Below is the press release from Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah issued September 26, 2001:
WASHINGTON - By unanimous consent, the Senate today approved legislation introduced by Sen. Orrin G. Hatch to designate October as "Family History Month." "Millions of Americans are researching the history of their families," said the Utah Republican. "Experts say that in the United States, genealogy is now the second most popular hobby next to gardening. It is believed that more that 80 million Americans are currently actively searching for more information about their ancestors. "It is only natural that we want to find out more about our ancestors," Hatch continued. "What better way to bring families closer together than by discovering more about the story of their own family? Like it or not, who we are today is in large part, a product of our ancestors. Hatch's bill (S.R. 160), which was co-sponsored by Robert Bennett (R-Utah), commemorates October as Family History Month and encourages President Bush to issue a proclamation calling upon the people of the United States to observe the month of October with appropriate ceremonies and activities.
"With the advent of the Internet, there has been an explosion of interest in family history," Hatch continued. "Last month alone, more than 14 million Americans used the Internet to research their family history. Genealogy Internet sites are some of the most popular sites on the World Wide Web.
"Essentially, we are all immigrants to this country. Our ancestors came from different parts of the globe," Hatch said. "By searching for our roots, we come closer together as a human family. S.R. 160 had 84 co-sponsors and was approved by unanimous consent. "Researching ancestry is a very important component of identity. It can lead to long-sought-after family reunions or allow for life saving medical treatments that only genetic links will allow," Hatch said. "For all of these reasons, I encourage people across this nation to find out more about where they came from."