1    Mar 20132 comments

Celebrating: National Women’s History Month

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.

"We Can Do It" poster, J. Howard Miller. Image credit: Wikipedia

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 stories@myheritage.com.

18    Feb 20130 comments

Happy Presidents’ Day!

Washington's Birthday Image credit: Wikipedia

Washington's Birthday. Image credit: Wikipedia

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.

Continue reading "Happy Presidents’ Day!" »

14    Feb 20131 comment

Valentine’s Day: Your Stories

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:

Continue reading "Valentine’s Day: Your Stories" »

7    Feb 20133 comments

Valentine’s Day: Love stories to share?

Antique Valentine's Day Card

Antique Valentine's Card Image credit: Wikipedia

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 stories@myheritage.com, or leave a comment below, via Facebook, Twitter or Google +.

Continue reading "Valentine’s Day: Love stories to share?" »

25    Jan 20132 comments

Australia Day: Do you celebrate?

Australia Day - Image credit: timeanddate.com

Australia Day - Image credit: timeanddate.com

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.

Continue reading "Australia Day: Do you celebrate?" »

21    Jan 20130 comments

Holidays: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Martin Luther KingToday, 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.

Continue reading "Holidays: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day" »

3    Jan 20133 comments

Holiday Competition: And the winner is…

Before the holidays we offered you the chance to win a digital camera by sharing with us your favorite holiday memory or photo.

We received many beautiful photos and touching stories and it's been really difficult choosing a winner.

We decided to divide the competition into two categories - pictures and stories - and choose a winner from each.

So, without further ado, the winning photo is: Continue reading "Holiday Competition: And the winner is…" »

28    Dec 20120 comments

Poll: New Year family resolution?

As we approach the end of 2012, we reflect on the past and look forward to the future.

Many people use the new beginning to make a New Year resolution. Whether it's about achieving a goal, or becoming a better person, people like to start the year with an objective - something they want to accomplish during the 12 months ahead.

We're interested to know whether this happens in your family. Do you make family New Year resolutions? Perhaps you'll resolve to spend more time together, or research more of your family history?

Let us know in the poll below:

26    Dec 20120 comments

Holidays: Boxing Day

Boxing Day is a holiday traditionally observed in the UK and Commonwealth on December 26, but has nothing to do with the sport of the same name!

Where did it originate?

There are various opinions about its origins.

One view is that it comes from a very early Christian custom where boxes were left outside of churches for people to donate offerings for the Feast of Saint Stephen.

The European belief is that it stems from a tradition dating back to the Middle Ages where people would give money and gifts to needy tradesmen. In Britain, it was customary for tradesmen to collect boxes of money or presents, as thanks for their services, much like the concept of the Christmas bonus that many companies in western countries have adopted.

In the days when wealthy aristocrats employed servants to manage their homes, servants would have to work on Christmas Day, but would be given the next day as a holiday. The masters would give the servants a box of presents and leftovers to take home to their families.

Today, Boxing Day in the UK is mainly about shopping. Most people who celebrate Christmas will have spent a large amount of time and money shopping before the holiday, buying food for their festive dinner and presents for their family. To entice people back to the stores, Boxing Day is the day retailers traditionally hold sales. In this regard, it's very similar to Black Friday in the US.

As many families come together for the holidays, Boxing Day is also a ''bonus'' family day.

Are you celebrating Boxing Day? If so, how?

Let us know in the comments below.

25    Dec 20120 comments

Happy Holidays from MyHeritage

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