The Italian- American Experience :
                              The Beginnings
       By: Amici Journal 
A Genealogist's Guide to Discovering Your Italian Ancestors:
How to Find and Record Your Unique Heritage
          TO MAKE

1.  EnricoFermi Nobel Prize winner--"Father of Atomic Energy." The first to split the atom.
2.   Sister Blandina Founded the first public school in New Mexico.
3.   Antonio Meucci Filed for invention of the telephone five years before Bell.
4.   Theresa DeFrancisci "Miss Liberty" on 270-million Peace Dollars.
5.   Lorenzo DaPonte Columbia University professor - Mozart's librettist for DON GIOVANNI.
6.   Enrico Caruso & Mario Lanza   Internationally famed tenors.
7.   Luigi CesnolaGeneral, Civil War hero, Medal of Honor winner.
8.   Marie Rossi   First female combat commander to fly into combat Desert Storm.

Profile of Today's   Italian Americans: Washington- The average Italian American is 34 years old, married with one child and has a median annual income of $61 ,300, is based on data and statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau's year 2000 census.  Italian Americans' level of education is above the national average: 48% of Italian Americans have either a high school or college diploma compared to 44% of the general population. Most Italian Americans in the workforce are in white collar positions (66% ).
Christopher Columbus
(1451-1506), On that fateful morning of Friday, October 12,1492 "Christopher Columbus" (Cristoforo Colmbo) lands in "The New World" The Genoese navigator sailing under the flag of Spain changes the course of human events, beginning a 500 year History of Italian-American contributions to the greatness of Ameri

  Amerigo Vespucci,
(1451?-1512), was an Italian-born explorer for whom America was
named. "New World." Christopher Columbus had sailed to this area for the first time in 1492. Vespucius advances the belief that the new lands discovered by Columbus 1st voyage were not Asia but a new world America.

National Italian American Lifestyle Magazine
P.O. Box #595 River Grove Illinois 60171
Tel: 773-836-1595 Fax:773.622.2766
IIn this column, we will bring historical perspective to the Italian American experience. In this issue, we bring you a short overview of the beginning of that experience.

In 1871, Italy had become a unified nation
with a democratic constitution, however
conditions in southern Italy had actually
worsened. Taxes increased and grape
vines suffered from natural diseases, and
very few measures were taken to stimulate
the stagnant economy of the south. This is
the start of the story of Italians in America.
Many of the Italians of southern Italy were
farmers and peasant’s - the people most
affected by the south's general poverty of
the south. Tens of thousands of men left their families behind at the turn-of-the-century to find work in America, with hopes that the money they earned could be sent home to their families. The majority of immigrants at this time were males between the ages of 24 and 45. Many expected to stay in the United States only long enough to earn money to improve their family
situation. America was considered the land of Opportunity, and Italian immigrants sought to improve their standard of living and work towards better lives for their children.

Commercianti di frutta
    The first difficulties faced were the ones with just getting to America. Immigrants had to earn enough money for their boat trip and to get settled in their new homes during an already difficult economic situation.
   Once in America, newly arrived immigrants often lived with earlier arrivals. Ninety five percent (95%) of the Italian immigrants were
Venditori di pane
   living in the Lower East Side of New York. This allowed for close-knit neighborhoods to be established.
     The unity of the community and the determination to maintain a Culture while creating a successful life in America has gone a long way in defining what it means to be Italian-American today.
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Amici d’ Italia has been formed to help the Italian Community in any and all areas of assistance.  
       We try to get input from the members on what we can do for our Communities. We ask for your support in our endeavors, we have much more to gain. 
Please feel free to send your articles or Photos in to us by e-mail
      P.O. Box #595
  River Grove Illinois 60171

                            TAYLOR STREET ARCHIVES                          
                                    Historic Scrap Book
By: Vince Romano 

  Taylor Street lies in the shadows of Chicago’s Loop.  At the turn of the 20th century, a band of tribes from southern Italy (Campania/Napoli, Sicillia / Palermo, Apuglia/Bari, Calabria/Reggio, Bassilicata, Molise, Abruzzi,  emigrated to this country.  They settled in Chicago’s Taylor Street neighborhood (later to become known as “Little Italy”).  These early inhabitants of Taylor Street, our immigrant parents, sought, for themselves and their offspring, a new and better life.  Centuries earlier, other Italians had also crossed the great ocean to the Americas.  Those 15th century Italians were the discoverers and the explorers who first mapped and ultimately named this great country. 

      Our parents carried within them, on those ships embarking from Italian ports, a precious cargo:--a gene pool that sprang from the loins of the Caesars and the Michaelangelos.  Yes, these immigrants, our parents, were the descendants of a noble people who, for a millennium, had nurtured, defended and ultimately passed on all that has come to be known as Western Civilization. 

      It is important that we preserve the memory of those original immigrants who made this fateful journey and settled into Chicago’s Little Italy.  It is equally important that that we preserve the memories of their first generation offspring, those who were born and raised in this subculture called Little Italy.  The story of our peoples successes and our peoples failures cannot be fully appreciated without the knowledge and understanding of the subculture that had been created for those immigrants and their offspring by the major society into which they were cast.  Those first generation Italian Americans, nurtured through the Great Depression and the Great War by their immigrant parents, reshaped and redefined that subculture…enabling future generations of Italian Americans to claim their share of the American dream and eventually earn a place in the executive suites of corporate America.

      We will leave it for future generations to examine and explain that subculture that had evolved for us.  For now we will simply attempt to describe it.  Much of that subculture was ordained for us by the larger society via the media; e.g., movies, radio, TV, etc.  We will leave it for a future generation to examine and explain why Allistair Cook, in a major TV presentation called, “America, the Immigrant,” selected Alphonse Capone as representative of the contributions made by the Italian Immigrant…and why the likes of an Enrico Fermi were not selected as representative of the contributions made by our people.  Pressing further, they may even demand an explanation as to why George “Bugs” Moran, the Guzenberg brothers, Meyer Lansky, Dion O’Banion, the Leopold and Loeb’s, and a host of other nefarious characters were not pulled from the Immigration Files in Washington D. C., by Alistar Cook, as representative of the contributions made by their ethnic groups.
    We will also leave it for a future generation to document the journey of the survivors (the children) of this media induced plague--(psychological holocaust is a label more frequently used by those more astute in the development of human behavior).  For now, let us memorialize this phenomenon of a generation and a people who excelled in virtually everything that the larger society had ordained for them—from digging sewers to enterprises in which only the most talented and courageous
could excel.  For now, let us simply capture, for posterity, the building matter of a “Once Upon a Time” trilogy—a trilogy that must eventually culminate with our children, our posterity, gaining admittance to and excelling in the executive suites.  For now, let us capture, for posterity, a place…a time…and its people!  Questa e Cosa Nostra!
The 1985
Chicago Bears
Super Bowl XX
Fra Marco da Niza
Leads an expedition, accompanied by a negro named Estevanico and another Italian friar named Onorato. They set out to explore the land North of modern day Mexico, resulting in the discovery of present day Arizona
Follow the 5 Centuries
Chronology of Events
By: Richard Capozzola
Copyright © 2002 Amici Journal Publications Inc