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MBLC Celebrates 125 Years


Robbins Library in Arlington

People working in the Robbins Library in Arlington.
(Image from Digital Commonwealth collections)

On January 29, 1973, President Nixon sent a budget to Congress that would terminate federal funds for the following:
• $33 million for public libraries
• $90 million for elementary and secondary schools
• $15 million for colleges and universities1

Seventeen public libraries in the Commonwealth had telephones installed in 1973. There were still 37 libraries without telephones by the end of the fiscal year.1

As of April 1973, there were 384 public libraries in Massachusetts.1

What else happened in 1973?

  • A ceasefire was signed, ending involvement of American ground troops in the Vietnam War.2
  • The U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Roe v. Wade.2
  • The cost of a first class stamp in 1973 was $0.08.2
  • Secretariat won the Triple Crown: the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, and Belmont Stakes.2
  • At the 1972 Academy Awards, Sacheen Littlefeather stood in for Marlon Brando and refused his Best Actor Oscar for his role in The Godfather to protest the U.S. government's treatment of Native Americans.2

1. MBLC newsletters, 1973.
2. [link].