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Friday, November 30, 2012

What Was the Name of That Movie With Judy Garland?

This past month, movie questions have been popular at the Newton Falls Public Library.  Our patron told our staff member, “I want to know the name of a movie that starred Judy Garland. There was something about a fair, maybe the title was State Fair?  I remember she wore a beautiful red dress.”

When searching for the answers to movie and television questions, Internet MovieDatabase is a wonderful resource.  Looking at the filmography for Judy Garland, the title Meet Me in St. Louis sounded like the one for which she was looking. The plot description included “Mr. Smith reveals that he has been transferred to a nice position in New York, which means that the family has to leave St. Louis and the St. Louis Fair.”

Out of curiosity, we also searched online for images using the descriptive words “Judy Garland red dress.”  Multiple websites show Garland waltzing around a Christmas tree in a beautiful red dress.  This was final confirmation for our patron that we had found the correct movie title for her.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Can You Help Me Find My Grandmother's Cookie Recipe?

Our caller asked “When I was a child, my grandmother used to make a cookie with pork cracklings, the brown bits after cooking pork.  They were really good, but she never wrote down any of her recipes. I think she called them bagachels.  Can you help me find the recipe?”  Since it sounded like a food related to a particular ethnic background, the Newton Falls Public Library staff felt they needed some more information.  Talking with her we found that her grandmother had been born in 1868 in the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

Searching online for the terms “bagachel cookie” did not bring up any useful results. Considering how some letters sound like others, we tried “pagachel cookie.” Here we found the website, TheWorld's Best Photos of pogácsa - Flickr Hive Mind.  The tempting photographs of cookies included one called Pagachel / Pogácsa.  Our search for pogácsa took us to the website, Mashpedia. The article said that it
 “is a type of savory scone in Hungarian cuisine. It is also popularly eaten in nearby Slovakia 
. . . As with scones and biscuitseggs and butter are common ingredients, as is milkcream or sour cream. Many traditional versions exist, with size, shape—the most common is round—and flavor variations in each region/city of Hungary. A dozen different ingredients can be found either in the dough, sprinkled on top before baking, or both: medium-firm fresh cheeses, aged dry hard cheese(s), pork crackling (tepertő), cabbageblack pepper, hot or sweet paprikagarlicred onioncaraway seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds or poppy seeds.”
The key ingredient, pork cracklings, was included in this description. Now we were able to locate a basic pagachel recipe for our patron and she could add the cracklings to it, as she remembered her grandmother doing.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Did Sally Field and Whoopi Goldberg star in "David Copperfield"?

“I think there was a television version of David Copperfield starring Sally Field and maybe Whoopi Goldberg.  I think it was done in the late 1990s or early 2000s.  Does the library have a copy for borrowing?”  Often patrons ask the Newton Falls Public Library staff to assist them in finding a particular movie, book, or CD, so we were happy to help this patron. 

There was no DVD or VHS tape of this particular movie in our shared Clevnet catalog.  We looked for more information about it at the Internet Movie Database’s website. The search result showed that it was a 2000 Hallmark Entertainment movie.  While Whoopi Goldberg was not in the cast, Sally Field had the role of Aunt Betsey Trotwood and Hugh Dancy was the adult David Copperfield.

We looked to see if Hallmark’s David Copperfield was available for viewing somewhere, and found it on YouTube.  We informed our patron that he would be able to view it at this website.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

The Constitutional Requirements of Natural Born Citizenship for President

“There has been some controversy in the last two presidential elections about candidates meeting the constitutional requirements of natural born citizenship. Can you give me some information about this?  Also, what paperwork do I need if I would decide to run for president?” The Newton Falls Public Library staff was aware that this issue was discussed for both candidates in the 2008 election and again in the 2012.

Looking online, the staff found many websites with opinions but wanted a nonbiased, legal opinion.  On November 14, 2011, Legislative Attorney Jack Maskell published the 53 page article, Qualifications for President and the “Natural Born” Citizenship Eligibility Requirement for the Congressional Research Service.  The CRS Report is for Congress, prepared for members and committees of Congress. The summary begins with:
“The Constitution sets out three eligibility requirements to be President: one must be 35 years of age, a resident ‘within the United States’ for 14 years, and a ‘natural born Citizen.’ There is no Supreme Court case which has ruled specifically on the presidential eligibility requirements and this clause has been the subject of several legal and historical treatises over the years, as well as more recent litigation. The term ‘natural born’ citizen is not defined in the Constitution, and there is no discussion of the term evident in the notes of the Federal Convention of 1787.”  
And then closes with:
The weight of legal and historical authority indicates that the term ‘natural born’ citizen would mean a person who is entitled to U.S. citizenship ‘by birth’ or ‘at birth,’ either by being born ‘in’ the United States and under its jurisdiction, even those born to alien parents; by being born abroad to U.S. citizen-parents; or by being born in other situations meeting legal requirements for U.S. citizenship ‘at birth.’”
The full report includes the following sections: History of the Qualifications Clause in the Federal Convention of 1787, Common Law Meaning of the Term “Natural Born” Citizen or Subject, Common Understanding in 18th Century of the Term “Natural Born” Citizen, and Citizenship at Birth: Case Law and Interpretation.  This latter section includes Legal Cases and Senator McCain and Legal Cases and President Obama.

