2019

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Profile of the Day: Helge Ingstad

Posted December 30, 2019 by Amanda | No Comment

Who are the adventurers in your family tree? On this day in 1899, Norwegian explorer and adventurer Helge Ingstad was born in Meråker, Norway. Ingstad and his wife, archaeologist Anne Stine, were the first to prove the Vikings had reached North America 500 years before Christopher Columbus. Image: Oslo Museum, Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 4.0) In 1960, Ingstad and Stine found the remnants of a Viking settlement in L’Anse aux Meadows in Newfoundland, Canada.The settlement dated… Read the full story

News »

2019: Year in Review

Posted December 26, 2019 by Amanda | No Comment

As 2019 comes to a close, we take a look back at all the wonderful things we have been able to accomplish in the past year. Over 10 million profiles have been added to the World Family Tree this year, meaning we’ll close out 2019 with nearly 140 million profiles connected to the World Family Tree! This year our team worked hard to provide the Geni community with new and better tools to help build the family tree faster… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Clement Clarke Moore

Posted December 23, 2019 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Clement Clarke Moore

On this day in 1823, the popular holiday poem, “A Visit from St. Nicholas,” was first published in the Troy New York Sentinel. Today the poem is more commonly known as “Twas the Night Before Christmas.” Although initially published anonymously, Clement Clarke Moore would later claim authorship of the poem. However, in recent years, some have claimed that the poem’s true author may actually be Henry Livingston, Jr. Image: New York Public Library Since its publication, the poem has become… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: John Steinbeck

Posted December 20, 2019 by Amanda | No Comment

Do you remember reading The Grapes of Wrath? On this day in 1968, author John Steinbeck died at the age of 66. Image: John Steinbeck / Wikimedia Commons The acclaimed American novelist was born John Ernst Steinbeck, Jr. on February 27, 1902 in Salinas, California. His paternal grandfather, Johann Adolf Großsteinbeck, had shortened the family name to Steinbeck after immigrating to the United States. After leaving his studies at Stanford, Steinbeck found work as a freelance writer and… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Édith Piaf

Posted December 19, 2019 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Édith Piaf

Today we remember French singer and actress Édith Piaf, who was born on December 19, 1915 in Paris, France. Image: Édith Piaf / Nationaal Archief, CC0 She was born Édith Giovanna Gassion to Annetta Giovanna Maillard, a cafe singer, and Louis Alphonse Gassion, a street acrobat. Piaf was named after the World War I British nurse Edith Cavell, who was executed for helping soldiers escape from German captivity in Belgium. Piaf first rose to fame after she… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Steven Spielberg

Posted December 18, 2019 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Steven Spielberg

Happy birthday to Steven Spielberg! Today the legendary director turns 73. Image: Steven Spielberg / Gage Skidmore, Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 2.0) Spielberg was born on December 18, 1946 in Cincinnati, Ohio to Leah Posner, a concert pianist and restauranteur, and Arnold Spielberg, an electrical engineer. He developed an interest in filmmaking as a child after earning his Boy Scout photography merit badge with a nine-minute 8mm film entitled The Last Gunfight. In the late 1960s, Spielberg began… Read the full story

Community »

Your Stories: Finding Alice

Posted December 17, 2019 by Geni | No Comment

The following post was written by Ian Stone from Perth, Western Australia. A Geni user since 2010, Ian discovered his passion for genealogy after starting his family tree on the site nearly a decade ago. After sharing his submission for Geni’s Family History Month Giveaway, Ian asked for the opportunity to expand on his answer to the question, “If you could go back in time, which ancestor would you visit and why?” Ian had said that he would love to visit… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: The Wright Brothers

Posted December 17, 2019 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: The Wright Brothers

Happy Wright Brothers’ Day! On December 17, 1903, the Wright brothers, Orville and Wilbur Wright, made history by making the world’s first sustained, man-powered, heavier-than-air flight. Image: The Wright Brothers / San Diego Air and Space Museum Archive The brothers were two of seven children born to Milton Wright, a bishop in the Church of the United Brethren in Christ, and Susan Catherine Koerner. From a young age, they were encouraged to pursue their intellectual interests… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Jane Austen

Posted December 16, 2019 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Jane Austen

