education Act

Twelve years later, on June 23, 1972, Congress passed Title IX as part of the Education Amendments of 1972. It stated, in part that:

“No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance”

By banning sex discrimination in schools, Title IX has helped to expand educational and athletic opportunities to women. For Title IX’s 40th anniversary in 2012, The National Women’s Law Center collected a series of stories to honor the breadth its impact. Perspectives come from those who grew up before Title IX, like Alexa Canady, the first African-American woman neurosurgeon, as well as after, like Shree Bose, a prodigious teenage cancer researcher.

You can find the rest of the stories at “Faces of Title IX”.

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We spoke too soon! It would seem that chilly weather is back for a bit. But there’s one benefit to this unwelcome temperature drop: fresh baked goods hot out of the oven are appealing again. And conveniently, there’s a holiday on June 6th that encourages enjoying just that: National Applesauce Cake Day.

Not familiar with it? Neither were we, but it seems that The Internet is. While the origins of National Applesauce Cake Day are unknown, it is agreed that June 6th is the day to celebrate it.  The consensus seems to be that it’s a celebration of the humble and delicious Applesauce Cake, which was lauded as a patriotic dessert during World War I and the Depression. It could be easily made at home and was more economical than other types of cakes, since applesauce reduces the amount of butter, sugar, and eggs needed in a recipe.

Easy and cheap? Sounds perfect for a busy student on a budget. Applesauce is also a healthier alternative to oil in a recipe or a vegan-friendly replacement for eggs and butter.

Intrigued? CNN has a brief discussion of the holiday and some tips for homemade applesauce and  National Day Calendar has some recipe suggestions.

Let us know if you have any recipe suggestions or know of another wacky food-related holiday!

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Ahhhhh!

It’s National Stress Awareness Month!

Take a moment to breathe deep, go for a stroll, do some stretches, or play a game (don’t forget, we have some at the Library Service Desk!).

You could also do this, but we don’t recommend it:

BangHeadHere

Stress Reduction(Eamon Curry| CC BY 2.0 )

Here at Hirsh Library, we’ll have some activities throughout the month to help you de-stress, so stay tuned! In the meantime, check out some of the stress-reduction and relaxation tools up on the Tufts’ Counseling & Mental Health Services website.

 

…Your estates and your freedom, your children and Wives; A story I’ll tell you that’s truth now indeed, And when you hear of it your hearts will bleed.

The above comes from A Verse Occasioned by the late horrid Massacre in King-Street, a broadside published in Boston in 1770 to express outrage over the events of the evening of March 5th, the event we now know as the Boston Massacre. On the evening of March 5, 1770, a row broke out in front of the Custom House on King Street (now State Street) in Boston. Accounts of what provoked the trouble are mixed, but most include a soldier striking a boy, and a mob of Bostonians replying by hurling both snowballs and insults at the soldier. As the crowd grew more hostile, more soldiers were called in, and eventually nine armed British soldiers faced a rowdy group of over 50 colonists. Eventually, the soldiers fired into the mob, and when the casualties were totaled, five men were dead and six more were injured. The events of that March evening were seized upon by Boston radicals, and spun to create even more animosity toward the Crown. One of the most famous pieces of propaganda is Paul Revere’s compelling (if inaccurate) depiction of the event, which circulated wildly in the spring of 1770.

Paul Revere, “The Bloody Massacre in King-Street, March 5, 1770.” Boston, 1770. (Gilder Lehrman Collection)

Of course, this event took place a short walk from the Hirsh Health Sciences Library. Commemorate this event with a Boston Massacre Study Break! Start on the Freedom Trail, and visit the Boston Massacre Marker on the corner of State and Congress Streets, right near the Old State House. Head back toward campus on Tremont Street, and stop in at the Granary Burying Ground. You’ll find the grave marker for the victims of the Massacre next to Samuel Adams. You can also visit with John Hancock and Paul Revere while you’re there. As you follow Tremont toward Boylston Street, take a detour into Boston Common at Avery Street, and enjoy the beautiful Boston Massacre/Crispus Attucks Monument, erected in 1888. If your interest is piqued, there is a full day of (ahem) “family friendly events” planned at the Old State House Museum, including activities for little ones and culminating in the annual reenactment of the Boston Massacre at 7:00 pm this Saturday.

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Today is the Chinese New Year, which is also known as the Lunar New Year since the celebration begins on the first day of the Chinese Lunar Calendar.  2015 is the Year of the Sheep. It’s also called the Spring Festival as it marks the beginning of warmer weather in China, even though Boston will have to wait a little longer for some warmer days…

John Stephen Dwyer [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], from Wikimedia Commons

John Stephen Dwyer [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], from Wikimedia Commons

And because our campus is located very conveniently in Chinatown, be sure to check out the Chinese New Year Parade! It’s the largest annual celebration in Boston’s Chinatown with lion dancers, music, and firecrackers—and if you haven’t tried the plethora of food options in our neighborhood, what a better time to venture out and celebrate? This year’s parade will be held on Sunday, March 1st and is FREE!  Click here to learn more.

