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Friday
Jun142013

ROSA MARIA SEGALE AKA SISTER BLANDINA

Born in Cicagna, a town in the Province of Genoa, on May 23, 1850Rosa Maria Segale emigrated to Cincinnati with her family when she was four years old. There, a community of Elizabeth Ann Seton’s Sisters of Charity was very active and, in 1866, when she was 16, Rosa and her sister Maria joined the congregation. Maria became Sister Justine and Rosa became Sister BlandinaAt 22Sister Blandina was assigned to work on the frontier as a missionary in the southern Colorado town of Trinidad, the Wild Wild West. With four nuns she was to provide schooling (more)

Thursday
Jun132013

GIOVANNI ANDREI

Born in Carrara, Italy, in 1757, sculptor Giovanni Andrei started his career in Florence. He came to the United States in February 1806, with his wife, under an agreement to do sculptural work at the Capitol. His services were secured through the aid of Philip Mazzei, a friend and correspondent of President Jefferson. Andrei modeled the capitals for the Hall of the House of Representatives (more)

Friday
Jun072013

DEAN MARTIN, KING OF COOL

Playboy called him “the coolest man who ever lived.” Elvis Presley worshipped him. “He was the coolest dude I’d ever seen, period,” recalled Stevie Van Zandt, adding, “He wasn’t just great at everything he did. To me, he was perfect.” That man is Dean Martin. Simply put, he was a great singer. The warm sensuality (more)

Monday
May272013

MICHAEL VALENTE, WWI MEDAL OF HONOR

Michael Valente was born in St. Apollinare, Italy, on February 5, 1895, the son of Antonio Valente and Maria Palombo. On June 13, 1913, he passed through Ellis Island to go live in Utica but he ultimately settled in Ogdensburg, in New York State. Three years later, he entered the army and by September 29, 1918 (more)

Sunday
May262013

JOSEPH CICCHETTI – WWII MEDAL OF HONOR

Born on June 8, 1923, in Waynesburg, Ohio, Joseph J. Cicchetti was a soldier who received the Medal of Honor in WWII during actions in the campaign to recapture the Philippines from Japanese forces. Joseph formed a team of soldiers to rescue wounded comrades. Despite receiving a severe wound to his head, he managed to carry another soldier to safety before succumbing to his wound on February 9, 1945. He was only 21 (more)

Saturday
May252013

ANTHONY DAMATO – WWII MEDAL OF HONOR

Born on March 28, 1922, in Shenandoah, Pennsylvania, Anthony Peter Damato was a United States Marine who received the Medal of Honor for his valor and sacrifice of life during World War II. On the night of February 19–20, 1944, on Engebi Island (Marshall Islands), 21 years old Corporal Damato sacrificed his life to save the lives of his fellow Marines. He grew up in Shenandoah and prior to enlistment he was last employed as a truck driver. On January 8, 1942, Damato enlisted and was sent to Derry, Northern Ireland (more)

Sunday
May192013

ANNE BANCROFT

 “I was at a point where I was ready to say I am what I am because of what I am and if you like me I'm grateful, and if you don't, what am I going to do about it? Anna Maria Luisa Italiano was born on September 17, 1931, in the Bronx, New York, the daughter of Mildred DiNapoli (1908-2010), a telephone operator, and Michael Italiano (1906-2001), a dress pattern maker, both children of Italian immigrants.  In her career, Anne won one Academy Award, three BAFTA Awards (more)

Thursday
May162013

DR. MARIANNA BERTOLA

Dr. Marianna Bertola, also known as Dr. Crusade, was an Italian-American teacher, obstetrician, political activist and social reformer who lived in San Francisco. She delivered more than three thousand babies in her career: "Child welfare has been my big life work", she used to say. It was something of an understatement. Her father was a miner who became one of the pioneer grape growers of Contra Costa CountyMarianna attended school in Martinez, California, and began a career in education that led her to become the principal of her school, although her dream was to study medicine. She kept studying and in 1899 she graduated  from Cooper (more)

Tuesday
May142013

CHARLES BONAPARTE - FOUNDER OF THE FBI

Charles Joseph Bonaparte was born in Baltimore, Maryland, on June 9, 1851. He was the son of Jérôme Napoleon Bonaparte (1805–1870) and Susan May Williams (1812–1881), and a grandson of Girolamo Bonaparte, the youngest brother of French Emperor Napoleon I. He graduated from Harvard University, where he was a brilliant scholar, graduating in 1872; two years later, he completed his work in the Cambridge Law School and on September 1, 1875, he married Ellen Channing Day of Newport (more)

