I want to wish everyone a very happy and loving Thanksgiving. I know that many family historians are busy in the kitchen today, which is, in itself, a way of keeping the family history alive. We transmit memories along with our recipes and our holiday customs. But, don't miss the chance to do two other important tasks: share family stories and record memories of this day. In our quest to record the past, we family historians often forget the present. Make a record of your Thanksgiving recipes, and ask those who brought their dishes and desserts to do the same. If you are hosting and are too busy to sit and talk with guests, appoint a child or relative as "historian of the day," whose job it is to both record the moment and listen for stories of the past. Give a restless young relative a video camera and a mission--to produce a family documentary for your Facebook page.
Tomorrow, Friday, November 26th, is an important day for family historians in the USA. StoryCorps, the national oral history project, has designated the day after Thanksgiving as the "National Day of Listening." Their aim is to encourage everyone to take an hour out of the day tomorrow to record a conversation with a loved one.
StoryCorps itself has recorded oral histories of over 60,000 Americans, mostly ordinary citizens. The oral histories the Corps collect are on file at the Library of Congress.
Don't have a relative at the ready for recording? Record yourself. Write down a few memories. Many a memoir began with one small paragraph. Take that step today and generations will thank you for it!
STORYCORPS WEB SITE
NATIONAL DAY OF LISTENING WEB SITE