Dr. James Ragusa will speak on Italian/Sicilian Immigration to America.

This multimedia presentation describes the numerous reasons why and how emigrants from Italy and Sicily left their homes to venture to an unknown land. Described are the conditions at the start of their journey that caused them to leave, processing at their ports of departure, the ships and conditions of their travel across a vast ocean, and admission at their ports of arrival. Also identified are the entry challenges they faced and the opportunities they were afforded in American. Time will remain during and after this presentation for questions and answers pertaining to all aspects of Italian/Sicilian genealogical research. Strategies and research resources will also be identified.

Dr. Ragusa is a genealogist, retired Air Force R&D Officer, NASA engineer and manager, tenured college professor in business and engineering, and Army consultant. As a long-term genealogist, he has performed family research in Italy, Sicily, Hungary, the Slovak Republic, the Chez Republic, England, Austria, Scotland, and Wales. However, his specialization remains Italian/Sicilian studies, and he has also researched in Salt Lake City, New York, Chicago, as well as in Europe and the British Isles. As a result of this research, he has written several books on his Sicilian family genealogy some going back to 1676.

One aspect of NASA activities was Gemini and Apollo astronaut training related to launch site egress and rescue to save their lives. He was the “stunt man” for Apollo slide wire (zip line) development and blast room operations. NASA recognized his Apollo contributions by having Astronaut Jim Irwin place his name on the Moon.

All members of the VGS and their guests are invited. We ask that you donate $5.00 towards the expense of our speaker.

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