LIFE Fires Up the Barbecue

One of only thirteen American women — known as the Mercury 13 — to participate in NASA's Mercury space program, Jerrie Cobb (left) barbecues in 1959.
Ralph Crane—TIME & LIFE Pictures/Getty Images
One of only thirteen American women — known as the Mercury 13 — to participate in NASA's Mercury space program, Jerrie Cobb (left) barbecues in 1959.
Culture
'50s

If there’s one consolation during the scorching, often unbearably humid days of summer, it’s the prospect of being outdoors with friends and family, swapping stories and enjoying a cold beverage as a huge variety of food cooks on a nearby grill, filling the air with the mouthwatering aroma of a good old-fashioned barbecue.

Here, on Fourth of July weekend, LIFE.com offers up a selection of photographs celebrating one of the season’s time-honored traditions: the picnic and barbecue, or barbeque, or BBQ. However you spell it, it still translates as “delicious.”
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