Interview Your Grandparents

One of the best and most rewarding ways to understand how we have evolved as a country is to ask those who have lived here the longest. They are often our grandparents.  

Talking with one's grandparents, or other older Americans, about what the country was like when they grew up gives us:

  • an appreciation for what other generations have gone through for the current generation,
  • a clearer and more realistic perspective of the country's, and our own, history, and
  • an opportunity to form stronger relationships with one's grandparents.

Equally important, grandparents feel good when someone values their views and wants to understand what life was like as they grew up.

Ask them what games they played as children, what their schools were like, how evenings were spent before the advent of television, dating practices, life during the depression, what they feel was the biggest contribution to society in their lifetimes (TV, radio, computers, the space race etc.). It's a unique opportunity to better appreciate the things we all take for granted.  Ask them what your mom or dad was like as a child.  Take a history of their lives.

A special project, the Veteran's History Project, has been created by Congress to collect the stories and experiences of war veterans while they are still among us.  There are 19 million war veterans living in the United States today, but every day we lose 1,500 of them.  So if your parents or grandparents are veterans of a war, ask them about their memories.  If you record their stories, you can send the tape and any memorabilia they may want to contribute to the Library of Congress and it will be included in the permanent archives!


Interview your Grandparents

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