Today we honor the life of Martin Luther King, Jr., the civil rights leader who would have turned 90 this year. A federal holiday to honor King, who was assassinated in April, 1968 was first observed in 1986. Congress also designated a national day of service in 1994.

The PBS series Victoria returns on January 13, 2019. You can learn more about this historic monarch in the meantime by checking out some of the many resources available at the Library.

Victoria : a life by A. N. Wilson

January 1, 1660. Samuel Pepys began writing his famous diary in which he chronicled life in London  - including the Great Plague during 1664 and 1665, and the Great Fire of 1666.

January 1, 1863. The Emancipation Proclamation was issued by President Abraham Lincoln, freeing the slaves in the states rebelling against the Union.

January 1, 1892. Ellis Island was opened in New York Harbor. Over 20 million immigrants were processed there until it closed in 1954.

The National Film Registry of the Library of Congress recently announced its list of inductees for 2018. Established in 1989, the films are selected for their enduring importance to United States culture. For a history of the Film Registry you can watch the fascinating documentary These amazing shadows: the movies that made America. Titles available in the Library's collection can be found below. The entire list — complete with film history — can be found here.

Time has selected "The Guardians" of the free press as this year's Person of the Year.  Hailing them for "taking great risks in pursuit of greater truths" in what the magazine called a "war on truth," the magazine singled out four different journalists or news organizations to be featured on four different covers. Those honored will be murdered Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi; staff members of the Capitol Gazette in Annapolis, Maryland: Maria Ressa of the Rappler news site in the Philippines; and Reuters journalists Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo who have been imprisoned in Myanmar. To read more about the importance of a free press throughout history check here.

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