National Hispanic Heritage Month, in the US, celebrates the culture and traditions of Americans with roots in Spain, Mexico, Central America, South America and the Caribbean. It is observed from September 15 through October 15.
First observed as Hispanic Heritage Week in 1968, it was expanded in 1988 to cover the 30-day period.
Some 14% of the US population – more than 42.7 million Americans – have an Hispanic origin, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. It is considered the largest ethnic minority in the country.
Tens of millions of Hispanics emigrated from Spain. Some came directly to the US and countries south, some first went to the Philippines or the Caribbean Islands and then arrived here. Spain was in the Caribbean and Mexico long before the English were in what would become the US. The state of New Mexico was settled by the Spanish in 1598, and they were in Saint Augustine, Florida, in 1565.
Tracing your Hispanic heritage may not lead directly back to Spain, but may go from the US to many other places, including Europe, Africa and even Eastern Europe. There may be many surprises along the way.
The 30th anniversary of Banned Books Week, from September 29-October 6, will be celebrated in the US as groups - some on college campuses - read passages from the American Library Association’s top banned and challenged books.
Lafayette College (Easton, Pennsylvania) will hold a literary flash mob read-out at 1pm on Monday, October 1, near the library.
Among the books on the list: To Kill a Mockingbird, Lord of the Flies, Harry Potter, Beloved, The Grapes of Wrath, The Great Gatsby, 1984, Brave New World, Animal Farm and many others.
Many of them illustrate relationships between families (conventional or not) and among family or group members. Today, most seem rather tame and quite ordinary but, when first published, the topics, characters and story lines were considered controversial.
Today, September 9, is Grandparents Day in the US.
Although celebrated in various countries on different days, it is always commemorated in the US on the first Sunday after Labor Day.
Grandparents Day was established in 1978, following Marian McQuade's vision that youth should understand the importance of the contributions to society made by senior citizens.
After much lobbying by Marian, President Jimmy Carter signed the day into law on August 3, 1978, proclaiming that it should be used "...to honor grandparents, to give grandparents an opportunity to show love for their children's children, and to help children become aware of strength, information, and guidance older people can offer."
Those of us fortunate enough to have grandparents should take the opportunity to make them feel special and loved today. It's a perfect opportunity to ask about their families, their own grandparents and their experiences growing up. It's a great way to learn more about your own family history.
Those of us who are grandparents should explain to our grandchildren about the family's origins, and share stories and information about previous generations.
MyHeritage held its annual Family Day last week.
For the first time, it was held in our new offices, and our families could see where we work - and have fun!
We often say that MyHeritage is like one big family. When we bring our own families to the office, it feels like a family reunion! We played games, enjoyed a lot of laughs and it was really nice to see the interaction between parents and children.
Here are some photos from the event. Enjoy your virtual visit to our Family Day!
The Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) annual conference begins Wednesday, August 28, in Birmingham, Alabama.
Thousands of attendees will be able to extend their personal research with what they learn at the hundreds of sessions presented by some of the best speakers in the genealogy world.
MyHeritage will be at Booth 715
We invite everyone to stop by and say hello, to ask questions, to learn about new features, new technology and our new family history content.
Enjoy great conference pricing for both World Vital Records and MyHeritage. Stop by our booth to learn more.
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.