By Mary Torres, Special to the Star
Friday, June 14 is National Flag Day, an annual observance commemorating the adoption of the U.S. flag on June 14, 1777, which happened on that day by resolution of the Second Continental Congress. The original flag featured 13 red and white stripes and 13 stars, one for each of the colonies. Why were the colors of red, white and blue chosen for our flag? To the original members of the Continental Congress, red stood for hardiness and courage, white for purity and innocence, and blue for vigilance and justice.
On Flag Day, millions of Americans display the flag outside their homes and businesses and in some communities, Veterans organizations and other civic groups hold special ceremonies in honor of Flag Day.
The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks was the first fraternal organization to observe Flag Day. The importance of every single U.S. flag, and how it is displayed is keenly observed by the Elks who are celebrating over 110 years of the Grand Lodge’s 1907 designation of June 14 as Flag Day, which was followed in 1911 with the Order’s approval for mandatory observance by all Lodges. The Harlingen Elks Lodge #1889, 1426 S Commerce St, Harlingen, TX, invites you to its Flag Day Ceremony on June 14 at 6:15 p.m.
The Rio Grande Valley Byliners and the Harlingen Public Library, 410 ’76 Dr. invite you to an evening of poetry reading and sharing on Tuesday, June 18 from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. Poets of all ages are welcome! Bring your family-friendly poems or read your favorite poem. Refreshments will be provided. Please call Eva Bielicke at (956) 216-5823 to let her know you are planning to attend. The event is free and open to the public. For more information visit http://rgvbyliners.org/.
The Tip O’ Texas Genealogical Society will meet at the Harlingen Public Library, 410 ’76 Dr. at 10:15 a.m. on Thursday, June 20. During June, July and August, the society will only meet once per month on the third Thursday of the month. For more information visit the society’s Facebook page.
The Rio Grande Valley Hispanic Genealogical Society will meet at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, June 23 at the Harlingen Arts & Heritage Museum. 2425 Boxwood St. Susana Privett, Data Dissemination Specialist, U. S. Census Bureau, Dallas, TX, will present, “Census Data: A Genealogist Valued Resource.” For more information please call 956-345-4756.
FamilySearch.org is celebrating 20 years online! Twenty years ago, on May 24, 1999, this global nonprofit site, part of FamilySearch International, launched a free internet genealogy service that took the online genealogy world by storm, offering free access to hundreds of millions of historical records online!
For perspective, online broadcast news, e-trading, and downloadable music services were the rage at the time. Google, ranked 93rd of top websites, was still an up-and-coming service that was attempting to redefine the role of a search engine by indexing the web to make results junk free and more consumer relevant. Since then, FamilySearch has expanded and evolved its free mix of online offerings, holding true to its purpose to provide economical access to the world’s genealogical records and create fun family history discoveries for everyone.
The site now boasts over seven billion searchable names and over three billion searchable images of historical records and it adds more than 300 million new historical records and images yearly from archives worldwide. FamilySearch.org continues to enjoy impressive growth today, adding over 50,000 new subscribers weekly and hundreds of millions of new family photos, documents, stories, and historical records yearly from contributors and archives around the world.
Patrons may access FamilySearch services and resources free online at FamilySearch.org or through over 5,000 family history centers in 129 countries, including the main Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah and the Family History Center in Harlingen at 2326 Haine Dr., 956-421-2028.