Profile of the Day

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Profile of the Day: Lon Chaney

Posted April 1, 2020 by Amanda | No Comment

On this day in 1883, stage and silent film actor Lon Chaney was born. Known for his versatility and physical transformations for each role, Chaney was dubbed “The Man of a Thousand Faces.” Image: Lon Chaney / Wikimedia Commons Chaney was born Leonidas Frank Chaney on April 1, 1883 in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Both of his parents, Frank H. Chaney and Emma Alice Kennedy, were deaf and as a result, Chaney was skilled at communicating… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Johann Sebastian Bach

Posted March 31, 2020 by Amanda | No Comment

On this day in 1685, German composer Johann Sebastian Bach was born. Image: Johann Sebastian Bach / Wikimedia Commons Bach was born on March 31, 1685 in Eisenach, Germany to a musical family. His father, Johann Ambrosius Bach, was a court trumpeter and director of the town musicians. According to Bach’s own genealogy research, the family’s musical tradition stretches back to his second great grandfather, Veit Bach, a miller and amateur musician. Orphaned by the… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Vincent van Gogh

Posted March 30, 2020 by Amanda | No Comment

On this day in 1853, Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh was born in Zundert, Netherlands. Image: Vincent van Gogh / Art Institute of Chicago, CCO He shared the name Vincent with his paternal grandfather and stillborn brother, who died a year before his birth. Despite his family’s status as an upper-middle class family, van Gogh lived much of his life in poverty in pursuit of his art. Although today he is considered one of the greatest artists… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Marie Under

Posted March 27, 2020 by Amanda | No Comment

Today we remember Estonian poet Marie Under, who was born on this day in 1883. Considered one of Estonia’s great poets of the 20th century, Under has been nominated for the Nobel Prize in literature multiple times, but has never won. Image: Marie Under / Wikimedia Commons Born in what is today Tallinn, Estonia, Under learned to read at the age of 4 and began writing her own poetry by the age of 14. She first… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Robert Frost

Posted March 26, 2020 by Amanda | No Comment

On this day in 1874, poet Robert Frost was born. One of the most celebrated poets in American history, Frost remains the only poet to receive four Pulitzer Prizes for Poetry. Image: Robert Frost / Library of Congress Frost was born on March 26, 1874 in San Francisco, California to William Prescott Frost, Jr., a journalist, and Isabelle Moodie. After his father’s death in 1885, the family moved to Lawrence, Massachusetts. A gifted student, Frost… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Aretha Franklin

Posted March 25, 2020 by Amanda | No Comment

Today we remember music icon Aretha Franklin on what would have been her 78th birthday. Image: Aretha Franklin / Wikimedia Commons Franklin was born on March 25, 1942 at her family’s home in Memphis, Tennessee. Her father, Clarence LaVaughn Franklin, was a Baptist minster and civil rights activist, while her mother, Barbara Siggers, was an accomplished piano player and vocalist. Franklin began singing at a young age and would accompany her father on his “gospel… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Harry Houdini

Posted March 24, 2020 by Amanda | No Comment

On this day in 1874, illusionist and escape artist Harry Houdini was born. Image: Harry Houdini / Library of Congress Houdini was born Erik Weisz on March 24, 1874 in Budapest, Hungary. He was one of seven children born to Rabbi Mayer Samuel Weisz and Cecilia Steiner. Set on becoming a professional magician, Erik changed his name to Harry Houdini, after the French magician, Jean Eugène Robert-Houdini. He became widely known as “The Handcuff King” for… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Joan Crawford

Posted March 23, 2020 by Amanda | No Comment

Today we remember actress Joan Crawford, who was born on March 23, 1905. Image: Joan Crawford / Wikimedia Commons Crawford was born Lucille Fay LeSueur in San Antonio, Texas to Thomas E. Le Sueur and Anna Bell Johnson. From a young age, Crawford loved to dance and had ambitions to become a dancer. She left school to pursue a dancing career, eventually dancing in the Broadway show Innocent Eyes. She next began appearing on screen for MGM… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Henrik Ibsen

