By Daniel Hubbard | March 16, 2014
Sure, we already have Family History Month in October but as my kids have pointed out to me lately, to be cool now, your activity needs to have a specific day with a funny connection to what it is supposed to celebrate. For example, earlier this month, grammarians celebrated grammar day on March 4. They are clearly required to celebrate as well. It is an imperative, literally. The day is March Fourth or as a clear order “March forth!” It is apparently a day for grammar gurus to take to the streets.
As I write this, my little math whizzes are coming down from a Pi Day induced sugar high. Clearly then, I am writing this paragraph on March 14, or rather 3/14, the first three digits of the famous mathematical constant Π (Pi, 3.14159…) In the rest of the world where people more sensibly put the month in the middle of the date rather than at the beginning, it needs to be explained to people why the 14th of March is Pi Day. Unfortunately, the more sensible ordering would put Pi Day on 31/4, the 31st of April. That would be a good candidate for “National Confused by the Calendar Day” but not for Pi Day. Pi Day has the plus side that “pi” sounds like “pie” which are appropriately round and also good at grabbing children’s interest, hence the Pi Day pie sugar highs.
In a month and a half my son will draw his light saber in celebration of Star Wars Day. It falls on May the 4th, as in “May the Fourth be with you.” If you don’t get the joke, you clearly have not spent much time with an elementary or middle schooler, or anyone sufficiently geeky.
Clearly to be cooler, genealogy needs a day like this. One problem is that where pi has a clear tie to pie, making Pi Day even more popular, genealogy has trees and the food that looks most like trees is broccoli. I like broccoli but my kids just spent the afternoon at the library doing pi based activities and eating pie. While the library would be a great place to celebrate Genealogy Day, eating broccoli at the library won’t get the kids out in quite the same numbers.
Perhaps we need to forget the food tie-in but what about a good day?
January 1 “First one” to remind people to start with themselves when researching but it’s already national hangover day. I don’t want to be on the road on New Year’s Day and I don’t want to see the trees that might be put online that day either.
February 2 is nice and binary like Ahnentafel numbers but “Two Two” sounds like it ought to be National Ballet Day.
The fifth of any month might be in remembrance of all our ancestors who seem to have “taken the fifth” instead of leaving any useful information behind. On the other hand, that is not likely to increase the popularity of genealogy.
We need a day to celebrate our past, our ancestors, our origins, our “august beginnings,” which of course, is the answer. August 1, the beginning of August it should be. Pi Day eat your hear out. Now if I can just get my kids to eat their Genealogy Day broccoli…