2005 American Nameday Calendar - About Us
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About Us

My name is Matt Pekkola. I am one of the founders and the current copyright
owner of the original "The American Name Day Calendar of First Names".
Regretfully, Matt Norman, a co-founder and a life-long friend who made significant contributions to the nameday calendar, passed away a few years ago.

In the late 1970's, we noted that the nameday celebration, the way it is being celebrated
in many European countries, was practically unknown here in the U.S.   So, having been born and spent our youth in Northern Europe, and therefore accustomed to celebrate first names, we decided to introduce this popular European tradition here in the U.S. by publishing "The American Name Day Calendar of First Names".
And, after comprehensive world wide research, the first edition was published in 1982, containing 2000 first names listed on their assigned days and alphabetically in the index.
Originally based on the feast days of the saints, we actually "Americanized" this old popular European custom by designing a nameday calendar in which most of our namedays are based on both religion and American history.

For example, as we mention on our Home Page,

"George" was the very first name to which we assigned a nameday
in the calendar's very first edition in 1982 - it was assigned to February 22,
honoring the birthday of George Washington, the very first President of the
United States. Thus, while we honor his birthday, all the Georges in the U.S.
celebrate their name on the same day.

On the other hand, we assigned John's nameday to June 24 which,
as a matter of fact, is one of the oldest and most internationally celebrated
namedays in the world. It is based on the birthday of Saint John The Baptist.
A very good example of a nameday with a religious background.

In other words, most of our namedays are based partly on the birthdays and other important days of prominent Americans who have made lasting contributions in their own fields (including many Presidents of the United States), and, given the strong influence the religion has always had on the lives of most Americans, partly on the names of many Saints and other eminent Christians.

Since almost everyone and everything today is online, I finally decided to follow suit and make the calendar available on the Internet for everyone interested in this celebration.
Although age-wise I am considered to be "over the hill" by far ("seventy-something"),
I feel like seeing the world through the eyes of about 35-year old, young man.
But, when I decided to try to design and set up a website for the calendar by myself,
(no "computer geeks" among our family circle or friends), I was told flat out to forget the whole idea, because...

a.  I was too old,
b.  I had no prior experience on website building, and that...
c.  The project was absolutely too complicated to accomplish
without the help of a professional website designer.

After a few months (Oh yes! - MONTHS!) I realized that they were right. I had simply gotten lost in the thick jungle of the "HyperText Markup Language" (HTML) while trying to tackle those "tags" that are the foundation of a web page. I had no idea in the beginning how intimidating it would ultimately turn out to be to try to create a web site of this caliber; the calendar itself contains more than 3000 first names. And, as the time went by, even my grandchildren began jokingly wondering if the website will be ready before the end of this 21st century, as the 21st Anniversary Edition of the calendar itself was already becoming "old news".
On the other hand, I was not in an any special hurry, because the Anniversary Edition had not been made for seeking profit in the first place.

Though when the site was finally completed, undoubtedly the end result showed that...
(in quoting lyrics in one of Frank Sinatra's most famous songs)"...I did it my way".
Eventually, to keep up with the times, I realized that the site should be modernized, and
the first step was to convert the site from HTML to XHTML - to "Kick-it-Up-a-Notch"
(using the Chef Emeril Lagasse's famous catch phrase).
The conversion was made by the Finnish web designer Jari Tikkanen (www.lapinlahti.net).
You must have noticed the 2 small white-yellow icons at the bottom of our pages throughout the entire website. They indicate that the particular page complies with the
web standards set by The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C).
Otherwise, the site is actually an ongoing project as I continually try to improve it.

I do hope that the site is interesting and informative to our visitors, and most importantly, inspires everyone in America to celebrate namedays in the same fashion we celebrate birthdays.
I thank you for your comments and do hope you have fun during your visits and come back often.

For questions about the nameday observance in general, please visit our F.A.Q page. For other feedback and suggestions, please send us e-mail.
Or, if you prefer to use conventional mail, our address is:
American Nameday Calendar
P.O. Box 221566
Santa Clarita, CA 91322
Sincerely,
Matt Pekkola






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