Monday, January 15, 2018

Martin Luther King, Jr Day

Today is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. The day we celebrate the man who fought to end segregation and racism in general. The quote on The King Center's page from his wife that I feel best represents what he fought for and, thus, represents who and what we celebrate today is, "We commemorate Dr. King's inspiring words, because his and his vision filled a great void in our nation, and answered our cellective longing to become a country that truly lived by its noblest principles." MLK (Martin Luther King, Jr.) not only spoke up for his vision of a county without racism, he also put his life on the line in his fight. He faced threats, jail, and beatings as results of his advocacy. While he didn't achieve his dream, his actions did result in some long overdue changes towards racial equality.

Now I won't go into great detail about MLK's life, both personal and as what many today would call a Social Justice Warrior, I will give some information here and provide links for anybody that wants to know more about the man and his mission.

I (mage source   quote's validity source
A Brief History on the Holiday Itself

  • Martin Luther King, Jr Day is celebrated on the 3rd monday in January.
  • The first legislation introduced to create the holiday was brought forth on 8 April 1968, 4 days after his assassination, by Congressman John Conyers (D-MI).
  • The day wasn't an official holiday anywhere in the US until Illinois made it a state holiday in 1973, followed by Massachusetts and Connecticut the following year.
  • His wife (Coretta Scott King) testified in front of both the Senate Judiciary Committee and Joint Hearings of Congress in favor of creating the federal holiday we have today in 1979, but the Conyers King Holiday bill was defeated in a floor vote in the House that November. (Note, it was defeated by only 5 votes.)
  • Mrs. King again testified for the holiday in 1982, but before the House Committee on Post Office and Civil Services's Subcommittee on Census and Population.
  • She again testified before Congress in favor of the King Holiday Bill in June of 1983.
  • The bill was signed by President Reagan in November of 1983, creating the federal holiday we currently have.

With his family. Source

A Brief History on Martin Luther King, Jr.
Martin Luther was born in 1929 as Michael Luther King, jr, but later changed his name to Martin. He attended segregated schools as a child and got his B.A. in ???????? from Morehouse College in 1948. He then went on to receive his B.D. degree from Crozer Theological Seminary in Pennsylvania. He followed that with going to Boston University for his graduate studies. He finished his graduate studies in 1953, and was awarded the degree in 1955. Boston is also where he met and married his wife Coretta Scott. The couple had 3 children.

MLK was on the executive committee of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) by 1954. He accepted the role of leader in the 382 day Montgomery Bus Boycott in December of 1955, which resulted in the US Supreme Court ruling segregation on busses unconstitutional. Between 1957 and his death in 1968, King traveled the country and spoke where there was injustice, protest, and action, as well as leading many protests himself and writing 5 books.

King was the youngest man to win the Nobel Peace Prize when he was told he was to be the winner at 35. In 1968, at 39, he was assassinated in Memphis, TN.

  • read any of the books on his biography page at (link in the sources)
  • his biography at The King Center's website
  • his biography at
  • his entry at
  • you can also read his autobiography which is available at both Amazon and Google books. You can also find it in a library with worldcat


Sunday, January 7, 2018

Orthodox Christmas

I decided I'm going to go through the year writing posts about each of the holidays for Christians, Jews, & Muslims. Each post will give a brief overview of the holiday, including what the holiday celebrates and how people celebrate. I'll even include where for holidays like today's that are primarily in specific areas/countries. My sources will be included at the bottom on each post for anyone that wants to check my sources, or get some more information.
Today, January 7th, is Christmas Day in many Eastern Orthodox Christian churches. The difference in dates between the Orthodox Christmas and Christmas for non-Orthodox Christians is a result of using different calendars. Most of the world has adopted and follows the Gregorian calendar (proposed 1582), while the Christian Orthodox church still uses the Julian calendar (created 45 BC). The 2 calendars differ by 13 days, resulting in Orthodox Christmas being 13 days after Christmas for the rest of Christianity and Epiphany being on January 19th vs January 6. Some Orthodox churches have adopted a version of the Julian calendar that puts Christmas on December 25, but not all. For example, 85% of Orthodox Christians in Russia celebrate Christmas today.

