Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Helvetiq Swiss-American Edition

My Swiss heritage means a great deal to me. Its importance has deepened over time as I become more familiar with the details of my lineage. My interest in Swiss history and Swiss immigration however is not isolated to my own family story, but also to the Swiss experience writ large.

As the Swiss are not ones to self-promote, I feel privileged to be leading a project that will help Swiss-Americans realize the impact they have made on the United States. A book written on the subject a number of years ago perceptively coined the phrase for the Swiss in America "Small Number, Big Impact."

The paragraphs below were sent out to Swiss clubs nationally, and appeared in the most recent edition of the Swiss Review.

Helvetiq Swiss-American Edition

From New Glarus, to New Bern, from Vevay to Sacramento, more than a million Americans of Swiss-descent have left their mark on the United States. Figures such as Albert Gallatin, Meyer Guggenheim, Louis-Joseph Chevrolet and Renée Zellweger are well known, but what about those unique stories that have yet to be shared. To honor this rich heritage, the Swiss Center Los Angeles in partnership with Lausanne-based RedCut will release later this year a Swiss-American version of the popular Swiss trivia game Helvetiq.

Does your local Swiss club have interesting information, trivia or little known facts about the history of the Swiss in your area? Do you know of any Swiss inventions, enduring traditions, local luminaries or tall tales? No fact is too trivial, no aneqdote is too outlandish. Our intent is for the game to be a living testament to all the Swiss who have made a difference in the United States.

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