Posted March 20, 2020 by Amanda | No Comment

Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen was born on March 20, 1828. Known as “the father of prose drama,” Ibsen is often considered to be one of the greatest playwrights since William Shakespeare. Image: Henrik Ibsen / National Library of Norway Ibsen was born to a wealthy merchant family in Skien, Telemark County, Norway. However, by the time he was 8 years old, the family’s fortunes had taken a significant turn and they were thrown into poverty…. Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Wyatt Earp

Posted March 19, 2020 by Amanda | No Comment

Do you have outlaws or lawmen in your family tree? On this day in 1848, Wyatt Earp was born. An iconic figure of the American Wild West, Earp is best remembered for his involvement in the famous gunfight at the O.K. Corral in Tombstone, Arizona. Image: Wyatt Earp / Wikimedia Commons He was born on March 19, 1848 in Monmouth, Illinois. An American frontiersman, gambler, and lawman, Earp moved constantly throughout his life. He eventually… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Grover Cleveland

Posted March 18, 2020 by Amanda | No Comment

Did you know Grover Cleveland is the only U.S. President to serve non-consecutive terms? He served as the 22nd and 24th President of the United States. Image: Grover Cleveland / Library of Congress Stephen Grover Cleveland was born on March 18, 1837 in Caldwell, New Jersey. The fifth of nine children, he was named Stephen in honor of the first pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of Caldwell, where his father was a pastor at the… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: St. Patrick

Posted March 17, 2020 by Amanda | No Comment

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Celebrated annually on March 17 for over a thousand years, this Irish cultural and religious holiday honors the memory of St. Patrick, Ireland’s patron saint. Image: St. Patrick / Library of Congress At the age of 16, Patrick was kidnapped from his home by pirates and taken to Ireland. During his enslavement, he discovered his call to Christianity and escaped his captors after six years. He returned to Ireland as a… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Caroline Herschel

Posted March 16, 2020 by Amanda | No Comment

On this day in 1750, astronomer Caroline Herschel was born. A pioneer in the field of astronomy, Herschel was not only the first woman to discover a comet, but also the first woman astronomer to be recognized professionally for her scientific work. Image: Caroline Herschel / Wikimedia Commons Herschel was born on March 16, 1750 in Hanover, Germany to Isaac Herschel and Anna Ilse Mortizen. One of ten children, Herschel was educated at home by… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Percival Lowell

Posted March 13, 2020 by Amanda | No Comment

Today we celebrate the birth of Percival Lowell, the astronomer who initiated the work that would lead to the discovery of Pluto. Image: Percival Lowell / Library of Congress Lowell was born on March 13, 1855 in Cambridge, Massachusetts to a prominent and wealthy family. His second great grandfather, John Lowell, was a judge and delegate to the Congress of the Confederation. His maternal grandfather, Abbott Lawrence, was a prominent businessman, philanthropist, and founder of… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Liza Minnelli

Posted March 12, 2020 by Amanda | No Comment

Happy birthday to Liza Minnelli! Today the legendary icon turns 74. Image: Liza Minnelli / Wikimedia Commons The eldest daughter of legendary actress Judy Garland and director Vincente Minnelli, Liza was destined to become a star. She was born on March 12, 1946 in Los Angeles, California and made her film debut at the age of 3 in the musical In the Good Old Summertime, which starred her mother. As a teen, Minnelli left school to pursue… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Frederick IX

Posted March 11, 2020 by Amanda | One Comment

On this day in 1899, Frederick IX, King of Denmark, was born in Sorgenfri Castle, near Copenhagen. Image: Frederick IX of Denmark / Nationaal Archief Frederick IX was the eldest son of King Christian X and Alexandrine of Mecklenburg-Schwerin and the fourth Danish monarch of the House of Glücksburg. When he was baptized in April 1899, he had 21 godparents, including his great grandfather Christian IX of Denmark, Nicholas II of Russia, and the Prince of… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Chuck Norris