Thursday
May092013

GIUSEPPINA MORLACCHI

Giuseppina “Peerless” Morlacchi (1843 - July 25, 1886) was an Italian-American ballerina who introduced the French Can-Can to the American stage.  Giuseppinawas born in Milan and attended dance school at La Scala theatre where she studied with Carlo Blasis and Augusto Hus. She became a well-known dancer in Europe at a very young age. In Lisbon, she met artist and manager John DePol who convinced her to go with him to America. In October 1867, she made her American debut at Banvard's Museum in New York City, performing The Devil's Auction (more)

Sunday
May052013

ANTONIO CAPELLANO

Italian sculptor Antonio Capellano created Lady Baltimore -- one of the oldest monumental sculptures in the country. According to Wyeth, he was a pupil ofCanovaAs early as 1815 he was in New York, going from that city to Baltimore, Maryland, at the request of Maximillian Godefroy, the architect of the Battle Monument of that city. Previous to his engagement he secured a commission for the execution of two panels in bas-relief upon the front of St. Paul's Church, of which Robert Cary Long was the (more)

Friday
Apr262013

ELLA TAMBUSSI GRASSO

Ella Tambussi Grasso was an Italian-American politician, and the first woman elected governor of Connecticut. This was a historic election, making Grasso the first female to be elected governor of a US state "in her own right" (all three female governors preceding Grasso had been married to men who were governor of their states). Ella Giovanna Oliva Tambussi was born on May 10, 1919 in Windsor Locks, to Giacomo and Maria (more)

Thursday
Apr252013

ITALIAN AMERICANS IN WORLD WAR II

During World War II, an estimated 1.2 million Americans of Italian descent served in the U.S. military, constituting one of the largest segments of the US combat forces of about 12 million. However, elderly Italian mothers and fathers were not allowed to visit sons in the U.S. armed forces, who were assigned to military installations. (more)

Thursday
Apr252013

MASTER SERGEANT VITO BERTOLDO

Vito Bertoldo, born on December 1, 1916 in Decatur, Illinois, was a United States Army soldier and a recipient of the military's highest decoration — the Medal of Honor— for his actions in France during World War II (January 1945) when he was 28 years old. Master Sergeant Bertoldo's official Medal of Honor citation reads: “He fought with extreme gallantry while guarding 2 command posts against the assault of powerful infantry and armored forces which had overrun the battalion's (more}

Monday
Apr082013

FRANCIS VIGO

Giuseppe Maria Francesco Vigo, known as Francis Vigo, was an Italian-American patriot who aided the American forces during the Revolutionary War, and helped found a public university in Vincennes, Indiana. He was born on December 3, 1747 in Mondovì, in the (more)

Sunday
Mar242013

JOE BARBERA

Tom & JerryYogi Bear (Orso Yogi), The Flintstones (Gli Antenati), The Huckleberry Hound Show (Braccobaldo Show), Top CatScooby-DooThe Quick Draw McGraw Show (Ernesto Sparalesto), The Smurfs (I Puffi), Wacky Races (Le corse pazze), Hair Bear (Napo Orso Capo), Magilla GorillaMotormouse and Autocat (Mototopo e Autogatto), The Jetsons (I Pronipoti) and many more cartoons have one person in common: Joe Barbera. (more)

Friday
Mar222013

PIETRO CESARE ALBERTI

As far as we know, the first Italian American to land in New York was Pietro Cesare Alberti, a Venetian immigrant. Son of Andrea Alberti and Veronica Cremona, Pietro was born on June 20, 1608, in the height of the Republic of Venice's (a state that existed from the late 7th century until 1797) commercial (more)

Friday
Mar082013

MOTHER CABRINI

Los Angeles Herald, November 12, 1905 - The 25th anniversary of the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus will be celebrated in Los Angeles. For the first time in the history of Los Angeles the silver Jubilee of the founder of a religious order will be celebrated here, with the founder and superior general of the order as a guest of the local convent. Rev. Mother Frances Xavier Cabrini started the order of the Missionary Sisters 25 years ago with two other young women near Milan, Italy. (more)

Friday
Mar012013

COSTANTINO NIVOLA

Costantino Nivola was born on July 5, 1911 in Orani, a small village in the island of Sardinia. His family was very poor so, as a child, Costantino helped out by doing little jobs here and there. As a young adolescent, he worked as an apprentice stonemason where he learned how to shape sand and cement. It was clear by then that he was very talented. Painter Mario Delitala, also from (more)

Wednesday
Feb202013

ANTHONY TALAMO ROSSI

"When we made the first fruit section in jars, they think we are crazy. We start to chill juice, we are crazy. But the chilled juice got so good, we had to buy a ship to move it. That's crazy too." Anthony Talamo Rossi was born on September 13, 1900 in Messina, Sicily. He founded Tropicana Products in 1947, one of the world's largest producers of citrus juice. (more)