On this day in 1775, English novelist Jane Austen was born. Austen was born on December 16, 1775 in Stevenson, Hampshire, England to Reverend George Austen and Cassandra Leigh. One of eight children, Austen had a close relationship with her sister, Cassandra. Growing up, the sisters were encouraged to read from their father’s extensive library. Austen would often write poems, stories, and plays to amuse her family. Although she began writing as a teen, it was not until she was in… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Taylor Swift

Posted December 13, 2019 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Taylor Swift

Happy birthday to Taylor Swift! Today the music superstar turns 30. Swift was born on December 13, 1989 in Reading, Pennsylvania and was named after the Grammy-winning singer-songwriter James Taylor. Many years later in 2011, Swift would have the chance to perform on stage with Taylor during one of her concerts in Madison Square Garden. Music had always been a part of Swift’s life from an early age. Her maternal grandmother was a former opera singer and performed around the world as a member of… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Edvard Munch

Posted December 12, 2019 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Edvard Munch

Have you seen the painting The Scream? Today we remember Norwegian artist Edvard Munch, who was born on this day in 1863. Image: Edvard Munch / National Library of Norway Munch was born in a farmhouse in Løten, Norway on December 12, 1863. After his mother died in 1868, Edvard and his siblings were raised by his father, who often entertained the children with vivid ghost-stories and tales of Edgar Allan Poe. These stories and the loss of… Read the full story

Community »

MyHeritage LIVE 2020 Announced

Posted December 11, 2019 by Amanda | No Comment

Save the date! MyHeritage, Geni’s parent company, has announced that MyHeritage LIVE 2020 will take place on October 25-26, 2020 in Tel Aviv, Israel. This one-of-a-kind conference brings together attendees from around the world and international genealogy and DNA experts for a full two days of fun and education. Read our recaps of MyHeritage LIVE 2019 in Amsterdam, the Netherlands and MyHeritage LIVE 2018 in Oslo, Norway. The third annual MyHeritage user conference will be held at the Hilton Tel Aviv,… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Annie Jump Cannon

Posted December 11, 2019 by Amanda | No Comment

On this day in 1863, astronomer Annie Jump Cannon was born. Nicknamed the “Census Taker of the Sky,” Cannon was instrumental in the development of the current system of stellar classification. Image: Annie Jump Cannon / Smithsonian Institution Cannon was born on December 11, 1863 in Dover, Delaware to Wilson Cannon, a shipbuilder and state senator, and Mary Jump. Cannon’s mother was the first to teach her about the constellations and encouraged her to pursue her passion in astronomy in her studies. She… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Emily Dickinson

Posted December 10, 2019 by Amanda | No Comment

On this day in 1830, American poet Emily Dickinson was born. A prolific writer, Dickinson wrote over 1800 poems, however less than a dozen were published during her lifetime. It was not until after her death that a cache of her poetry was discovered and published. Image: Emily Dickinson / Wikimedia Commons Dickinson was born in Amherst, Massachusetts on December 10, 1830 to a prominent New England family. Her paternal grandfather, Samuel Fowler Dickinson, was a founder… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Kirk Douglas

Posted December 9, 2019 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Kirk Douglas

Happy birthday to Kirk Douglas! Can you believe the legendary actor turns 103 today? Image: Kirk Douglas / Wikimedia Commons He was born Issur Danielovitch on December 9, 1916 in Amsterdam, New York. His parents were Russian-Jewish immigrants and the family adopted the surname Demsky in the United States. Growing up, Douglas went by the name Izzy Demsky until he legally changed it to Kirk Douglas shortly before entering the Navy during World War II. After the war,… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: William II of the Netherlands

Posted December 6, 2019 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: William II of the Netherlands

Have you found connection to royalty? Today we remember William II of the Netherlands, who was born on this day in 1792. Image: William II of the Netherlands / Amsterdam Museum, Wikimedia Commons William II was the eldest son of William I of the Netherlands and Wihelmine of Prussia, who was the daughter of King Frederick William of Prussia and William I’s first cousin. In 1795, his entire family went into exile in Britain. At the age… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Martin Van Buren