Posted March 10, 2020 by Amanda | No Comment

Happy birthday, Chuck Norris! Today the star turns 80. Image: Chuck Norris / Wikimedia Commons Carlos Ray Norris was born in Ryan, Oklahoma to Wilma Scarberry and Ray Norris, who was a World War II Army soldier. In 1958, Norris joined the U.S. Air Force as an Air Policeman. It was while he was based in South Korea that he began training in martial arts. After he was discharged, Norris rose to fame as a martial artist… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Yuri Gagarin

Posted March 9, 2020 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Yuri Gagarin

On this day in 1934, Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin was born in the village of Klushino in Smolensk, Russia. Gagarin made history in 1961 when he became the first human to travel into outer space. Image: Yuri Gagarin / NASA Gagarin was the third of four children born to Alexey Ivanovich Gagarin, a carpenter and bricklayer, and Anna Timofeyevna Gagarina, a milkmaid. He made his first flight after joining a local flying club. He trained as… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Michelangelo

Posted March 6, 2020 by Amanda | No Comment

Are you a fan of the works by Michelangelo? On this day in 1475, the Italian Renaissance artist was born in Caprese near Arezzo, Tuscany, today known as Caprese Michelangelo. Image: Michelangelo / Library of Congress He was born Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni to a family of bankers. As a child, Michelangelo was sent to live with a nanny and her husband, who was a stonecutter, and it was there that he first developed his love for… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Jan van der Heyden

Posted March 5, 2020 by Amanda | No Comment

On this day in 1637, Dutch painter and inventor Jan van der Heyden was born. Image: Jan van der Heyden / Wikimedia Commons A prolific painter, van der Heyden was one of the first Dutch painters to specialize in townscapes. He became known as one of the leading architectural painters of the Dutch Golden Age. In addition to his paintings, van der Heyden made his mark in history for his contributions to firefighting technology. Along… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: William Penn

Posted March 4, 2020 by Amanda | No Comment

Do you have Quaker ancestors? On this day in 1681, Charles II of England granted William Penn a charter for a large piece of land in America, which would become Pennsylvania. Image: William Penn / New York Public Library William Penn was the son of Margaret Jasper and English Admiral Sir William Penn. Admiral Penn took part in the restoration of Charles II and was eventually knighted and served in the Royal Navy. In 1861, Charles… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Alexander Graham Bell

Posted March 3, 2020 by Amanda | No Comment

Do you have inventors in your family tree? On this day in 1847, inventor and engineer Alexander Graham Bell was born in Edinburgh, Scotland. Image: Alexander Graham Bell / Library of Congress As the inventor of the first practical telephone, Bell’s work was heavily influenced by his life at home. Both his mother and his wife were deaf, while his father, grandfather and brother concentrated their work on elocution and speech. In 1876, Bell received… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Theodor Seuss Geisel

Posted March 2, 2020 by Amanda | No Comment

Happy birthday, Dr. Seuss! Today marks the 116th birthday of the beloved children’s book author. Image: Theodore Seuss Geisel / Library of Congress Theodore Seuss Geisel was born on March 2, 1904 in Springfield, Massachusetts to Theodor Robert Geisel and Henrietta Seuss. His father was a successful brewmaster before the family brewery was closed when Prohibition took effect. He was later appointed as superintendent of Springfield’s public parks system by the mayor. Geisel published his first… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Linus Pauling

Posted February 28, 2020 by Amanda | No Comment

On this day in 1901, chemist and activist Linus Pauling was born in Portland, Oregon. Regarded as one of the most influential scientists in history, Pauling is often considered to be the founder of the fields of quantum chemistry and molecular biology. Image: Linus Pauling / Smithsonian Institution, Flickr The eldest child of Herman Henry Pauling and Lucy Darling, Pauling showed an interest in science at a young age. He contributed many discoveries across several scientific fields. The… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Elizabeth Taylor

Posted February 27, 2020 by Amanda | No Comment

Today we remember star Elizabeth Taylor, who was born February 27, 1932. Image: Elizabeth Taylor / Wikimedia Commons Taylor was born in Hempstead, London to American parents, Francis and Sara Taylor. From her early years as a child star, she became one of the greatest actresses of Hollywood’s Gold Age. Remembered for her stunning beauty and sometimes scandalous love life, Elizabeth spent much of her life devoted to charitable organizations and became an outspoken advocate… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Johnny Cash

