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by author "Meg Belviso" in All Categories
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Who Was Catherine the Great?
Pam Pollack, Meg Belviso, Who HQ
Length: 58 mins
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Born in 1729, Princess Sophie of Anhalt-Zerbs was never supposed to come to power. But at age 16, she married the heir to the Russian throne. By 1762, Sophie, known now as Catherine, overthrew her immature and incompetent husband, Peter III, to lead the nation. Catherine became the sole ruler of Russia. This exciting Who Was? title explores how Catherine was able to turn Russia into one of the great powers of Europe by expanding its borders, helping improve its educational system, and advocating for the arts. Her three-decade reign is considered the Golden Age of Russia.
Born in the British West Indies and orphaned as a child, Alexander Hamilton made his way to the American colonies and studied to become a lawyer. He joined a local militia during the American Revolution, rose to the rank of major general, and became the chief aide to General George Washington. After the war he became the first US secretary of the Treasury. He founded the Bank of New York and the New York Post newspaper.
In 1995, on a four-hour-delayed train from Manchester to London, J. K. Rowling conceived of the idea of a boy wizard named Harry Potter. Upon arriving in London, she began immediately writing the first book in the saga. Rowling's true-life, rags-to-riches story is as compelling as the world of Hogwarts that she created. This biography details not only Rowling's life and her love of literature but the story behind the creation of a modern classic.
Joan of Arc was born in a small French village during the worst period of the Hundred Years' War. For generations, France had been besieged by the British. At age 11, Joan began to see religious visions telling her to join forces with the King of France. By the time she was a teenager, she was leading troops into battle in the name of her country. Though she was captured and executed for her beliefs, Joan of Arc became a Catholic saint and has since captured the world's imagination.
Known as one of the most influential filmmakers of all time, Alfred Hitchcock's unique vision in movies like Psycho and The Birds sent shivers down our spines and shock waves through the film industry. His innovative camera techniques have been studied for decades, and his gift for storytelling cemented his place in history. Many directors make great movies, but the genius of Hitchcock helped make movies great. Learn how a chubby boy from London became the "Master of Suspense".
Susan B. Anthony may be an international icon but her campaign for women's rights had personal roots. Working as a school teacher in New York, Anthony refused to settle for less pay than her male colleagues which ignited her lifelong devotion to women's equality. Anthony toured the United States and Europe giving speeches and publishing articles as one of the most important advocates of women's rights. Learn more about the woman behind the movement in Who Was Susan B. Anthony?
Much like her hit TV show, I Love Lucy, Americans in the 1950s fell in love with Lucy. Born in New York in 1911, Lucille Ball was always a natural performer. She danced in the chorus of Broadway shows and acted in small parts in Hollywood movies. But Ball's true gift was comedy. She found a way to showcase her gifts in 1951 when CBS gave her the chance to star in a sitcom.
Steve Jobs, adopted in infancy by a family in San Francisco, packed a lot of life into 56 short years. In this Who Was...? biography, children will learn how his obsession with computers and technology at an early age led him to cofound and run Apple in addition to turning Pixar into a groundbreaking animation studio. A college dropout, Jobs took unconventional steps in his path to success and inspired the best and the brightest to come with him and "change the world".
When he was nine years old, Neil deGrasse Tyson went on a trip that would change his life. While visiting the Hayden Planetarium at the Museum of Natural History in New York City, he discovered the world of astronomy and felt like the universe was calling to him. He answered that call by diving deep into astronomy courses. After graduating from the Bronx High School of Science, he went on to earn a doctorate in astrophysics and eventually found his way back to the Hayden Planetarium as a staff scientist and, later, as its director.
Although her family and friends know her as Úrsula Hilaria Celia de la Caridad Cruz Alfonso, the world refers to her simply as Celia Cruz. Starting her career in 1950, Celia grew increasingly popular as the new lead singer of the Cuban band Sonora Matancera. Her exceptional vocal range and flashy costumes made fans fall in love with her.