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Monday
Mar182013

THE ITALIAN HALL DISASTER

It is impossible to understand what truly meant to be a miner in the early 1900s. The Italian Hall Disaster, a tragedy that occurred on December 24, 1913 in Calumet, is a perfect example of the struggle our ancestors had to endure. 73 peopleincluding 59 children, were crushed to death in a stampede when someone yelled "fire" at a party attended by 400 people, mostly Finnish striking mine workers and their families. Among the victims, three girls: Jenny Giacoletto (9), Teresa Rinaldi (12), and Caterina Bronzo (21) (more

Saturday
Mar092013

THE IRISH AND THE ITALIANS

New York Tribune April 19, 1908  - In addition to the task of interesting the Italians in the Church there was always the fear of a clash between them and the Irish. September 20, celebrated by the Italians as the consummation of their national glory and marking the occupation of Rome by Victor Emmanuel and the downfall of temporal power, was a day cordially hated by the Irish Catholics, and ever so small a cause would have served to provoke an attack by them upon the annual procession of the Italians. (more)

Sunday
Mar032013

1900 - ITALIAN JERSEY FARMERS - THE PROSPEROUS COLONIES NEAR VINELAND.

The tenement house district which includes Mulberry Street has often been referred to as "New Italy," and visitors to New-York who are interested in the foreign population question go there to study the habits, conditions and peculiarities of the Italian Americans. The investigation usually results in convincing the visitor that the Italian, with his pushcart, his organ and (more)

Wednesday
Feb202013

ITALIAN FARMERS IN CONNECTICUT

Any individual or group interested in developing the agricultural districts of the United States would do well to study the Italian contadini. Such investigation need not involve a journey to Italy, as there are numbers of Italian truck and fruit farms scattered through New England and in close proximity to New York City, as well as the South and West. These farms prove beyond any question that as an intensive cultivator of the soil the Italian cannot be beaten. (more)

Thursday
Feb072013

THE GRINCH WHO STOLE CARNIVAL AND THE BONFIRE OF THE VANITIES

Girolamo Savonarola, the monk and preacher active in Renaissance Florence, celebrated the Carnival of 1497 by the famous "Bonfire of the Vanities" (Carnival masks and costumes, indecent books and pictures, etc.) in Piazza della Signoria. A Venetian merchant is known to have bid 22,000 gold forms for the doomed vanities, but the scandalized authorities not only rejected his offer but added his portrait to the pile (more

Thursday
Feb072013

VISITING STUDENTS IN FIVE POINTS

On Christmas-day (1866) a woman with five children -- the oldest three our pupils -- coming from church, fell, breaking her arm and giving premature birth to a sixth. Hearing of this sad case, I took a few yards of red flannel and went to see her. I found the poor woman in the deepest agony and almost frantic from suffering. Her husband kept a fruit-stand in Nassau Street, but this accident, as she expressed it, had entirely stupified him, and she suffered to a great extent, also, morally, (more)

Wednesday
Feb062013

1899 - THE LYNCHING AT TALLULAH

On July 20th five Sicilians from Cefalù were lynched in the little town of Tallulah, Louisiana. Tallulah is a town of 250 people, 21 miles west of Vicksburg, Mississippi. Tallulah contained five Italian residents. They were above the average in intelligence and progressiveness, and were fairly well-to-do. Landing originally at New Orleans, they had worked their way up to Vicksburg, and thence had moved to Tallulah, where they were doing a good business in fruit, vegetables and poultry, having four small stores in the town. (more)

Saturday
Feb022013

1916 - ITALIAN INVENTS STREET CLEANER

From a poor shoemaker in the little town of Torricella Peligna [a town in the Province of Chieti in the Abruzzo region], Italy, to a millionaire in Pennsylvania, seemed a remote possibility to Henry Pezzetti when he passed through (more)

Saturday
Feb022013

SCULPTOR DE LUCCA'S 3 WIVES

Brooklyn, March 3, 1893. Three Italian women were in the Lee Avenue Police Court, Williamsburg, today, looking for a warrant for the arrest of Michael Angelo De Lucca, a sculptor, who had been married to each of them. They were directed to New York, as Lucca is now there, a close prisoner, until he completes a statue of the Virgin for an Italian society. The names of the women are Contanza Salanto, Marie De Lucca (more)

Thursday
Jan312013

Unpaid Italian Coal Miners Make Things Lively

Pittsburgh, September 11, 1893. There was a riot last night at Headline, a small coal mining station on the Pittsburgh, Chartiers and Youghiogheny Railroad. About 150 striking Italian miners, armed with shotguns and revolvers and pieces of iron, marched down the main street shooting and shouting. William and Thomas Beadling who own the mines, aided by six of their English miners, were armed with rifles and revolvers. Others volunteered their services to protect life and property, but the Beadlings sent them away thinking fewer men were more likely (more)

Thursday
Jan312013

WHAT WILL BECOME OF THE WIFE AND CHILDREN OF TONY VOLCANIA THE LEPER?

