APL Adults

Neil Sedaka: Rock ‘N’ Roll Survivor:

The Inside Story of his Incredible Comeback by Rich Podolsky (2013)

Those of us of a certain age grew up to the strains of comma comma down dooby doo down down, comma comma, down dooby doo down down, breaking up is hard to do. That is Neil Sedaka’s signature song, Breaking up is Hard to do. It was released in 1962. Podolsky tells the story of Neil’s early days in Brooklyn. He started his musical training at the prestigious Juilliard School at the tender age of seven. Sedaka became a member of the group of Brill Building writers which included Carole King and the late Gerry Goffin. Neil Sedaka and his lyricist partner, Howie Greenfield, penned a number of hits including Stupid Cupid (for Connie Francis) and Calendar Girl. Times changed when the Beatles and the British Invasion took the United States by storm. Many of the teen idols like Paul Anka, Bobby Rydell, Frankie Avalon, and Ricky Nelson struggled to stay relevant. Fortunately, Sedaka was able to make a comeback many years later with Solitaire, Love will Keep us Together and Laughter in the Rain. Nostalgia galore!

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Freedom Summer

Did you know it's been 50 years since Freedom Summer? Appleton Public Library will host a screening of the PBS/American Experience documentary, Freedom Summer, on Thursday August 21 from 4:00-6:00 pm in the lower level meeting room. Refreshments will be served.

In the hot and deadly summer of 1964, the nation could not turn away from Mississippi. Over 10 memorable weeks know as Freedom Summer, more than 700 student volunteers joined with organizers and local African Americans in a historic effort to shatter the foundations of white supremacy in of the nation’s most segregated states. Working together, they canvassed for voter registration, created Freedom Schools, and established the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party with the goal of challenging the segregationist state Democratic Party at the national convention in Atlantic City. Freedom Summer marked by sustained and deadly violence, including the notorious murders of three civil rights workers, countless beatings, the burning of 35 churches, and the bombing of 70 homes and community centers.    

Did You Know about the connection between H.H. Holmes and Hearthstone’s Henry Rogers?

I’m sure many of you have read the fascinating book called The Devil in the White City by Erik Larsen. Did you know there is a connection between H.H. Holmes and Henry Rogers?

Ed Hilgendorf, a Board member of Hearthstone, submitted this explanation:

Henry J. Rogers was one of Appleton’s early movers and shakers. He brought hydroelectricity to Appleton in 1882, and was involved in the paper industry, banking, city government, manufacturing and he built the Victorian mansion now known as the Hearthstone.

H. H. Holmes was a notorious American serial killer in 1890s Chicago. He confessed to 27 murders, of which nine were confirmed, and may have had dozens of additional victims. His story has been told in several books, including the 2003 best seller, The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair That Changed America, by Erik Larsen. 

Was there a connection between the respected Appleton businessman and the infamous Chicago serial killer? A  Chicago area cop-turned-author thinks there was. Raymond Johnson, a retired criminal investigator, discovered information about the connection between Rogers and Holmes while researching his latest book, Chicago History: The Stranger Side

Henry Rogers and his family lived in Appleton from 1873 to 1893. Mr. Rogers was manager, officer and stockholder of Appleton Paper and Pulp. In addition, he was a founding officer of the Appleton Business Men’s Club, which later became the Appleton Chamber of Commerce. 

After the Rogers family moved from Appleton to Chicago in 1893, Mr. Rogers was involved in a business practice with an English gentleman named William Green. They ran the William Green & Co, which imported English Portland Cement. Johnson discovered that Green, who was likely one of Holmes many aliases, and Rogers were paying for office space at Holmes’ hotel, later referred to as the “murder castle”. Holmes carried out some of his gruesome murders in that Chicago building during the World's Columbian Exposition in 1893. 

Raymond Johnson, author of Chicago History: The Stranger Side will be our featured speaker at Meet Wisconsin Authors on Saturday, July 26, from 11:00 am to 12:00 pm in the lower level meeting rooms.