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A family tradition

This country’s Founding Fathers Independence Day in 1776 in Philadelphia’s City Tavern. No record of the bill of fare exists but it is believed that the same type of foods normally served in Colonial American taverns would have been available. By the early 1800s, July 4 saw a more elaborate emphasis on foods but still included music, fireworks and bell ringing, which had always been the norm.

In the early 1900s Robert Gregory Sr. and his wife Minerva Morris Gregory began a Fourth of July celebration in Gloucester and continued it annually until Robert’s death in 1949. Today two of their grandchildren, Cleo Warren and Herman Gregory, carry on their grandparents’ annual tradition. Cleo remembers well how much fun it was and how much her grandmother cooked in her outer kitchen, one detached from the family home. “She cooked all day the day before and the day of the event. Oh, so much food and such good food. It was where all of the black families in the Bena...

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