Posted December 5, 2019 by Amanda | No Comment

On this day in 1782, Martin Van Buren, the 8th President of the United States, was born in Kinderhook, New York. Did you know that he was the first President to be born a U.S. citizen? All previous presidents were born in the British colonies before the American Revolution and were therefore British subjects. Image: Martin Van Buren / Library of Congress Van Buren was the son of Dutch parents, and although the Van Buren family had been in America… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Jeff Bridges

Posted December 4, 2019 by Amanda | No Comment

Happy birthday to Jeff Bridges! Today the actor turns 70. Image: Jeff Bridges / Gage Skidmore, Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0) Born into a Hollywood family, Bridges got his start on film as an infant in the movie, The Company She Keeps. His father, Lloyd Bridges, was a prolific actor best known for starring in the television series Sea Hunt. Growing up, Jeff was very close to his older brother, Beau, who often acted as a surrogate father when their… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Joseph Conrad

Posted December 3, 2019 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Joseph Conrad

On this day in 1857, author Joseph Conrad was born in Berdychiv in what was then the Russian Empire. Regarded as one of the greatest novelists in the English language, Conrad was in his twenties before he was able to speak the language fluently. Image: Joseph Conrad / New York Public Library He was born Józef Teodor Konrad Korzeniowski to Polish parents, Apollo Korzeniowski and Ewelina Bobrawska. Conrad’s family belonged to the Polish szlachta (nobility) and were… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Napoleon III

Posted December 2, 2019 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Napoleon III

On this day in 1852, Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte took the French throne as Napoleon III. Image: Napoleon III / Wikimedia Commons The nephew and only heir to Napoleon Bonaparte, Charles Louis Napoléon Bonaparte was born in Paris, France on April 20, 1808. After Napoleon was removed from power in 1815, the entire Bonaparte family was forced into exile. Determined to reclaim the French crown, Louis-Napoléon attempted a failed coup. Undeterred, he continued to assert his views in political writings… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Bruce Lee

Posted November 27, 2019 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Bruce Lee

Today we remember Bruce Lee on what would have been his 79th birthday! Image: Bruce Lee / Wikimedia Commons Born on November 27, 1940 in San Francisco, California, Lee grew up in Hong Kong before moving back to the United Staes at the age of 18. His father was one of the leading Cantonese opera and film actors of the time. Like his father, Lee had a knack for performing and appeared in several films… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Mary Edwards Walker

Posted November 26, 2019 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Mary Edwards Walker

On this day in 1832, abolitionist and surgeon Mary Edwards Walker was born. Walker was awarded the Medal of Honor for her efforts to treat the wounded during the American Civil War. Today, she remains the only woman to receive the honor. Image: Mary Edwards Walker / U.S. National Archives and Records Administration Walker was born on November 26, 1832 in Oswego, New York to Alvah Walker and Vesta Whitcomb. From a young age, Walker’s… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Joe DiMaggio

Posted November 25, 2019 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Joe DiMaggio

Baseball legend Joe DiMaggio was born on this day 105 years ago. Image: Joe DiMaggio / Library of Congress Joseph Paul DiMaggio was born on November 25, 1914 in Martinez, California. He was the eighth of nine children born to Sicilian immigrants Giuseppe DiMaggio and Rosalia Mercurio. His father had come from a long line of fisherman and had hoped that his son would follow in his footsteps. However, Joe’s talent in baseball set his path… Read the full story

Fun with Genealogy »

Look Who’s Related: Tom Hanks, Mister Rogers, and More!

Posted November 22, 2019 by Amanda | 2 Comments
Look Who's Related: Tom Hanks, Mister Rogers, and More!

This weekend the movie, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, hits theaters nationwide. The film stars Tom Hanks as Fred Rogers, the host of the beloved children’s television show Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. The film was inspired by the 1998 article “Can You Say…Hero?” by Tom Junod for Esquire. The film follows journalist Lloyd Vogel, who is assigned to profile the television icon for Esquire magazine. Recently on the red carpet, Hanks learned of his own personal connection to Rogers – they are… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: John F. Kennedy

Posted November 22, 2019 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: John F. Kennedy

Today we remember President John F. Kennedy, who was assassinated on this day 56 years ago in Dallas, Texas. Image: John F. Kennedy / John F. Kennedy Library On November 22, 1963, President Kennedy was fatally shot by a sniper while traveling in an open motorcade with his wife, Jacqueline. Celebrated as one of the most beloved Presidents of the United States, Kennedy’s sudden death shocked the entire nation. John Fitzgerald Kennedy was born on May 29,… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Voltaire

