This day in American history /

Main Author: Gross, Ernie.
Format: Book
Language: English
Published: Jefferson, N.C. : McFarland & Co., c2001.
Edition: Rev. ed.
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Review by Choice Review

Beginning with the birth of Amerigo Vespucci (1454) and continuing through 1998, this work updates the 1989 edition. Not strictly a chronology like John Clements's Chronology of the United States (1975; 2nd ed., 1997), it is instead a day-by-day listing with earliest year, month, and date. Persons born on a day of the year are listed with birthplace, accomplishment, and death date. The index invites browsing, but at least two baseball entries are incorrect: under "Baseball Hall of Fame" the date "12/22/1689" occurs; for December 22, 1689, there is no baseball entry (scarcely surprising) but Connie Mack was born on that date in 1862; in a further complication, the index lists Mack under both "12/22/1862" and "12/23/1862." The editor, Ernie Gross, has a newspaper journalism and public relations background that gives this work its emphasis on the entertainment world; Gone with the Wind has six entries for personalities connected to it, and Phantom of the Opera directs to Lon Chaney's birth date. Recommended for public and academic libraries wanting quick information about historical events, movies, plays, literature or just to compile a list of people born on a particular date. D. M. Buckley University of Dayton

Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
Review by Booklist Review

These two revised chronological reference sources serve a similar purpose, but take different approaches. The previous edition of The American Book of Days was published in 1978, so an update was overdue. Arrangement is by month, with each chapter offering an introduction that covers the derivation of the month's name and its significance throughout history. This is followed by a day-by-day survey of important anniversaries, celebrations, and movable feasts. Generally, there are at least two events listed for each day, for a total of more than 1,000 entries. Treatment ranges in length from one-half, for the founding of the Boy Scouts of America, to almost four pages, for the beginning of the Civil War. New events added since the third edition include the explosion of Space Shuttle Challenger, the beginning of Operation Desert Storm, the birthdays of Hillary Rodham Clinton and Bill Gates, the attack on the Branch Davidian Compound in Waco, Texas, and the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City (both of which occurred on April 19). Some entries have been updated. New appendixes contain the texts of documents such as the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence; other appendixes cover the days of the week, the signs of the zodiac, and more. As with previous editions, emphasis is given to "the admission of new states to the Union, the birthdays of all American presidents, and the birthdays of chief justices of the Supreme Court." This is one of those reference sources that has been with us for a long time (it was first published in 1937) and has grown into an idiosyncratic mixture--the 1828 duel between John Randolph and Henry Clay shares a page with the 1994 death of Kurt Cobain; Captain Kidd's hanging is given as much space as John F. Kennedy's assassination. Many of the same events are documented in the revised edition of Gross' This Day in American History, which is also arranged month by month and then day by day. This resource had its beginnings when Gross was a radio news writer and looked for a historical item to include in each day's newscast. The previous edition was published in 1990, and events occurring since 1989 have been added for the revision. The index cites dates instead of page numbers, making it easy to locate specific items on a page. Instead of the extended treatment found in The American Book of Days, entries are just a sentence or two in length. But what Gross lacks in depth he makes up in numbers. For example, while The American Book of Days lists two events for April 1, April Fool's Day and the choosing of the first Speaker of the House, in 1789, Gross lists 36, beginning with the 1742 birth of George Washington's physician Samuel Bard and ending with the 1998 dismissal of the Paula Jones sexual harassment suit against Bill Clinton. Libraries that have found the previous editions useful will want both these updates. The American Book of Days is more helpful if one needs background information on holidays and observances, while Gross is the better quick "what happened when" source.

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Library Journal Review

Widening its historical scope to include events up to 2006, this book offers a quick-reference American history time line, including foreign figures and occurrences having a significant impact on America. Late author Gross (This Day in Sports) and coauthor Worth (Congress Declares War) successfully revised the index to amend inaccuracies noted by previous reviewers. With its enlarged informational breadth, the book now surpasses The Encyclopedia of American Facts and Dates (HarperCollins, 1997). Recommended for American history collections. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Review by School Library Journal Review

Gr 9 Up-This update of the 2001 edition adds 950 new entries. Societal changes are documented through commentary on gender issues, court and legal decisions, military history, and science. The approximately 30 entries per calendar day cover from 1621 through 2006. Despite a 71-page index with more than 1250 entries, readers will mostly need to search by proper name (rather than event, for example) in order to find a reference. Indexed information is located by date, rather than page number, the main entries are not highlighted, and only two-digit years are given for dates in the 1900s (so that the birth and death dates for John K. Galbraith, for example, are given as 10/15/08 and 4/29/2006). This can make searching tedious. The number of entries per individual ranges from large (63 entries for George W. Bush) to scant, with birth and death dates only. Gorton Carruth's The Encyclopedia of American Facts and Dates (HarperCollins, 1997) is easier to use as the information is searchable by topic. The Library of Congress's Today in History Web site ( is hard to compete with for currency and accuracy despite less-extensive entries. Students who have used the earlier edition will find this one comfortable; those seeking a new resource may be better served by other publications.-Tina Hudak, St. Albans School for Boys, Washington, DC (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.