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January is apparently National Soup Month (who knew?!), at least, it is according to the good people at Campbell’s, and I feel like they know a thing or two about soup. And here at the Hirsh Health Sciences Library, we know a bit about soup, too.

For example, according to this article published in The Nurse Practitioner, there may just be something to the idea that chicken soup is a valid treatment for the common cold. According to this paper, it provides relief from symptoms and decreases the inflammatory response related to viral illness- in other words, chicken soup might actually make you feel better when you’re sick. SCIENCE!

Cure for the Common Cold?  (courtesy University of Washington Libraries. Digital Collections: http://content.lib.washington.edu/u?/kiehl,360)

Cure for the Common Cold?
(courtesy University of Washington Libraries. Digital Collections: http://content.lib.washington.edu/u?/kiehl,360)

Regardless of its efficacy, who doesn’t like a hot bowl of soup in the winter, regardless of whether you’re under the weather? Research and Instruction Librarian Jane recommended this pot of Fire Roasted Tomato Soup for a yummy meal. If you’re looking for a weekend project (it is supposed to snow, after all), make someone’s day with a labor-intensive batch of delicious Chicken Matzo Ball Soup (aka Jewish Penicillin). For vegetarians/vegans/spicy food lovers, this Lentil and Coconut Soup with Cilantro-Habanero Gremolata is delicious and cheap to make. It also makes enough soup to freeze for the next time you feel the sniffles coming on.

There’s a proverb (of Spanish or Portuguese origin, apparently) that states: “Of soup and love, the first is best.” I offer no opinion on the matter, but wish you a wonderful National Soup Month.

 

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‘Tis the season for visits with family, roaring fires, delicious feasts, celebrations with friends…

Oh, and a much needed break from school!

If you’re sticking around to study, be sure to check the Library’s limited hours.

Have a safe, happy, and healthy holiday from Leo, Theo, Lizzy, Catalog, and the rest of the Hirsh Health Sciences Library team!

Hirsh Holiday 1_KMedit

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We’re in the middle of Banned Books Week, an annual awareness event that celebrates the freedom to read and draws attention to the detriment of censorship.  We often take for granted material that is available to us.  There are several websites highlighting this campaign which are listed below.

Banned Books

 

http://www.bannedbooksweek.org/

http://www.ala.org/bbooks/bannedbooksweek

http://time.com/3418361/banned-books-week/

https://www.facebook.com/bannedbooksweek

We at Hirsh actually have a couple of titles that made the top 10 banned books of 2013!

Hunger_games

 

 

 

 

Perksofbeingwallflower1

 

 

 

 

 

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I recently convinced myself that August is National Tomato Month. Possibly because I have spent the last several weeks gorging on the beautiful New England tomatoes making their way to the Boston farmers’ markets and local farm stands.

Imagine my dismay when I discovered that August celebrates many foodstuffs, including sandwiches, catfish, and peaches, but according to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, National Fresh Tomato Day falls on April 6th.

Now, if you dragged yourself through many, many miserably damp days in March and April of 2014, you know for a fact that there was not a local, sun-ripened, fresh tomato to be found in Boston on April 6th. And I’m not the only person who thinks August is the time to celebrate the glorious tomato. Consider the world-famous, tomato-centric celebration known as La Tomatina in Buñol, a small Spanish town in Valencia that attracts over 30,000 people every August.

Courtesy Aaron Corey CC BY-NC-ND 2.0. https://www.flickr.com/photos/aaroncorey/38954571/

Courtesy Aaron Corey CC BY-NC-ND 2.0. https://www.flickr.com/photos/aaroncorey/38954571/

This is the perfect time to enjoy beautiful ripe tomatoes of all varieties. They are also a superfood, rich in Vitamin C and fiber, as well as beta-carotene and lycopene. Read more about the health benefits of eating tomatoes in the Tufts Health & Nutrition Letter.

If you’re looking for new ways to enjoy tomatoes, here are a few of my favorite recipes:

And of course, you can always just eat a perfectly ripe tomato all on its own, preferably over the kitchen sink.

 

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summer

Ahh, summer!  When the misery of winter is but a distant memory, and we are all baking in the heat collectively!  Other than no need to justify ice cream, one of the best things about summer are all the free events you can take advantage of.   Summer is the perfect time to discover Boston with some of the free events highlighted below:

Lastly, a great resource to search for free or low cost events in Boston all year round is the Boston Calendar.

Enjoy summer while it lasts!

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