Spokane, March 22, 1912. In a shabby, clean little cottage on the outskirts of the city, two little children - a boy and a girl - brown eyed, sad-eyed, looked out the window, wondering and waiting for the mother and big brother who had gone down town on an errand. Rosy cheeked and healthy, they discussed in childish awe the reason for the unusual visit during the week of so many big men, strange men from the city, who carried bags with bottles and instruments in them, while others unfolded queer looking picture machines. (more)

Tuesday
Jan292013

1891: AN ELEVEN YEAR OLD BRIDE

New York, March 27, 1891. A little Italian girl, her face tear-stained and bruised, was found on Wednesday by Policeman Allen of the Park Department in Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn. She was unable to understand his questioning and he took her to the Bergen Street Police Station. There, through an interpreter, she told her story to agent Coschine of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children. She said her name was Francesca Carbone and that she was 11 yours old. (more)

Tuesday
Jan292013

MORAL IMPROVEMENT

THE ITALIAN SCHOOL IN FIVE POINTS, 1855 - "When the School opened, and for some time after, the attendance was generally composed of organ-grinders and beggars, which vocations they indifferently acknowledged to follow, whenever asked, by analogous gestures. To redeem them from those ignoble vocations was, in my opinion, of paramount importance, and to that end I devoted (more)

Tuesday
Jan292013

FIVE POINTS TEACHER MISSING

New York, April 17, 1880. A delegation of Italians, in their holiday clothes, called at Police Headquarters today, and made anxious inquiries about a missing countryman of theirs, a schoolteacher named John Brintisso, who is a sort of oracle among the Italian population, and highly esteemed for his integrity of character as well as his learning. (more)

Thursday
Jan242013

BOOKER T WASHINGTON ON SICILIAN POVERTY

"The Negro is not the man farthest down. The condition of the colored farmer in the most backward parts of the Southern States in America, even where he has the least education and the least encouragement, is incomparably better than the condition and opportunities of the agricultural population in Sicily." Written by Booker T. Washington after his visits to the farmer fields near Palermo, and the sulphur mines in the mountainous part of Sicily. (more)

Saturday
Jan192013

WHITE SLAVE SCANDAL

WASHINGTON, D. C, Nov. 12, 1909 - The white Slave traffic disclosures made in connection with New York city's municipal campaign are about to assume international proportions. They involve charges that members of the French and Italian immigration services have connived for years with the leaders of London and New York's Slave traffic, sending to these shores French and Italian women. This information will be presented to the embassies by citizens of these countries. (more)

Thursday
Jan172013

THE ITALIAN SCHOOL IN FIVE POINTS, 1855

"Early in December, 1855, the writer, with Mr. Brace, visited several families. Our reception was not such as to promise success, although, considering their distrustful and suspicious disposition, consequent upon their isolated existence, they did not treat us disrespectfully. Having thus prepared and informed them, on the evening of the tenth of the same month we opened our School in a room kindly furnished by (more)

Thursday
Jan102013

WITCHCRAFT ON GRAND STREET

New York, May 26, 1910. Testimony was introduced yesterday in the case of Carmela Rubino, of No. 30 Grand Street, which made Magistrate Kernochan gasp and exclaim that he could understand why they used to burn certain persons in Salem, Massachusetts. The woman was charged with practicing medicine without a license. The principal affidavit was made by Mrs. Leonora Buffano, minor affidavits were submitted by Leonard and Giovanni Buffano and by Concetta Spinella, for if her daughter had not died after (more)

Monday
Jan072013

ITALIANS DON'T GO TO CHURCH

October 3, 1898. Open-air services were held and the Rector of St. Brigid's Church said that it was the first time that Catholic clergymen in this country had gone into streets to preach. In New York there are 130,000 Italians, all Catholics, and of the number scarcely 10.000 attend church. He found that the Italians were opposed to supporting churches because in their Italy the Government did that. (more)

Tuesday
Dec182012

TEACHER KILLED BY HER FATHER

New York, Wednesday, March 24, 1909 - Anna Mangano (22), a young teacher, was shot to death before 9 o'clock this morning at Third Avenue and 103 Street by her father, Philip Mangano (53), interpreter in the marriage license bureau in the City Hall. Outbursts of jealousy had compelled the handsome young woman to leave the home of her father last January and go to live in Saint Cecilia's Working Girls' Institute. She did this after her father had threatened her life with a saber because she refused to go to the Opera with him and went to visit a girlfriend instead. (more)