What's the relationship between our history and our daily reality?
Each day we walk by our local store, our neighbor's place or the park, without realizing the stories from the past that existed in those same places many years before.
While we often think of history as antique, irrelevant and something out of the past, it can just as easily be intertwined with the present.
Imagine what it would look like if the ghosts of World War II came back to the streets today. That’s what Dutch historian Jo Hedwig Teeuwisse shows through her Ghosts of War photo series.
A piece of family history can be found in a library book.
As a young girl, I spent a lot of time at the iconic New York Public Library – with those stone lions out front - working on school projects. I once found a book I needed and opened it. Out fell an old-fashioned photo postcard with my grandfather’s picture on it.
He was in the army and had sent the card, with a message, to his sister. She had likely stuck it in the book and forgotten about it, until I found it decades later.
I wasn’t a genealogist then, and in what I now believe was a misguided act of responsibility, I put the card back in the book. Perhaps the owner would come looking for it?
When I got home, I told my family about it, and everyone said I should have brought it home. Fortunately, we found a copy at another relative’s home much later.
Have you ever had to clear out the home of a deceased relative or had to help move an elderly relative to a retirement or nursing home?
Checking the dusty corners of a large home, or even a small apartment, can produce family treasures that would otherwise be lost forever.
It was first observed in the US on February 28, 1909, in honor of the 1908 worker’s strike when women protested against poor working conditions. A year later, The Socialist International met in Copenhagen and established a Women’s Day to honor the women’s rights movement.
The first International Women’s Day, in 1911, took place in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland. Women rallied for worker’s rights, the right to vote and to hold public office, among other issues.
Today, International Women’s Day is observed worldwide:
March is National Women’s Month in the United States. It has been observed annually since 1987 to honor women’s contributions to society, history and culture.
American women have achieved many firsts; here are a few:
- The first convention held to advocate women’s rights was at Seneca Falls, New York in 1848.
- In 1869, Wyoming Territory was the first US territory to grant women the right to vote.
- The first woman elected to an American political office was Susanna Salter, mayor of Argonia, Kansas in April 1887.
- Elizabeth Blackwell was the first accredited American female doctor and founded the first medical school for women.
- Edith Wharton became the first woman to win a Pulitzer Prize for her novel - The Age of Innocence - in 1921.
- In 1928, Amelia Earhart became the first woman to successfully fly more than 20 hours across the Atlantic.
This year’s theme is “Women Inspiring Innovation through Imagination,” which recognizes the contributions and achievements of women in the fields of science, mathematics, technology and engineering.
In honor of International Women's Day next week, we will publish some of our favorite inspirational stories of women in your family tree.
Do you have women in your family who were pioneer inventors? Do you have any stories of women ancestors' contribution to society, culture and innovation? We'd like to hear your stories. Share them in the comments below, or email them to email@example.com.
Today is, in the United States, “President's Day.” Did you know that this was originally celebrated as “Washington’s Birthday"?
Established in 1885 as a Federal holiday, it was first celebrated on February 22, Washington’s real birthday. It was also the first Federal holiday honoring an American citizen.
In 1971, the date changed to the third Monday in February, after the creation of the Uniform Monday Holiday Act.
The Act also combined Washington’s Birthday with Abraham Lincoln’s, which fell on February 12. Lincoln’s Birthday had long been a state holiday in some states. The combining of these two days gave equal recognition to two of America's most famous men.
Since then the day has become known as President's Day and also honors other presidents born during February, including Ronald Reagan and William Henry Harrison. It is popularly seen as a day to recognize the lives and achievements of all US Presidents.
How many valentines did you receive this year? How many did you send?
Some 190 million valentines are sent each year, according to the US Greeting Card Association. If you count the cards made by schoolchildren, it goes up to 1 billion. And, in 2010, some 15 million e-valentines were sent!
The American tradition of sending valentines was the idea of Esther Rowland (1828-1904), a young graduate of Mount Holyoke College (Massachusetts).
Holyoke's archives and special collections has an impressive collection of historic valentines, many created by Esther. She is credited with having established the commercial valentine industry in the US.
The school’s original name was the Mount Holyoke Female Seminary, and Esther graduated in 1847. She was inspired by an ornate English valentine - sent by a family friend – to create her elaborate versions of the greeting card.
We've recently added millions of new records to MyHeritage's data collections.
The international collections include headstones, military records, yearbooks and even wanted posters and mugshots!
The records are searchable on MyHeritage's SuperSearch engine and are integrated with MyHeritage's Record Matching technology. This means that MyHeritage users will automatically receive notifications about records from these collections that match individuals in their family trees.
Here's some more information and links to the main collections we've added:
The famous board game Monopoly has received a makeover ahead of its 78th anniversary tomorrow with a revamp of its original 1935 design.
The game’s birthday milestone made me nostalgic for all the times my family and I played Monopoly and other board games.
With new technology and busy daily schedules, we often get distracted and forget the importance of spending time with our families.
Take a break with a traditional board game and bond with your family. With just a roll of the dice, enjoy laughter, joy and amusement. All you need to worry about is whether your uncle or sister cheated in the last round.
In honor of Black History Month, established in 1926 and celebrated in February, here’s a roundup of resources – websites, blogs, repositories and more – to help you learn more about your family. Each resource listed offers more links to additional information.
Today is also the birthday of African American baseball superstar Henry Louis "Hank" Aaron, born in 1934. A major league baseball icon, Aaron is best known for breaking Babe Ruth's home run record. Read more on Aaron.
For many black families with roots in the Southern US states, research can be frustrating. Although African American genealogy research can get back to the 1880s and much earlier, it is difficult for most researchers. Researching their family trees has been almost impossible, as their ancestors' original names were literally erased. Slaves' African given names were replaced by English names and their surnames were those of their owners.
With the advent of new databases and technological tools, research has become much easier. A growing number of individuals are preparing their family stories and discovering images of their unique history.
Technology crept into my life when I switched from my beloved black portable manual Remington typewriter to an IBM electric.
Just a few years ago - relatively speaking - personal computers were just appearing on the scene. We researched the old-fashioned way - handwriting letters, loading rolls of film in our cameras, visiting dusty archives and winding through endless rolls of microfilm in resource centers. It took hours of effort to search for family information.
Today we connect in ways we couldn't imagine only a short time ago. We communicate almost instantaneously with email and messaging, and we access ever-expanding Internet resources for family history. Everyone is connected by computer, by smartphone, by technology.
Once upon a time, my tech arsenal consisted of an electric typewriter. Period.