ICfL staff members have had their eyes out for relevant stories, tools, and tricks so you don’t have to. Topics and resources for this month include historical dates and figures in sports, a funding opportunity from Idaho Humanities Council, programming ideas, and lifelong learning sources. We hope you find these resources useful and inspiring. Enjoy!



  • August 2, 2021: The first year of the 700th Olympiad begins. 
  • August 3, 1941: Martha Stewart (née Kostyra) is born. A display of Dame Martha’s books and videos would increase circulations for these items. 
  • August 5, 1930: Neil Armstrong is born. He would later become the first to set foot on the moon. 
  • August 9, 1936: Jesse Owens steals the limelight by winning four gold medals in track at the Olympic Games in Berlin and becomes the first American to win four medals in a single Olympiad. Owens is the most successful athlete at the Games and, as a black man, is credited with single-handedly crushing Hitler’s myth of Aryan supremacy. Hitler does not attend the presentations of Owens’ gold medals. After the Berlin games, Owens returns to a segregated America where he has trouble finding steady work and where, according to his interviews in later years, the president, Franklin Roosevelt, sends him no words of congratulations nor an invitation to the White House. 
  • August 10, 1846: The Smithsonian Institution is established at the bequest of James Smithson. The reason for the bequest remains unknown. 
  • August 12, 1981: The IBM PC is introduced. The majority of modern personal computers are distant descendants of the IBM PC. 
  • August 15, 1877: Thomas Edison suggests using “Hello” when answering telephones. 
  • August 17, 2017: Collision of two neutron stars about 130 million years ago create ripples in space-time that travel to earth and set off detectors in the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO). 
  • August 18, 1920: The 19th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, which guarantees all American women the right to vote, is ratified. The Amendment states, “The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.” 
  • August 19th has been celebrated since 1939 as National Aviation Day, the legacy of a presidential proclamation first made by Franklin D. Roosevelt to celebrate the birth date of civil aviation pioneer Orville Wright, born on this date in 1871. 
  • August 20, 1975: Unmanned U.S. planetary probe Viking 1 is launched on a journey to Mars. The lander’s touchdown on 20 July 1976 makes it the first successful Mars landing of an Earth vessel in history. Viking 1 operates on Mars for 2,307 days (2,245 Martian solar days).
  • August 21, 1920: Christopher Robin Milne is born in London to author A. A. Milne and his wife, Daphne de Sélincourt. As a child, he was the basis of the character Christopher Robin in his father’s Winnie-the-Pooh stories and in two books of poems.
  • August 22, 1920: Author Ray Bradbury is born in Waukegan, Illinois. Known for his novel Fahrenheit 451 (1953) and his short-story collections The Martian Chronicles (1950) and The Illustrated Man (1951), The New York Times called Bradbury “the writer most responsible for bringing modern science fiction into the literary mainstream.” For this year’s Halloween programming, your library may wish to consider the 1993 animated television version of The Halloween Tree, based on Bradbury’s 1972 novel; or perhaps Something Wicked This Way Comes (1983), based on Bradbury’s 1962 novel of the same name.

Programming Ideas


  • The Idaho Humanities Council has American Rescue Plan grant funds available through their SHARP initiative to support humanities programs and related operating costs. Public Libraries are eligible to apply, and literature is considered a humanities discipline. The due date for the second round of funds is August 15th. Please visit the Humanities’ Council SHARP Page which includes the guidelines, and the FAQs. Contact Doug Exton, IHC Program Officer, with any questions regarding your project, eligibility, or allowability at doug@idahohumanities.org. 
  • We have a bevy of new career-oriented Gale e-Book titles on lili.org! Read all about it here and pay them a visit at https://lili.org/dbs/gale-ebooks/. Thank you, Lumina Foundation, for the grant funds that made this possible!  
  • You know what goes great with new Gale e-Books? A webinar showcasing a couple of these snazzy titles! Learn how to get the most from these and all the other Gale e-Books brought to you by LiLI. Find more information and register here. In true LiLI webinar fashion, this will be recorded and made available after the fact. All who register will also receive a link to the recording directly from Gale. 
  • As a kid, Ariana Remmel had a hard time figuring out where they fit in. So they found comfort in the certainty and understanding of what the world was made of: atoms and molecules and the periodic table of elements. (Short Wave) 
  • Financial resilience resources from AARP on scams, online banking, and the job market 
  • Use the Fire and Smoke map from AirNow to check the air quality in your are.
  • An article from NextAvenue on how video conferencing technology is helping nursing home residents stay civically active in their community