Calendar of Ideas

Looking for Content Sparks? Our Calendar of Ideas should help you find creative topics for your blog or site. You can also use our Daily Prompts for inspiration.

Calendar of Ideas Graphic

The GeneaBloggersTRIBE leadership team compiled this calendar of ideas with the help of Chase’s Calendar of Events. As you look at the listings, think how they might relate to your genealogical research, stories of handed down the family tree, historical context for you ancestors, or your own memories.

Ann Landers / Dear Abby Birthday – Anniversary
Jul 4 all-day

Ann Landers July 4, 1918. Born Esther Pauline Friedman at Sioux City, IA, the advice columnist was beloved worldwide. In 1955 she won a contest to be the new Ann Landers columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times. For 47 years, with spunky yet compassionate replies that were a refreshing change from prior columnists styles, she helped everyday people overcome their problems. A trademark admonishment was 40 lashes with a wet noodle. (Her twin sister, Pauline Friedman, followed in her footsteps with a Dear Abby column.)

By 2002 her column was carried in more than 1,200 newspapers worldwide and had a readership of 30 million. She died June 22, 2002, at Chicago, IL.

Image:Public domain, rights transferred to Library of Congress through Instrument of Gift.”

Declaration of Independence approved and signed – Anniversary
Jul 4 all-day

Declaration of IndependenceJuly 4, 1776. The Declaration of Independence was approved by the Continental Congress: Signed by Order and in Behalf of the Congress, John Hancock, President, Attest, Charles Thomson, Secretary. The official signing occurred Aug 2, 1776. The manuscript journals of the Congress for that date state: The declaration of independence being engrossed and compared at the table was signed by the members.

Image: Public Domain

Rube Goldberg’s Birthday – Anniversary
Jul 4 all-day

Rube Goldberg's Self-operating napkingJuly 4, 1883. The cartoonist with an engineering degree who put his education to work inventing elaborate machines with involved steps to accomplish ludicrously simple tasks. He is best remembered for the creative inventions of his cartoon character Lucifer Gorgonzola Butts. Born at San Francisco, CA, Goldberg died Dec 7, 1970, at New York City.

Image: By Originally published in Collier’s, September 26 1931, Public Domain, via

Tuskegee Institute Opens – Anniversary
Jul 4 all-day

July 4, 1881. Booker T. Washington’s famed agricultural-industrial institution was built from the ground up by dedicated students seeking academic and vocational training. The institute started in a shanty before Washington purchased an abandoned plantation at Tuskegee, Alabama, USA. The students built the dormitories, classrooms and chapel from bricks out of their own kiln.

Image: Public Domain, located via

Bikini debuts – 70th Anniversary
Jul 5 all-day

July 5, 1946. The bikini, the skimpy two-piece bathing suit created by Louis Reard debuted at a fashion show in Paris, France. It was named after an atoll in the Pacific where the hydrogen bomb was first tested.

Image courtesy of, CC0.

PT Barnum’s Birthday – Anniversary
Jul 5 all-day

July 5, 1810. Promoter of the bizarre and unusual. Barnum’s American Museum opened in 1842, promoting unusual acts including the Feejee Mermaid, Chang and Eng (the original Siamese twins) and General Tom Thumb.In 1850 he began his promotion of Jenny Lind, the Swedish Nightingale,and parlayed her singing talents into a major financial success.

In 1871 The Greatest Show on Earth opened at Brooklyn, NY; Barnum merged with his rival J.A. Bailey in 1881 to form the Barnum and Bailey Circus. P.T.

Barnum was born at Bethel, CT, and died at Bridgeport, CT, Apr 7, 1891.


Image: Harvard Library, Public Domain,

Frida Kahlo’s birthday – Anniversary
Jul 6 all-day

July 6, 1907. The great surrealist painter was born Magdalena Carmen Frida Kahlo Caldern at Coyoacn, Mexico. In 1925 she endured severe injuries in a bus accident that would plague her for the rest of her life (and become artistic subject matter). She turned to art at about this time, encouraged by the master muralist Diego Rivera, whom she married in 1929 (and 1941).