Posted February 26, 2020 by Amanda | No Comment

Today we remember music legend Johnny Cash on what would have been his 88th birthday. One of the best-selling music artists of all time, Cash’s music transcended multiple genres, affording him the rare honor of multiple inductions in the Country Music Hall of Fame, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and the Gospel Music Hall of Fame. Image: Johnny Cash / Library of Congress Cash was born J.R. Cash on February 26, 1932 in… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Pierre-Auguste Renoir

Posted February 25, 2020 by Amanda | No Comment

Do you have any artists in your family tree? Today we celebrate the life of French artist Pierre-Auguste Renoir on his 179th birthday. Image: Pierre-Auguste Renoir / Bibliothèque national de France Renoir was born on February 25, 1841 in Limoges, Haute-Vienne, France to a working-class family. As a boy, he worked in a porcelain factory and utilized his talents to paint designs on fine china. Intent on pursuing his craft, Renoir enrolled in art school and… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Katherine Johnson

Posted February 24, 2020 by Amanda | No Comment

Today we remember pioneering NASA mathematician Katherine Johnson, who has passed away at the age of 101. Johnson broke racial and gender barriers by becoming one of the first African American women to work as a NASA scientist. Image: Katherine Johnson / NASA Johnson was born on August 26, 1918 in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia to Joshua Coleman, a handyman and farmer, and Joylette Roberta Lowe, a teacher. Johnson showed a gift for numbers… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Peter III

Posted February 21, 2020 by Amanda | No Comment

On February 21, 1728, Peter III, Emperor of Russia, was born. Although he didn’t speak much Russian, Peter III was named heir presumptive by his aunt Elizabeth, Empress of Russia, who also arranged for Peter to marry his second cousin, Sophie Friederike Auguste. Sophie would take on the name Catherine after converting to the Russian Orthodox Church. In 1762,  Peter succeeded to the throne, but proved to be an unpopular ruler. He served a mere… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Ansel Adams

Posted February 20, 2020 by Amanda | No Comment

American photographer Ansel Adams was born on this day in 1902. Adams is perhaps best remembered for his stunning black and white images of the American West. He used his work to help promote the conservation of the American wilderness. Image: Ansel Adams / Wikimedia Commons Adams was born on February 20, 1902 in San Francisco, California to distinctly upper-class parents. Although his grandfather founded a prosperous lumber business, Adams would come to condemn the… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Nicolaus Copernicus

Posted February 19, 2020 by Amanda | No Comment

Do you have any astronomers in your family tree? On February 19, 1473, Renaissance mathematician and astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus was born in Torun, Poland. Image: Nicolaus Copernicus / New York Public Library In one of the most significant astronomical breakthroughs in history, Copernicus formulated a heliocentric model of the universe, which placed the Sun, rather than the Earth, at the center. Just before his death, he published his findings in De revolutionbus orbium coelestium (On the… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: John Travolta

Posted February 18, 2020 by Amanda | No Comment

Happy birthday to John Travolta! Today the film star turns 66. Image: Georges Biard / Wikimedia Commons, (CC BY-SA 3.0) Travolta was born on February 18, 1954 in Englewood, New Jersey. The youngest of six children, Travolta was born into a family of entertainers. His father, Salvatore Travolta, was a semi-professional football player and his mother, Helen Cecilia Burke, was an actress and singer. Intent on pursuing a career in acting, Travolta dropped out of… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: René Laennec

Posted February 17, 2020 by Amanda | No Comment

On this day in 1781, French physician René Laennec, inventor of the stethoscope, was born in Quimper, France. Image: René Laennec / Wikimedia Commons Considered one of the greatest physicians in history, Laennec made many significant contributions to the world of medicine. In 1816, he invented the stethoscope and pioneered its use in diagnosing various chest conditions. The inspiration for the groundbreaking device came from Laennec’s observation of school children who played with long hallow sticks to amplify… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Anna Howard Shaw

