Monday, January 19, 2009

This Day In History

What world stopping events have you lived through? One of my wife's earliest childhood memories is the funeral for JFK. A memory that stands out to me is the explosion of the Challenger space shuttle. We are getting ready for an historical first tomorrow. These historical events are easy to find but how do we find out the trivial events in someone's life, those events that even they may have forgotten over the years. Have you ever wondered what life was like when your grandmother was born, what a house cost when she got married, what the top song was in 1950? This type of trivia is sometimes fun to look at. For example, the top TV shows the year I was born included Star Trek, Laugh-In and The Monkees and gas was $0.34 per gallon. 

In honor of the historic events tomorrow I decided to discuss some websites that highlight the historical as well as trivial events in our lives.

The first site is the dMarie Time Capsule ( This site is searchable by date and includes items beginning in 1800. The earlier years are pretty spotty and may include events of the year instead of the month, week or day. More recent dates include much more information such as top songs, plays, books, TV shows as well as the headlines and costs of daily items such as gas, milk, homes, stamps and bread. I like to use this site when developing a personal biography of an ancestor.

Another good site is HyperHistory ( This site focuses in on sets of years and presents the top events in fields such as science, culture, religion, people, politics and books over the last 3000 years. The events are color coded so you can see what category it fits in. It covers both US and world events. 

The last site I will discuss tonight is BrainyHistory ( This site lets you search history in several ways. You can select a day in history, for example January 20, and see what happend on that day over history, you can also see famous births and deaths on that given day. Another way to search is by year. This method gives you a chronology of events during a given year beginning in 1AD.

I am sure everyone will now go to their birthdate and see what was happening. Have fun and see what you can remember.

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