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On this day in 1517, the priest and scholar Martin Luther approaches the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany, and nails a piece of paper to it containing the 95 revolutionary opinions that would begin the Protestant Reformation. In his theses, Luther condemned the excesses and corruption of the Roman Catholic Church, especially the papal practice of asking payment—called "indulgences"—for the forgiveness of sins. At the time, a Dominican priest named Johann Tetzel, commissioned by the Archbishop of Mainz and Pope Leo X, was in the midst of a major fundraising campaign in Germany to finance the renovation of St. Peter's Basilica in Rome. Though Prince Frederick III the Wise had banned the sale of indulgences in Wittenberg, many church members traveled to purchase...
Life is lived forwards, but understood backwards.
We've uncovered some embarrassing ancestors in the not-too-distant past. Some horse thieves, and some people killed on Saturday nights. One of my relatives, unfortunately, was even in the newspaper business.
Former U.S. President
In all of us there is a hunger, marrow deep, to know our heritage - to know who we are and where we came from. Without this enriching knowledge, there is a hollow yearning. No matter what our attainments in life, there is still a vacuum, an emptiness, and the most disquieting loneliness.
Alex Haley, Roots
He who has no fools, knaves, or beggars in his family was begot by a flash of lightning.
We are the children of many sires, and every drop of blood in us in its turn ... betrays its ancestor.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Why waste your money looking up your family tree? Just go into politics and your opponents will do it for you.
There are only two lasting bequests we can give our children - one is roots, and the other, wings.
Hodding S. Carter