Quote of the Day

Niccolo Machiavelli
One who deceives will always find those who allow themselves to be deceived. Discuss

Mark Twain
Don't tell fish stories where the people know you; but particularly, don't tell them where they know the fish.

Charles Darwin
It has been a bitter mortification for me to digest the conclusion that the 'race is for the strong' and that I shall probably do little more but be content to admire the strides others made in science.

This Day in History

Operation Vijay: India Annexes Daman and Diu (1961)
Spanning less than 50 square miles (130 sq km) on the coast of India, Daman and Diu became Portuguese colonies in the 16th century, along with the port of Goa. After India gained independence from the UK in 1947, its government began working toward the return of all Indian colonies held by Portugal. Portugal, however, violently suppressed peaceful Indian activists opposed to its continued rule. After Indian forces invaded, how many days did it take for them to annex Daman and Diu? Discuss

Discovery of Piltdown Man Announced (1912)
In the early 20th-century, amateur archaeologist Charles Dawson announced that a fossilized skull belonging to a previously unknown species of prehistoric man had been found in Piltdown, England. It took 40 years to definitively determine that the skull was not that of a primitive hominid but rather a fake constructed from a human cranium and the jawbone of an ape. The perpetrator of the hoax has never been identified, though many have fallen under suspicion, including what famous author?

US Brigadier General James Dozier Kidnapped by Italian Terrorists (1981)
In 1981, US Brigadier General James Dozier was kidnapped from his apartment in Italy by men posing as plumbers. The kidnappers were members of the Red Brigades, an extreme left-wing terrorist organization that sought to undermine the Italian state and pave the way for Marxist upheaval. Dozier, who was serving as deputy chief of staff at NATO's Southern European land forces headquarters in Verona, was the first American general ever abducted by a terrorist group. How long was he held captive?

Word of the Day

creaky
Definition: (adjective) Worn and broken down by hard use. Synonyms: decrepit, derelict, flea-bitten, run-down, woebegone. Usage: There is a certain house within my familiar recollection...a rusty, crazy, creaky, dry-rotted, dingy, dark, and miserable old dungeon. Discuss

tuneful
Definition: (adjective) Having a musical sound; especially a pleasing tune. Synonyms: melodious. Usage: Melodic and tuneful, his songs made me weep.

switchblade
Definition: (noun) A pocketknife having a spring-operated blade that opens instantly when a release on the handle is pressed. Synonyms: flick-knife. Usage: When I heard his switchblade snap open, I knew that our verbal altercation was about to become something much more gruesome.

Who Do You Think You Are? Recap: Regina King
When Regina King started down the path to discover her ancestors, she knew their history may include some hardships. She was ready to face those hardships, because she believes “uncomfortable conversations are where solutions live.” During Regina’s journey to learn about her 2x great-grandfather, Moses Crosby, she learned first-hand about facing difficult facts about the Read More

Who Do You Think You Are? Recap: Matthew Morrison
In Who Do You Think You Are?, Matthew Morrison uncovered fascinating ancestors, each with their own tales of hardship and triumph. For some time, however, roadblocks stood in the way of discovering his ancestor’s stories. Only a tight combination of historical records and DNA could unlock the secrets in Matthew’s tree. The marriage of records Read More

Who Do You Think You Are? Recap: Joshua Duhamel
In Who Do You Think You Are?, Josh Duhamel discovered that his 12x great-grandfather, Thomas Norton, held prominent status in 16thcentury England, and was an influential figure in the war between Protestantism and Catholicism at the time. In this episode, Josh found answers to questions that many Americans ask about their own family tree: do Read More

12 Days of Connections
This holiday season, we are honored to share the reunions of 12 Ancestry customers who found long lost family members. We are inspired by the connections, love, and hope from these stories, and we hope you will be too! Check back as we add each story throughout the month. My name is Nichole and I Read More

Who Do You Think You Are? Recap: Mandy Moore
A journey on the open seas can be grueling, isolating,and dangerous. Mandy Moore made the surprising discovery that her 3rd-great-grandmother, Ellen Flynn, boarded the ship Lady Peelin 1849 and traveled from Ireland to Australia. Astonishingly, she thenbraved the seas again to go from Australia to England, traveling over 14,000 miles in her lifetime. In a Read More

Today

Carter Godwin Woodson (1875)
Born into a poor African-American family, Woodson had little formal schooling until he was in his late teens. Yet he went on to earn a PhD and become a prominent historian, author, and journalist. He devoted his life to promoting African-American education and history, founding the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History and writing, editing, and publishing books and periodicals on African-American life, history, and culture. What nationwide annual observance did he establish? Discuss

Sir Joseph John "J. J." Thomson (1856)
One of the founders of modern physics, Thomson helped revolutionize the knowledge of atomic structure. He is known primarily for his discovery of the electron and his investigation of its charge and mass, his development of the mathematical theory of electricity and magnetism, and his role in the discovery of isotopes and invention of mass spectrometry. His research into the electrical conductivity of gases earned him a Nobel Prize in 1906. What did Thomson originally call electrons?

Gabrielle-Émilie Le Tonnelier de Breteuil, Marquise du Châtelet (1706)
The wife of a French marquis, du Châtelet defied convention in both her personal and professional life. She was a mathematician and physicist and wrote a number of scientific treatises as well as a translation of Isaac Newton's Principia Mathematica. She had several extramarital affairs—the most enduring of which was with philosopher and writer Voltaire, who once described her as "a great man whose only fault was being a woman." How did she once think her way out of a gambling debt?