She is known almost as much for her tumultuous life (she had an affair with Soviet exile Leon Trotsky and was active in leftist politics) as for her vibrant art works filled with symbols and the flora and fauna of her beloved Mexico. She was one of the first women painters to sell a work to the Louvre. She died at her Casa Azul family home in Coyoacn on July13, 1954.

Image Credit: Martinica.ferrara, CC by-SA 4.0

Running of the Bulls
Jul 7 all-day

July 7 14. Pamplona, Spain

Event made famous by Hemingway in his novel The Sun Also Rises, in which young men dressed in white with red scarves run through the streets of Pamplona, chased by bulls from the bullring. Part of the festival of San Fermin.

Photo Credit: English: The Running of the Bulls in Pamplona, Spain, uploaded to from

Calgary Stampede
Jul 8 all-day

July 8-17. Calgary, AB, Canada:  The “Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth,” celebrated since 1912.

The Calgary Stampede is made up of sights, sounds, tastes and feelings that create a lifetime of memories. More than a century of tradition is distilled into 10 days of music, food, excitement, education, friendship and community. Includes the worlds richest tournament-style rodeo, Rangeland Derby, Grandstand Show, Stampede Parade, Heavy Horse Show,World Championship Blacksmiths Competition, North American Sheep Shearing Challenge, carnival, food and much more.

Image courtesy of user werner22brigitte

14th Amendment to the US Constitution Ratified – Anniversary
Jul 9 all-day

Coat of Arms of the United States July 9, 1868. The 14th Amendment defined US citizenship and provided that no state shall have the right to abridge the rights of any citizen without due process and equal protection under the law.

Coming three years after the Civil War, the 14th Amendment also included provisions for barring individuals who assisted in any rebellion or insurrection against the US from holding public office, and releasing federal and state governments from any financial liability incurred in the assistance of rebellion or insurrection against the US.

Image: Greater Coat of Arms of the United States, Public Domain.

Elias Howe’s Birthday – Anniversary
Jul 9 all-day

Sewing machine Elias Howe, the inventor of the sewing machine, was born at Spencer, Massachusetts, on July 9, 1819.

Image courtesy of

First Open Heart Surgery – Anniversary
Jul 9 all-day

July 9, 1893. In Provident Hospital on the South Side of Chicago, IL, black surgeon Dr. Daniel Hale Williams performed the first successful open-heart surgery.

Image courtesy of, CC0.

John Calvin’s Birthday – Anniversary
Jul 10 all-day

John Calvin Theologian and founder of the Presbyterian faith was born on July 10, 1509 at Noyon, France.

Image Credit, Public domain, courtesy of Calvin College via Wikimedia Commons.

Telstar launched – Anniversary
Jul 10 all-day

July 10, 1962. First privately owned satellite (American Telephone and Telegraph Company) and first satellite to relay live TV pictures across the Atlantic was launched.

Image courtesy of

‘To Kill A Mockingbird’ Published – Anniversary
Jul 11 all-day

To kill a mocking bird July 11, 1960. Harper Lees evocative novel of tomboy Scout Finch coming of age in a Depression-era Alabama town was published this day by J.B. Lippincott. A bestseller almost immediately, it earned Lee a Pulitzer Prize on May 1, 1961. Librarians voted it the best novel of the 20th century.

Image by Laura Hedgecock, CC0.

Bowdler’s Day
Jul 11 all-day

 Bowdler’s Day is a day to remember the prudish medical doctor, Thomas Bowdler, born near Bath, England, on July 11, 1754. He gave up the practice of medicine and undertook the cleansing of the works of Shakespeare by removing all the words and expressions he considered to be indecent or impious. His Family Shakespeare, in 10 volumes, omitted all those words that cannot with propriety be read aloud in a family.

He also purified Edward Gibbon’s History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire and selections from the Old Testament. His name became synonymous with self-righteous expurgation, and the word bowdlerize has become part of the English language. Bowdler died at Rhyddings, in South Wales, Feb 24, 1825.

Image courtesy of, CC0.

Burr-Hamilton Duel – Anniversary
Jul 11 all-day

July 11, 1804. US vice president Aaron Burr shot and mortally wounded former secretary of the treasury (and primary author of The Federalist papers) Alexander Hamilton in a duel at Weehawken, New Jersey  on this date. Hamilton had insulted Burr and refused to make a public apology. Hamilton died the next day.

