The Zwaanendael Museum at 102 Kings Highway in Lewes will celebrate Dutch-American Heritage Day with a workshop from 2 to 4 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 12, on ancestry research and family genealogy. Ralph Nelson, president of the Sussex County Genealogical Society, will discuss his 18-year quest to learn about his roots, and Tom Summers will discuss genealogy resources available at the Delaware Public Archives, where he serves as manager of outreach services.
In addition to the workshop, the museum will be featuring Dutch-related activities between 10 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. including games, crafts, a display of Dutch products, the proclamation of Dutch-American Heritage Day and a PowerPoint presentation, "The First Salute to the Flag of the United States." Admission to all events is free and open to the public. For additional information, call 302-645-1148.
Dutch-American Heritage Day commemorates Nov. 16, 1776, the day when the American warship Andrew Doria sailed into the harbor of the Dutch island of St. Eustatius in the West Indies. Only four months before, the United States had declared its independence from Great Britain. The American crew was delighted when the governor of the island, Johannes de Graaf, ordered that his fort's cannons be fired in a friendly salute. This salute, the first ever given by a foreign power to the flag of the United States, was a risky and courageous act. The British, angered by Dutch trading and contraband with the rebellious colonies, seized St. Eustatius a few years later. De Graaf's welcoming first salute was a sign of respect that continues to symbolize the deep ties of friendship that exist between the United States and the Netherlands.
Picked Up From The Cape Gazette