The Orthodox Christian churches that celebrate Christmas today are primarily in Belarus, Bulgaria, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Georgia, Israel, Kazakhstan, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Russia, Serbia, and Ukraine. The map below shows the location of each country in yellow.
Source of blank map

The story that is celebrated at Christmas is pieced 2 together from 2 different accounts in the books of Matthew and Luke in the Bible (Christian holy book). That story is the story of Jesus's birth. Christians see Jesus as the son of God, who was born to a virgin named Mary. Mary was engaged to a man named Joseph, who was also a carpenter. Luke contains the story of an angel visiting Mary to tell her she was to give birth to Jesus, as well as the story of Mary and Joseph travelling to Bethlehem and shepherds being led to the manger that was used as newborn Jesus's cradle. While Matthew contains the story of wise men following a star to see baby Jesus and present him with gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

The date of Christmas was set in the 4th century C.E. (previously known as AD) by Pope Julius I in an attempt to Christianize the pagan festivals that already took place around the winter solstice. From these pagan festivities came some of the traditions celebrating Christmas that Christians still follow today, including decorating the home in greenery and gift giving from the Roman Saturnalia.

The Christmas season is celebrated a little differently in the western, non-Orthodox Christian churches and the Eastern Orthodox churches. For starters, the Eastern Orthodox church doesn't have Advent. Instead they fast for the 40 days before Christmas and a very strict fast on Christmas Eve (Jan. 6). The fast is from meat and dairy, but the strict fast on Christmas Eve is from everything but water. Also, the Christmas Eve service begins with singing of the Royal Hours. The traditions of a Christmas tree and gift giving are commonly shared among Orthodox and non-Orthodox Christians however.

Want more information on some aspect, here's the links I found for you.


Sunday, May 21, 2017


  • Why is it OK for guys to bully girls they like? (including me)
  • Why is it OK for anybody to try to trip somebody when they are on the stairs for any reason?
  • Why is it OK for people to talk down to me?
  • Why is OK to pin somebody to the ground (or do other things that can be considered violent) just because the person being pinned is mad/upset & storming out? (Slamming doors, but not threatening to actually hurt anybody)
  • Why is it OK for somebody to yell when someone else doesn't know something?
  • Why is OK for people to totally disrespect the feelings of somebody they view as inferior?
  • On that note, why is OK for somebody to see somebody else as inferior to them?
  • Why is it OK for person A to call Person B a meddler when B stands up to A on behalf of person C, while A has no problem telling somebody else what to do with their life? (To me, that seems like a bully getting mad when they are called out.)

Is it something people like me did to deserve cause/deserve being treated like that? Is it something about who we are that causes us to be treated like this? I know it's selfish, but I need to be able to understand why. Why do people like me get treated like that when we're just trying to be good people? I try my best to not hate anybody. For me, that means not wanting anybody dead. (Oh, Trumpass sure is testing me on this one.) I try to treat people better then I expect to be treated. (Granted, that's not saying much.) I try not to look down on people for their skin color, gender identity, sexual orientation, & other things they have no control over.

As a society, why do we mostly ignore bullying?

Why do we ask women who are raped questions like "what were you wearing?" "were you drunk?"As if she has to carry some of the blame for the decision made by her rapist. Do we seriously think men are to darn weak to control themselves? If we do, why do we let men have guns, drive cars, or do anything else where they can endanger other people? Or is the rape thing all about men having power over women?

