3    Jul 20140 comments

July 4th: BBQ nation!

July 4th is the most popular day for barbecuing in the US. As it's just around the corner, we're taking a look at this age-old tradition.

Here is a countdown of the top 10 facts that our researchers discovered about BBQ:

10. Prehistoric cavemen may have been the first barbecuers! Anthropologists say that roasting meat started 1.4 million years ago. Others argue that this method originated in the Caribbean, where native Indians used wood gratings to cook strips of meat over a slow fire. Continue reading "July 4th: BBQ nation!" »

4    Jul 20120 comments

4th of July: Star-spangled family fun!

Today is Independence Day in the US. It is always marked with fun-filled activities, including parades, barbecues, picnics, and the all-important fireworks displays.

What’s your most memorable 4th of July family memory?

We may celebrate at a lake, at the beach, in a backyard or at a neighborhood park. It’s always a day for family and friends to gather. No matter what was going on in other parts of the world (see newspaper article from 1940 below), this holiday was celebrated to remind us of the freedoms we enjoyed at home.

My grandparents owned a large property with some 80 summer rental cottages, about two hours north of New York City. Many of the same families returned year after year, and we became a close group as we  grew up together.

My grandmother organized the two main summer events:  4th of July at the season's opening, and the Labor Day festivities in early September, signaling the end of our carefree summer, returning to the city and getting ready for school.

In the faux Tudor “big house,” Grandma's big country kitchen sported a black cast iron stove, the source of everything delicious! Every year, she produced buckets of the most delicious coleslaw, potato and macaroni salads.

Continue reading "4th of July: Star-spangled family fun!" »

1    Jul 20110 comments

4th of July Family History Fun!

Credit: http://www.achildgrows.com

Happy 4th of July weekend! Today the USA starts celebrations of its 235th birthday and the adoption of its Declaration of Independence. It's a weekend chock-full of parades, fireworks, food and family fun.

Looking to add some family history fun to your 4th of July celebrations? We've got you covered.

Here are 4 family-friendly activities to add to your weekend.

1). Interview a family member. Find out your family story. Take out your digital camera, smart phone or notepad and start asking questions. You'll be surprised by how much you can discover. Following our "4" theme, here are 4 questions to ask your family members:

• What stories have you heard of our family history/family members?
• When did our family come to this country?
• Where did those relatives emigrate from?
• Why did those relatives leave their home country?

Continue reading "4th of July Family History Fun!" »

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