The opening ceremonies of the 2012 Olympics - the Games of the XXX Olympiad - begin tonight in London.
The largest international sporting event in the world takes place every four years; it is the third time that it has been held in London. The last time was in 1948.
The first modern edition of the games was organized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in Athens in 1896. The original Olympics - with nude athletes - took place in ancient Olympia, Greece, from the 8th century BC to the 4th century AD.
The Olympics is an historical event enjoyed for generations. Participating - as a competitor or spectator - connects you to your ancestors who also lived through the moment.
We've trawled the Internet to find weird and wonderful historic Olympic facts. Here are some of them:
What’s your most memorable 4th of July family memory?
We may celebrate at a lake, at the beach, in a backyard or at a neighborhood park. It’s always a day for family and friends to gather. No matter what was going on in other parts of the world (see newspaper article from 1940 below), this holiday was celebrated to remind us of the freedoms we enjoyed at home.
My grandparents owned a large property with some 80 summer rental cottages, about two hours north of New York City. Many of the same families returned year after year, and we became a close group as we grew up together.
My grandmother organized the two main summer events: 4th of July at the season's opening, and the Labor Day festivities in early September, signaling the end of our carefree summer, returning to the city and getting ready for school.
In the faux Tudor “big house,” Grandma's big country kitchen sported a black cast iron stove, the source of everything delicious! Every year, she produced buckets of the most delicious coleslaw, potato and macaroni salads.
In about three weeks, the 2012 Summer Olympics (officially the Games of the XXX Olympiad) will begin in London, UK.
The countdown to this summer's event began at the closing ceremony of the 2008 summer Olympics in China, as the Olympic flag was handed to the Mayor of London by the Mayor of Beijing.
This year, 197 countries will participate in 26 sports at the biggest international sporting event of the year.
The Olympics provide an opportunity to reminisce about great moments of the past, such as the 1936 Berlin games when Jesse Owens won four gold medals or when Michael Johnson smashed both the 400m and 200m sprints in the 1996 Atlanta event.
We couldn't resist searching records relating to "Olympic games" in our new family history search engine - SuperSearch - and discovered really interesting information, such as this Kansas State University yearbook entry, demonstrating one student's ambition to win a gold medal in 1988 and discussing his time trials for the 1984 Olympics.
You can also try it for free - searching "Olympic games" or another keyword - that could lead to information about your family history.
As the Games draw closer, we''re interested in learning your personal Olympic stories. Have you competed? Do you have any Olympians in your family tree? If you're not sure, try a quick SuperSearch and see what you discover.
Let us know in the comments section below, or email your stories to firstname.lastname@example.org.
What a great day to talk about family history with our families. The summer season is full of reunions, graduations, weddings and other family sharing opportunities.
Who would have guessed that Hollywood would be part of this year's Jamboree theme in Burbank, California? This year, we are "Lights, Camera, ANCESTORS! Spotlight on Family History."
The event's regular attendees expect social media guru Thomas MacEntee's bling, and the geneabloggers' New Orleans-style beads and ribbons, but having the American Idol Top 10 in our hotel - in addition to auditions for another popular music show - is a great way to add life to a genealogy conference.
Sitting at the unofficial bloggers table with a famous geneablogger, Daniel Horowitz and Mark Olsen pulled up the American Idol 2012 website for a photo of the finalists.
MyHeritage is getting ready for the Southern California Genealogical Society's 43rd annual Jamboree in Burbank (Los Angeles) CA, from Friday-Sunday, June 8-10.
Prior to the main event, the popular Family History Writers Conference takes place on Thursday, June 7, with authors, writers and speakers presenting.
Some 1,700 attendees are expected at Jamboree - the largest regional event in the US - and we're looking forward to meeting all of them! The MyHeritage team includes chief genealogist Daniel Horowitz, US genealogy advisor Schelly Talalay Dardashti, business development manager and genealogist Mark Olsen and quality assurance and technical support specialist Tara McIntosh.
The Queen was born Princess Elizabeth of York on 21 April 1926, and was third in line to the throne, after Edward, Prince of Wales (King Edward VIII), and The Duke of York, her father.
When King George V, the Queen's grandfather, died in 1936, Edward VIII became King. However, within a year the King abdicated to marry Wallis Simpson. This meant that the Queen's father, King George VI, became King, thus putting the now-Queen first in line to the throne.
MyHeritage's US genealogy advisor Schelly Talalay Dardashti and business development manager and genealogist Mark Olsen are heading off to the Colorado Springs (Colorado) Family History Expo 2012 this weekend, Friday, June 1 and Saturday, June 2.
In-demand speakers, each will present several programs, in addition to staffing the booth (#9,10). Here's a preview of their sessions:
Today is Memorial Day in the US.
Over the weekend, flags fly at half-mast, graves are decorated with flowers and family members pay their respects at national cemeteries. Ceremonies honoring fallen soldiers - of all wars and conflicts - take place across the country.
In many places, Boy Scout Troops - as part of their commitment to community service - place flags on each soldier’s grave.
See below two newspaper articles on the holiday, from the New York Sun (May 31, 1872) and the Hawaiian Gazette (May 30, 1911). Click on each article image to see the original page from the Library of Congress' Chronicling America site, and learn more.
The day was first observed in 1865 to remember fallen Civil War soldiers; it was then called Decoration Day.
Sports are a traditional part of family entertainment.
Allegiance to specific teams - which team you cheer for - is something generally passed down through the generations.
Baseball, basketball, football, soccer, rugby, cricket - so many teams with associations to certain cities. To New Yorkers, it will always be the "Brooklyn" Dodgers, even though they left for other parts long ago, while Chicagoans will always love "Da Bears."
We go with our families to sporting events. We support the same team, we console each other when they lose and celebrate when they win. Our family team is part of our shared family experience.
I remember going with my family to watch football games, and I imagine taking my own children, when they're old enough to appreciate it.
We're interested in learning if you have a family team. Does your family cheer on the same team? Or, do you support rival teams? Let us know via the poll below.