Mother’s Day is nearly here. What better way to thank our mothers for everything they've done for us than by reflecting on all the wonderful mothers out there.
Mothers have a strong impact on our lives. Many even say that “mother knows best.”
Whether they are, in fact, our grandmothers, our aunts or our own mothers, all leave us with lasting impressions of the advice and wisdom they share.
Growing up, I remember listening to my grandmother recall her childhood, and learning about my own history. On my first day of school, I remember my mother's hug and her words of encouragement, reassuring me that everything would be OK. I know that - even today - I can always count on these great women in my family.
Yet some of the most important people who shape our lives are those with whom we grow up every day.
Today, April 10, is National Siblings Day. It celebrates the impact our brothers and sisters had or have on us and how much we appreciate them.
The day was founded by Claudia A. Evart through a non-profit charity, Siblings Day Foundation, in 1998, to honor the memory of her late sister and brother who died in accidents at an early age.
Siblings are our closest family members, other than our parents, with whom we grew up with every day; the bonds we share with them last forever.
The Easter bunny is a prominent symbol of the holiday, although the furry creature is not mentioned in the Bible.
While the bunny's exact origin is unknown, rabbits are frequently used as a symbol of fertility and new life. According to some, the Easter bunny first arrived in America in the 1700s with German immigrants who settled in Pennsylvania. They brought the tradition of an egg-laying hare called Osterhase.
The tradition continued with children waking up Easter Sunday morning to find that the Easter Bunny had hidden decorated eggs for them to find.
The Easter Egg Hunt, as it is known today, is a fun family activity where children hunt for the decorated eggs indoors and outdoors to win a prize. Whomever finds the most eggs wins a prize including baskets of candies or chocolates.
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.
Millions around the world will send flowers, write love letters and say "I love you" to their families, significant others and spouses to mark Valentine's Day today.
We each have our own romantic stories. Whether a first love, a first kiss or discovering a secret admirer, these stories are memorable moments.
At MyHeritage, we know how important family and love are in our lives. Last week, we asked you to send in romantic stories of proposals, marriage and love from your unique family history.
Here we share a few of our favorites on this special day:
Today is a most delicious day of the year, Pancake Day.
Pancake Day is also known as Shrove Tuesday. The meaning of shrove derives from “confess.” The day marks the last day of celebration before 40 days of “shriving” - or absolution for one’s sins - during the Christian festival of Lent.
It was common to host a family feast beginning with luxurious or “fatty” foods not eaten during the weeks of Lent. Sugar, milk and eggs were good ingredients and - combined - formed yummy pancakes.
Worldwide family traditions include:
For thousands of years, lovers have expressed their admiration in a variety of mediums, but nothing compares to the classic love letter.
The greatest love story is not from the movies or a book, but our own lives! MyHeritage would like to hear your personal and family tales of romance.
Love stories are not necessarily a typical Cinderella tale or a Romeo-and-Juliet romantic tragedy. We hear words of endearment in movies, and read them in passionate stories in our favorite novels, yet our own stories are the ones that are timeless pieces of history. They are the ones that are closest to our hearts.
How did you or your ancestors meet? Is there a unique proposal story in your family, or a tale of finding a lost love? Share your story with us, and we will share some of the best in our Valentine’s Day special. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or leave a comment below, via Facebook, Twitter or Google +.