The second part of the inquiry was answered by the Federal Election Commission, which has an online Candidate Registration Toolkit as well as all the forms needed to declare candidacy. We were not able to find any indication that you are required to show a birth certificate to file.  Once candidates have declared, they are sometimes asked to prove that they are natural born citizens.  According to the Wikipedia article: Natural-born-citizen clause, there have been other candidates whose eligibility has been questioned. The list includes such famous names as President Chester A. Arthur, Barry Goldwater, George Romney, John McCain, and President Barack Obama.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

How Do You Grow a Peach Tree From a Pit? How Do You Save Squash Seeds?

“How do you grow a peach tree from a pit?”  “How do you save squash seeds?”  The Newton Falls Public Library staff understands the desire to enjoy exceptionally tasty pieces of fruit or vegetables in the future by growing more from the original.

The American Horticultural Society Encyclopedia of Gardening has instructions for growing peaches from rootstock, but not from a pit.  We expanded our search online and found the website,  In their question and answer section there are instructions for starting a tree.  They recommend first cleaning and then, refrigerating and drying the pit in a slightly opened plastic bag until December.  In December, “soak the seed in tap water for a few hours, then put the seed into slightly moistened perlite, vermiculite, or peat moss (available from garden supply store) in a plastic bag. Store in the refrigerator and start checking for germination after about 1 1/2 months. If you are fortunate, it will start to develop a root. At that time, transfer to a pot with soil and grow as a normal plant. Plant it outside in the spring when the chance for frost is past.”  It would be useful for our patron to refer back to this site for more detailed information.

Seed Sowing and Saving Step-by-step Techniques for Collecting and Growing More Than 100 Vegetables, Flowers, and Herbs by Carole B. Turner has detailed instructions on the harvesting and sowing of seeds.  Turner gives instructions for both summer and winter squashes, including how long to leave the fruit on the vine before harvesting to ensure the seeds will be most vigorous. Remove and clean the seeds, spread out and let them dry, and store until ready to plant.

Another interesting book on this topic is Don't Throw It, Grow It! 68 Windowsill Plants from Kitchen Scraps by Deborah Peterson.  With common plants like carrots, sweet potato and dill, Peterson has included some unusual ones like Jerusalem artichokes, carob, fenugreek, tomatillo, and sugar cane.

Is There Only One 307th in the United States Army?

“Is there only one 307th in the United States Army?”  The Newton Falls Public Library staff was not exactly sure for what our patron was asking, so we asked for additional information.  She needed to know if there was only one 307th designation in the Army, whether it is a regiment, battalion, etc.

We began with the U.S. Army’s homepage,  Searching this site using the term 307th, we found about 429 results. The list of articles included the 307th Expeditionary Signal Battalion, 307th Airborne Engineer Battalion and 307th Airborne Medical Company which were part of the 82nd Airborne Division during D Day, 307th Infantry Regiment and othersWanting to know if we were looking for the correct information, we spoke with the patron again. She explained that she is looking for the 307th that was in North Japan during World War II.

Sometimes successful searching is a matter of happening to select the correct term.  When we Googled the term “307th regiment”, we found the Department of the Army Lineage and Honors 307th Regiment.  This history said that it was constituted August 5, 1917 in the National Army as the 307th Infantry and assigned to the 77th Division. It was both active and inactive over the following decades, and was ordered back into active military service March 25, 1942.  March 15, 1946 it was inactivated in Japan, and then activated again December 17, 1946 in the Organized Reserves with Headquarters at Bronx, New York. has an article titled, 3-Wars Veteran Recalls Battles on IslandJust Off Okinawa by Frank Wallis. Wallis states “The 307th Regiment was the third segment of 13 77th Infantry battle groups to land on the west of Okinawa for the battles of Kerama Retto and Keise Shima. The Battle of Okinawa would produce more American deaths — 12,513 in 81 days — than any other battle in the Pacific.”  We gave our patron these links, and told her if she needed more information, we would be happy to continue searching for her.