Posted February 14, 2020 by Amanda | No Comment

On this day in 1847, Anna Howard Shaw was born. A leader of the women’s suffrage movement in the United States, Shaw was also a physician and one of the first ordained female Methodist ministers in the country. Image: Anna Howard Shaw / Library of Congress Shaw was born on February 14, 1847 in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England. At about the age of 4, Shaw and her family immigrated to the United States and settled in Massachusetts…. Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: John Hunter

Posted February 13, 2020 by Amanda | No Comment

On this day in 1728, Scottish surgeon John Hunter was born. Known as the “Father of Scientific Surgery,” Hunter’s pioneering work led to many remarkable insights in medicine. Image: John Hunter / National Library of Wales, Wikimedia Commons Hunter was born on February 13, 1728 in Long Calderwood, East Kilbride, Scotland. The youngest of 10 children, Hunter had little formal education. In 1748, he traveled to London to work as a dissection assistant to his… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Charles Darwin

Posted February 12, 2020 by Amanda | No Comment

Today marks the 211th anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin. Celebrated as Darwin Day throughout the world, the day commemorates Darwin’s enormous contribution to science. Image: Charles Darwin / Library of Congress Charles Robert Darwin was born on February 12, 1809 at his family’s home in Shrewsbury, England. His family was wealthy and well known in English society. His paternal grandfather, Erasmus Darwin, was an abolitionist and a key thinker of the Enlightenment movement. While… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Thomas Edison

Posted February 11, 2020 by Amanda | No Comment

“Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.” – Thomas Edison Image: Thomas Edison / Library of Congress On this day in 1847, Thomas Edison was born on in Milan, Ohio. He was the youngest of seven children born to Samuel Ogden Edison, Jr. and Nancy Matthews Elliott. His father was an exiled political activist from Canada and had taken part in… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Laura Dern

Posted February 10, 2020 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Laura Dern

Happy birthday to Laura Dern! Today the actress not only celebrates her 53rd birthday, but also her first Oscar win! Last night, Dern won her first Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in Marriage Story. In her acceptance speech, Dern called it “the best birthday present ever.” Image: Laura Dern / Georges Biard, Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0) Dern was born on February 10, 1967 in Los Angeles, California to stars Bruce… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Charles Dickens

Posted February 7, 2020 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Charles Dickens

On this day in 1812, Victorian writer Charles Dickens was born in Landport, Portsmouth, England. Considered the greatest writer of the Victorian era, Dickens’s work was widely popular during his lifetime. Image: Charles Dickens / Library of Congress Dickens was the second of eight children born to Elizabeth Barrow and John Dickens, a clerk in the Royal Navy Pay Office. The family struggled financially and eventually, his father was sent to Marshalsea Debtor’s Prison for his… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Kirk Douglas

Posted February 6, 2020 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Kirk Douglas

Today we remember Hollywood icon Kirk Douglas, who passed away yesterday at the age of 103. Image: Kirk Douglas / Wikimedia Commons Douglas was born Issur Danielovitch on December 9, 1916 in Amsterdam, New York. The family had adopted the surname “Demsky” after arriving to the United States. As the son of Russian-Jewish immigrants, Douglas grew up speaking Yiddish at home. In his youth, Douglas took on a series of odd jobs to help support… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Ole Bull

Posted February 5, 2020 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Ole Bull

On this day in 1810, Norwegian violinist Ole Bull was born. Known as one of Norway’s most notable and gifted violinists, Bull is also remembered for his efforts to start a new Norwegian colony he called New Norway in Pennsylvania. Image: Ole Bull / National Library of Norway, Flickr Bull was born on February 5, 1810 in Bergen, Norway to Johan Storm Bull and Anna Dorotea Borse Geelmuyden. The eldest of ten children, Bull’s father… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Rosa Parks

Posted February 4, 2020 by Amanda | No Comment

Today we remember civil rights icon Rosa Parks, who was born on this day in 1913. Image: Rosa Parks / Schlesinger Library, RIAS, Harvard University, Flickr Parks was born Rosa Louise McCauley on February 4, 1913 in Tuskegee, Alabama to Leona Edwards, a teacher, and James McCauley, a carpenter. After her parents separated, Parks and her family moved to Pine Level, Alabama to live with her maternal grandparents. At 19, she married Raymond Parks, a… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Norman Rockwell

