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:
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:
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 +.
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.
January 26 marks Australia's national holiday, Australia Day.
Australia Day celebrates the establishment of the first settlement in Port Jackson (which is now Sydney Harbour), in 1788.
What's known as the "First Fleet", consisted of 11 ships that set sail from Great Britain and landed on this day at the Port. By 1808, January 26 was celebrated as “First Landing Day” or “Foundation Day”.
In 1818, the Governor of Australia gave all government employees a day off, and in the years that followed, bank employees, and other employees, were also given a holiday day.
Today, the US observes Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, a Federal holiday.
Dr. King was world-renowned for his work for the civil rights movement in America, leading to the Civil Rights Act of 1968.
Martin Luther King, Jr. was born Michael King, Jr. in 1924 in Atlanta, Georgia. His name was changed 10 years later, after his family visited Eisleben, Germany, the birthplace of Martin Luther, who founded Protestantism. His father, Michael King Sr., changed both his name and his son's name to Martin Luther in honor of him.