Posted November 21, 2019 by Amanda | No Comment

On this day in 1694, French Enlightenment philosopher Voltaire was born. Considered one of France’s greatest writers, Voltaire’s advocacy of civil liberties and social reform would go on to influence the thinkers of both the American and French Revolutions. Image: Voltaire / New York Public Library François-Marie Arouet was the youngest of five children born to François Arouet and Marie Marguerite Daumard. In 1718, he adopted the name “Voltaire,” which was an anagram of Arovet Li, the Latinized… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Edwin Hubble

Posted November 20, 2019 by Amanda | No Comment

On this day in 1889, astronomer Edwin Hubble was born in Marshfield, Missouri. Regarded as one of the most important astronomers in history, Hubble was the first to discover the existence of other galaxies in the universe beyond the Milky Way. Image: Edwin Hubble / The Huntington Library, Wikimedia Commons Hubble was born to Virginia Lee James and John Powell Hubble on November 20, 1889. Growing up, he was known for his athletic abilities and participated… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Jodie Foster

Posted November 19, 2019 by Amanda | One Comment
Profile of the Day: Jodie Foster

Happy birthday to Jodie Foster! Today the actress turns 57. Image; Jodie Foster / Franz Richter, Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 1.0) Foster was born Alicia Christian Foster on November 19, 1962 in Los Angeles, California. She was the youngest child born to Lucius Fisher Foster III and Evelyn Almond. Through her father’s branch of the family, Foster is a direct descendant of Mayflower passenger John Alden, who is her 9th great grandfather. Foster got her start… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Alan Shepard

Posted November 18, 2019 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Alan Shepard

Astronaut Alan Shepard was born on November 18, 1923. Shepard made history in 1961 when he became the first American to travel into space. Image: Alan Shepard / NASA Shepard was born in East Derry, New Hampshire to Alan Shepard, Sr.and Pauline Renza Emerson. Shepard was fascinated with flying from an early age. He graduated from the U.S. Navel Academy and served onboard the destroyer Cogswell during World War II. After the war, he became a test pilot for the Navy…. Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Ed Asner

Posted November 15, 2019 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Ed Asner

Happy birthday to Ed Asner! Today the actor turns 90. Image: Ed Asner / Department of Defense, William D. Moss Asner was born on November 15, 1929 in Kansas, City, Nebraska. He is one of five children born to Morris David Asner and Elizabeth Seliger and was raised in an Orthodox Jewish family. After serving in the U.S. Army Signal Corps, Asner moved to New York to pursue a career in acting. In 1970, Asner landed the… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Claude Monet

Posted November 14, 2019 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Claude Monet

On November 14, 1840, French impressionist painter Claude Monet was born. Image: Claude Monet / Wikimedia Commons The French painter is remembered as the founder of the French Impressionist movement. In fact, the movement’s name was derived from Monet’s painting Impression, Sunrise. Monet’s artistic style sought to capture the movement of light and its changing qualities. His work often illustrated ordinary subject matters and nature, such as his famous series of paintings depicting haystacks and water… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Robert Louis Stevenson

Posted November 13, 2019 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Robert Louis Stevenson

Do you remember reading Treasure Island or Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde? On this day in 1850, author Robert Louis Stevenson was born. Image: Robert Louis Stevenson / Library of Congress Stevenson was born in Edinburgh, Scotland to Thomas Stevenson, a leading lighthouse engineer, and Margaret Balfour. As a child, Stevenson was prone to illnesses, often coughs and fevers, which persisted into adulthood. He was expected to follow in his family’s profession in lighthouse engineering, however, he chose to pursue… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Elizabeth Cady Stanton

Posted November 12, 2019 by Amanda | No Comment

On this day in 1815, American suffragist Elizabeth Cady Stanton was born. An early leader of the women’s rights movement in the United States, Stanton helped pave the way for the eventual passage of the Nineteenth Amendment, which granted women the right to vote. Image: Elizabeth Cady Stanton / Library of Congress Stanton was born on November 12, 1815 in Johnstown, New York to Daniel Cady and Margaret Livingston. Her father was a prominent lawyer and… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: George S. Patton