Posted February 3, 2020 by Amanda | No Comment

Today we remember American illustrator Norman Rockwell, who was born on February 3, 1894. Image: Norman Rockwell / Library of Congress Rockwell was born in New York City, New York to Jarvis Waring Rockwell and Anne “Nancy” Hill. From a young age, Rockwell wanted to be an artist and by the age of 14, he had enrolled in art school to pursue his passion. He found success early on when he landed his first major commission… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Jackie Robinson

Posted January 31, 2020 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Jackie Robinson

Happy birthday to Jackie Robinson! Today marks what would have been the 101st birthday of the legendary baseball player. Image: Jackie Robinson / Library of Congress Jack Roosevelt Robinson was born on January 31, 1919 in Cairo, Georgia. He was the youngest of five children born into a family of share croppers. A natural athlete, Robinson was inspired to pursue his passion for sports by his older brother, Matthew “Mack” Robinson, who won a silver medal in the men’s… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Gene Hackman

Posted January 30, 2020 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Gene Hackman

Happy birthday to Gene Hackman! Today the actor celebrates his 90th birthday. Image: Gene Hackman / Christopher Michael Little, Wikimedia Commons (CC BY 2.0) He was born Eugene Allen Hackman on January 30, 1930 in San Bernardino, California to Lyda Gray and Eugene Hackman. At 16, Hackman left home to join the U.S. Marine Corps, where he served as a field radio operator. After his stint in the Marines, Hackman took on a series of jobs before deciding to… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Tom Selleck

Posted January 29, 2020 by Amanda | No Comment

Happy birthday, Tom Selleck! Today the popular actor turns 75. Image: Tom Selleck / Alan Light, Wikimedia Commons (CC BY 2.0) Thomas William Selleck was born on January 29, 1945 in Detroit, Michigan. An athlete growing up, Selleck attended the University of Southern California on a basketball scholarship and studied business administration before shifting his focus to acting. One of his first television appearances was on the game show The Dating Game in 1965.  Selleck got his big… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Auguste Piccard

Posted January 28, 2020 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Auguste Piccard

On this day in 1884, Swiss physicist, inventor, and explorer Auguste Piccard was born. Piccard is best remembered for his studies of the Earth’s upper atmosphere and his exploration of the ocean’s depths. Image: Auguste Piccard / ETH Library, Wikimedia Commons Piccard and his twin brother, Jean Felix Piccard, were born on January 28, 1884 in Basel, Switzerland. Both brothers showed an interest in science from an early age and would go on to become notable… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Kobe Bryant

Posted January 27, 2020 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Kobe Bryant

Today we remember legendary basketball player Kobe Bryant, who died yesterday at the age of 41. Bryant and his daughter, Gianna, along with seven others were killed in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California. Image: Kobe Bryant / Sgt. Joseph A. Lee, U.S. Marine Corps / Wikimedia Commons Bryant was born on August 23, 1978 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to Joe Bryant, a former NBA player, and Pamela Cox. His parents named him after the famous Japanese… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: James Wilson Marshall

Posted January 24, 2020 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: James Wilson Marshall

On this day in 1848, carpenter James Wilson Marshall discovered gold at Sutter’s Mill near Coloma, California. His discovery would mark the beginning of the California Gold Rush. Image: James Wilson Marshall / California Historical Society Collection, USC Digital Library Marshall was born on October 18, 1810 at his family’s homestead in Hopewell Township, New Jersey. In 1834, he left home and headed west, spending time in Indiana and Illinois before settling in Missouri. After contracting… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: John Hancock

Posted January 23, 2020 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: John Hancock

It’s National Handwriting Day! Established in 1977, the day is celebrated on the birthday of the man with the most iconic signature in history, John Hancock. Image: John Hancock / Library of Congress Born in Braintree, Massachusetts on January 23, 1737, Hancock inherited a profitable mercantile business from his uncle, which made him one of the wealthiest men in the Thirteen Colonies. A major figure during the American Revolution, Hancock was the first to sign the Declaration… Read the full story

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