That's just the beginning. We still have systematic racism, sexism, homophobia, anti-trans, etc.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

What I Want

I was really upset & hurting the other night. What I wanted & didn't want was going through my mind, so I started to write in my journal. This is what came out. You can either read the images from my journal, read the bulleted transcription on the side,or a combination of the 2. Whichever you find easier for you. (I'll be upfront. Some of these are things I want around some people in my life that I do get around other people in my life.)

  • I want to learn how to be a better person then Hitler.
  • I want to earn the right to have my political opinion & not have somebody suggest I kill myself because of it.
  • I want to earn the right to form my own opinion.
  • I want to earn the right to make my own decisions - esp on important things like if I want to have kids or not
  • I want to earn the right to not be bullied
  • I don't want to feel like crap anymore
  • I want to feel like I'm just as worthwhile as everybody else
  • I want to feel like I have something to offer somebody - even if it's a lie
  • I want to not feel like I have to have higher expectations for myself as I do for everybody else
  • I want to earn the right to be myself around family - aka Mom, Dad, Jess, Amanda, etc
  • I want to like myself as much as my co-workers seem to like me (NOTE this includes friends that I don't work with.)

  • I really don't want to feel like crap anymore
  • I really don't want to feel stupid anymore
  • I don't know how. I don't know how to do any of these things & I should. I just should.
  • I shouldn't have been weak* enough to feel like the bullies want/wanted me to feel
  • I should've* just know how to deal with bullies when they first started to bully me
  • I shouldn't have been hurt by the bullies emotional abuse I should've been too strong for that
  • So yeah. How do I learn to be human instead of sub-human? How do I learn to treat myself they want I wand friends*, Alex, Cassie*, my nieces & nephews, etc to be treated? I don't even know how or where to start.

* Yes, I know it's spelled wrong in my journal. I was getting things out then, not making sure I used the correct spelling when 2 words sound the same, make sure ' were in the right place, etc. All those mistakes I found when making this blog are corrected in the transcription.

So, that's a little insight into how I feel on a regular basis, esp when I'm hurt or just having a "depressed" day. It's also a glimpse (even for me) of where I want to end up.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

100 Best Websites part 4

Best for Canadian Research
Crossing the international border here. For this section all I'll be doing is basically putting the sites on the list out there & giving a brief overview of what Family Tree Magazine (FTM) has to say. I personally know of no relatives of mine that have lived in Canada. Although, if you need to refrence a map of Canada there's one here.
  • Archives of Manitoba - FTM says it has probate records & Hudson Bay Company archives.
  • Automated Genealogy - OK not an attractive site as far as aesthetics go. FTM says it has volunteer transcriptions of a few censuses.
  • Canadian County Atlas - FTM makes it sound like it only covers Ontario, contrary to what the title suggests.
  • Canadian Genealogy Centre - Looks like a place to go for vital records. FTM says that it has many kinds of records: census, naturalization, divorce, etc.
  • Images Canada - The first page lets you chose between English & French (YEAH). FTM says that it has photo essays, images from cultural institutions, & "image trails."
  • Nova Scotia Historical Vital Statics - FTM says each record is linked to a digital image. That would be nice here in the states.
  • Our Roots - FTM says that it has digitized local histories.
  • That's My Family - Another site that has you chose between English & French. FTM says it's like Google for Canadian Genealogy. That would make it a Canadian mocovo then.
Best Sites for African-American Roots.
I'll be approaching this part of the list just like the part above.
I hope this is helpful to people. I'm going to call it done here. For the complete list for 2010 go here.

Happy research

Sunday, January 29, 2012

100 Best Websites part 3

Got busy moving all my trees into 1 big tree & didn't get around to the new post. Here's more the the 100 Best Websites for Genealogy as put out by Family Tree Magazine (FTM).

Best Sites for Western US Research
Sites for researching ancestors in the Western half of the US.

