It's Dyngus Day, the Polish and Polish-American holiday celebrated on Easter Monday each year to signal the end of Lent. Growing up, we never missed the party: I remember driving into Buffalo the day after Easter and wading through the sea of red and white to watch the parades, stopping by The Broadway Market for [...]
Vive Dunkirk, Vive Dunkerque
On October 23, 1946, the city of Dunkirk "expressed the humble spirit of Thanksgiving" in the greatest demonstration of its history; the local newspaper described the night's conversation as "A Great Meeting," and emphasized that, "If you had attended the meeting in the high school auditorium the other night you could not have avoided a [...]
The Haunting of Dunkirk Lighthouse
The Smithsonian's souvenir postcard of the Dunkirk Lighthouse When my maternal ancestors left Poland around the turn-of-the-century, they all made their way to the Fourth Ward of Dunkirk, New York. The city has a rich history: it was home to Brooks Locomotive Works during the latter half of the nineteenth century; provided steel for John [...]
A Picnic for Two Hundred
I'm not sure what compelled me to research my 5th great-grandfather, Silas Ephraim Nelson, last weekend, but here we are--and I'm very glad I did. It's strange, now that I think about it: I'm always ricocheting back-and-forth between the Hawkins family's schoolhouse, the Kuznicki family's bar and the Merrill family's military service, and the Nelson [...]
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