Posted November 11, 2019 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: George S. Patton

It’s Veterans Day in the U.S. Today we honor all the men and women who have served in the armed forces. In honor of the holiday, we highlight General George S. Patton, who was also born on this day in 1885 in San Gabriel, California. Considered one of the most successful generals in history, Patton was instrumental in the liberation of Germany from the Nazis during World War II. Image: George S. Patton / Library of Congress Patton… Read the full story

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Introducing the Consistency Checker to the World Family Tree

Posted November 8, 2019 by Amanda | 9 Comments
Introducing the Consistency Checker to the World Family Tree

Today we are excited to introduce the new Consistency Checker to Geni’s World Family Tree. The Consistency Checker will constantly monitor changes to profiles in the family tree to detect common errors or inconsistencies and bring them to your attention so that you can make the necessary changes to improve the quality and accuracy of the family tree. This helpful tool checks for 26 types of inconsistencies, ranging from obvious issues, such as a child… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Bram Stoker

Posted November 8, 2019 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Bram Stoker

On this day in 1847, Bram Stoker, author of Dracula, was born in Dublin, Ireland. Image: Bram Stoker / Wikimedia Commons Abraham Stoker was the third of seven children born to Abraham Stoker and Charlotte Mathilda Blake Thornley. As a child, Stoker suffered from an illness that left him bedridden until he started school at the age of seven. After studying mathematics at Trinity College, Stoker worked as a civil servant at Dublin Castle and as… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Marie Curie

Posted November 7, 2019 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Marie Curie

On this day in 1867, renowned physicist Marie Curie was born in Warsaw, Poland. Thanks to her pioneering research on radioactivity, Curie became the first woman to win a Nobel Prize and the first person to win twice in different fields, Physics and Chemistry. Image: Marie Curie / Library of Congress Curie was the fifth and youngest child born to Bronisława Boguska and Władyslaw Sklodowski, both teachers. Her paternal grandfather was also a well known teacher… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Adolphe Sax

Posted November 6, 2019 by Amanda | No Comment

On this day in 1814, Adolphe Sax, inventor of the saxophone, was born in Dinant, in what is today Belgium. Image: Adolphe Sax / Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Wikimedia Commons Sax was born Antoine-Joseph Sax to Marie-Joseph Masson and Charles-Joseph Sax, a maker of wind and brass instruments. As a young child, Sax faced many near-death experiences. He was struck in the head by a brick, swallowed a needle, fell onto a burning stove, survived a fall from… Read the full story

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Family History Month 2019 Giveaway Winner

Posted November 5, 2019 by Amanda | No Comment
Family History Month 2019 Giveaway Winner

In celebration of Family History Month, we ran a contest throughout the month of October for a chance for one lucky winner to receive a free year of Geni Pro. To enter, you simply needed to submit your answer to the question: If you could go back in time, which ancestor would you visit and why? We received lots of entries submitted through Facebook, Twitter, and email. One lucky winner was chosen at random from the list of entries…. Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Vivien Leigh

Posted November 5, 2019 by Amanda | No Comment

Remember watching Gone With the Wind? On this day in 1913, star Vivien Leigh was born in Darjeeling, India. Image: Vivien Leigh / Wikimedia Commons Leigh had dreams of stardom at an early age. She was first introduced to American audiences when she was cast as the southern belle Scarlett O’Hara in the film adaptation of Margaret Mitchell’s beloved book, Gone With the Wind. The film would become a tremendous success and be remembered as a Hollywood… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Will Rogers

Posted November 4, 2019 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Will Rogers

On this day in 1879, vaudeville performer and cowboy humorist Will Rogers was born. Rogers is remembered as “America’s Cowboy Philosopher.” Image: Will Rogers / Library of Congress Rogers was the youngest of eight children born to Clement Vann Rogers and Mary America Schrimsher. Of his siblings, only he and three sisters survived into adulthood. Rogers was born on his parents’ Dog Iron Ranch in the Cherokee Nation of Indian Territory in what is near present-day… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Stephen Crane

Posted November 1, 2019 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Stephen Crane