Think I'll call that good for tonight. More to come though.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

100 Best Websites part 2

I got started yesterday. Let's see how much farther down the list I get tonight :)

Best US Government Sites
  • American Battle Monuments Commission - It appears to be videos about the major wars & major battles in US history. Well since World War I anyway.
  • Bureau of Land Management General Land Office Records - I've used the site a little bit. Found the homestead deed of my great-great grandfather I believe (would have to check for sure). I've had no luck finding plat maps here though.
  • Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System - Looks like it could be a good resource for anybody with ancestors (or other relatives) that served in the Civil War. In my paternal line it's very unlikely anybody served. The Loven's that came over from Norway came after the Civil War I believe. I'll check it out more after I learn more about my other branches of my family tree.
  • Library of Congress - There's a link for historic newspapers right on the home page that could be useful. FTM says the the manuscript collection is worth a try, too.
  • National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) - I believe I looked into getting my grandpa's military records here at some point. Can't remember for sure though. Here's what FTM (Family Tree Magazine) has to say, "You know to visit virtually before planning an in-person trip to the National Archives or one of its regional branches around the country. But don’t overlook the two troves of records on the archives’ website: Access to Archival Databases (AAD), with more than 85 million records, including passengers on US-bound immigrant ships and WWII enlistment files, and the Archival Research Catalog (ARC), an index of 6.3 million records linked to 153,000 digital files."
  • Military Gravesite Locator - I plugged in my grandpa (the one veteran who's information I know, & It couldn't tell me where he's buried (Hillside Cemetery, St. Charles, Minnesota.) I'm says it has all veteran's with the government grave marker (which I'm not sure if my grandpa has).
  • USS Geological Survey - I don't know enough about it to really have anything to say.
Best Sites for Eastern US Research
Just like it sounds like this is for looking up ancestors in the Eastern United States.
  • Cincinnati Virtual Library - It has downloadable maps of Cincinnati. It aslo has downloadable books & according to FTM city directories of Cincinnati which would make a must for anybody who's looking up somebody that lived in Cincinnati.
  • Cook County Genealogy Online - Right on the home page it has buttons to order vital records. Birth certificates from 75 years or more ago, marriage certificates from 50 or more years ago, and death certificates from 20 or more years ago. Otherwise it looks to have Chicago history, which can be helpful.
  • Digital Library of Georgia - With no ancestors in Georgia not one I'm gonna find useful. Check it out if you're research leads you to Georgia though.
  • Iowa GenWeb - One I've used. I've found obits, maps breaking the county down into townships, etc. If you have ancestors in Iowa like I do this is one site worth using.
  • Massachusetts Archives - Has a vital record index, archives index, in in progress is a passenger arrival index. Check it out if you had ancestors in MA or your ancestors arrived or may have arrived through a port in MA.
  • Minnesota Historical Society - If you need vital records from Minnesota this is the place to go. You can order birth certificates from 1900 - 1934, death certificates from 1904 - 2001 (ok they were called death cards through 1907), & you can order to have somebody look up a marriage record. You need to know when & where the marriage took place already though, so not handy to try to get marriage information. So far, I've gotten death certificates for both my maternal grandparents, a great-grandma (broke that brick wall leading to her parents), and a great-great-grandma. I'll be ordering more including birth certificates in the future. Wish every state made it this easy to get birth & death certificates.
  • Missouri Digital Heritage -This site I'll have to look into when I have the information on the few MO relatives I have. Looks like it'll be worth a try.
  • OK/IT Genealogy - It (like Iowa GenWeb) are under USGenWeb. With no OK ancestors I'm aware of (other than an uncle that lived there for a few years) not worth my time to use. Check it out though if any of your ancestors came from Oklahoma.
  • Seeking Michigan - Looks like it'll be worth checking out for anybody researching ancestors in Michigan.
  • Wisconsin Historical Society - Looks like it has several collections. I'll check it out more when I research my maternal family. Some of them lived in Wisconsin. Hey, my great-grandpa was born there I believe.
I think I'll call that a day. Stay tuned for part 3 hopefully later this week.