Although Burr returned to Washington, DC, to execute his duties as vice president, the duel ended his political career.

Image from a painting by J. Mund. – Lord, John, LL.D. (1902). Beacon Lights of History. Vol. XI, “American Founders.” Public Domain.

National Personnel Records Center fire – Anniversary
Jul 12 all-day

NPRC Fire 1973Shortly after midnight on July 12, 1973, a fire swept through the top floor of the National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) in St. Louis. The first firefighting team arrived at the sixth floor of the building within minutes, only to be forced to retreat as their masks began to melt on their faces.

The fire burned uncontrolled for more than 22 hours, and took five days to finally be put out. At its peak, 42 fire districts were fighting it. The cause of the fire is still unknown. The tremendous heat of the fire resulted in shelves warping and the destruction of about 73 to 80 percent of the approximately 22 million individual Official Military Personnel Files (OMPFs) stored in the building . The records lost were those of former members of the Army, the Army Air Force, and the Air Force who served between 1912 and 1963.

Read more…

Image courtesy of U.S. Veteran’s Affairs

International Town Criers Day
Jul 13 all-day

July 11. A day recognizing the ancient and honorable art and tradition of town crying and the significant contribution town criers make to promoting their respective towns and cities. Annually, the second Monday in July.

Image courtesy of, CC 0.

Live Aid Concerts – Anniversary
Jul 13 all-day

Aid for Africa July 13, 1985. Concerts at Philadelphia, PA, and London, England (Kennedy and Wembley stadiums), were seen by 162,000 attendees and an estimated 1.5 billion television viewers. Organized to raise funds for African famine relief, the musicians performed without a fee, and nearly $100 million was pledged toward aid to the hungry.

Image courtesy of user Geralt, CC0.

World Cup inaugurated – Anniversary
Jul 13 all-day

World Cup July 13, 1930. The first World Cup soccer competition was held at Montevideo, Uruguay, with 14 countries participating. On July 30 Uruguay defeated Argentina by a score of 4 – 2 to take the cup.

Image Credit: Public Domain, Pixabay, user geralt

Bastille Day
Jul 14 all-day

Bastille Day Bastille Day is a public holiday in France which commemorates the storming of the Bastille prison on 14 July 1789.




Image: Painting “Painting Prise de la Bastille” Public Domain, Wikipedia Commons

Birmingham Riots – 225th Anniversary
Jul 14 all-day

Birmingham Riots Priestley House July 14, 1791. Following a dinner celebrating the second anniversary of the fall of the Bastille, an angry mob rioted at Birmingham, England. The main target of their wrath was the home of scientist (discoverer of oxygen) Joseph Priestley, who was unpopular because of his religious views and his approval of the American and French revolutionary causes. The mob ruled Birmingham for three days, burning Priestley’s home and laboratory as well as the homes of his friends. Priestley, in disguise, and his family narrowly escaped with their lives. They lived for a time at London before moving in 1794 to America.

Image credit: Priestley House painting, Public Domain, Wikipedia Commons

Rembrandt’s Birthday – Anniversary
Jul 15 all-day

July 15, 1606. Dutch painter and etcher, born Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn at Leiden, Netherlands. One of the undisputed giants of Western art. Known for The Night Watch and many portraits and self-portraits.He died at Amsterdam, Netherlands, Oct 4, 1669.

Atomic Bomb tested – Anniversary
Jul 16 all-day

Atom Bomb testing July 16, 1945. In the New Mexican desert at Alamogordo Air Base, 125 miles southeast of Albuquerque, the experimental atomic bomb was set off at 5: 30 AM. Dubbed Fat Boy by its creator, the plutonium bomb vaporized the steel scaffolding holding it as the immense fireball rose 8,000 feet in a fraction of a second ultimately creating a mushroom cloud to a height of 41,000 feet. At ground zero the bomb emitted heat three times the temperature of the interior of the sun. All plant and animal life for a mile around ceased to exist. When informed by President Truman at Potsdam,Germany, of the successful experiment, Winston Churchill responded, “Its the Second Coming in wrath!”

Image: Public Domain, Wikipedia Commons

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