Have you read The Red Badge of Courage? On November 1, 1871, author Stephen Crane was born in Newark, New Jersey. Image: Stephen Crane / Wikimedia Commons Recognized as one of the most innovative writers of his generation, Crane began writing at the age of 4 and had published several articles by the age of 16. In 1895, Crane published what would become his most acclaimed novel, The Red Badge of Courage. Taking place during the American… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: John Keats

Posted October 31, 2019 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: John Keats

On this day in 1795, English Romantic poet John Keats was born in London, England. The son of Thomas Keats and Frances Jennings, Keats was the eldest of the couple’s four surviving children. Keats lost both of his parents while he was still young. His father died when Keats was 8 after falling from a horse. When he was 14, his mother died of tuberculosis. During this time, Keats found solace in the arts and literature. Despite… Read the full story

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7 Facts About the History of Spirit Photography

Posted October 30, 2019 by Amanda | No Comment

Have you seen any old photos with ghostly images? Chances are you may be looking at an old spirit photograph. During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, spirit photography became incredibly popular. Many people came to believe that spirit photographers could capture the image of a deceased loved one in a photograph. Check out these 7 facts about the history of spirit photography: Preus Museum, Flickr 1. Spirit photography was discovered by accident by William H. Mumler… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Henry Winkler

Posted October 30, 2019 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Henry Winkler

Happy birthday to Henry Winkler! Today the actor turns 74. Image: Henry Winkler / Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Wikimedia Commons (OGL v1.0) Born on October 30, 1945 in Manhattan, New York, Winkler is the son of Ilse Anna Maria and Harry Irving Winkler, a lumbar company president. His parents were Jewish and emigrated from Germany to the United States in 1939 on the eve of World War II. Winkler discovered a love for performing at an early age. A… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Winona Ryder

Posted October 29, 2019 by Amanda | No Comment

Happy birthday to Winona Ryder! Today the actress turns 48. Image: Winona Ryder / Karon Liu, Wikimedia Commons (CC BY 2.0) Ryder was born Winona Laura Horowitz on October 29, 1971 in Winona, Minnesota. Her parents named her after the city she was born in and gave her the middle name “Laura” after their friend, Laura Huxley, the wife of author Aldous Huxley. Her father worked as an archivist for Timothy Leary, a psychologists who advocated… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Jonas Salk

Posted October 28, 2019 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day; Jonas Salk

On this day in 1914, Dr. Jonas Salk was born. Salk discovered and developed the first successful polio vaccine. Image: Jonas Salk / San Diego Air and Space Museum Archive, Flickr Salk was born on October 28, 1914 in New York City, New York to Daniel Salk and Dora Press. His parents were Ashkenazi Jewish immigrants. Although they lacked a formal education, they encouraged Salk and his siblings to pursue their education. A gifted student, Salk… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Geoffrey Chaucer

Posted October 25, 2019 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Geoffrey Chaucer

Have you read The Canterbury Tales? English poet Geoffrey Chaucer died on this day in 1400. Known as the “father of English literature,” Chaucer was the first writer to be buried in Poets’ Corner of Westminster Abbey. Image: Geoffrey Chaucer / British Library, Flickr He was born around 1343 in what was probably London, but not much is known about the early years of his life. Through his royal connections, Chaucer held various positions including a noblewoman’s page,… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Annie Edson Taylor

Posted October 24, 2019 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Annie Edson Taylor

On this day in 1838, American school teacher Annie Edson Taylor was born. Taylor is remembered for her death-defying stunt on her 63rd birthday when she became the first person to survive a trip over Niagara Falls in a barrel. Image: Annie Edson Taylor / Library of Congress Taylor was born in Auburn, New York and was one of eight children. Before marrying at the age of 17, she studied to become a school teacher. After her husband’s death,… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Johnny Carson

Posted October 23, 2019 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Johnny Carson

Do you remember watching The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson? Today we remember legendary talk show host Johnny Carson on what would have been his 94th birthday. Image: Johnny Carson / State Library and Archives of Florida, Flickr Carson was born on October 23, 1925 in Corning, Iowa to Homer Lloyd “Kit” Carson and Ruth Hook. In 1943, he joined the U.S. Navy and served as a communications officer in charge of decoding encrypted messages. Carson took… Read the full story