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If you think the holiday pits Native Americans against Italian Americans, consider the history behind its origin



The History of the Italian Flag

The Italian tricolor was first established during the Napoleonic Wars by French republics in northern Italy, who styled it after the French tricolor. In 1848 the design was adopted by the house of Savoy, which went on to lead the Italian unification. The present flag was adopted in 1946, when Italy became a republic and the royal arms were removed. 

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The History and Tradition of Easter in Italy

The historic event that decided when we celebrate Easter in the Catholic tradition was the First Nicean Council of Christian Bishops in 325 A.D. Roman Emperor, Constantine, convened this council in Nicaea wish is part of Turkey.  It was here that the decision was made to celebrate Easter on the first Sunday after the first full moon to rise after the Spring Equinox.  Unless the first full moon also rose on a Sunday, in which case Easter would be celebrated the Sunday after that.  Wow, I hope you understand that because I am not sure I do.  Anyway, let’s continue…Click Here to Read More About Easter In Italy!

The History of Pizza

There are many theories about the origin of Pizza. There is agreement, though, that Pizza was developed by peasants in Naples, Italy. This early pizza consisted of flattened bread dough topped with olive oil, tomatoes and mozzarella cheese (another product of the Naples area).

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Anthony Michael "Tony" Lazzeri was born on December 6, 1903. He was an Italian/American Major League Baseball player during the 1920s and 1930s. He played predominantly with the New York Yankees. The native of San Francisco, California, was a member of the original American League All-Star team in 1933.




The most honored and well-liked director of his generation, Sicilian-born Frank Capra was born on May 18, 1897 in Bisaquino, Sicily. He graduated from the California Institute of Technology as a Chemical Engineering major. Down on his luck after serving in the military during World War I, he bluffed his way into the movie business and learned films from the bottom up, from the film lab to the prop department to the editing department. He settled in as a gagman during the 1920s, and soon became a director specializing in comedy. After a stint with Mack Sennett Capra moved to Columbia Pictures, where he came into his own as a filmmaker.

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Gabriele D'Annunzio,Italian Poet, Journalist, Novelist, Dramatist, and War Hero was born on March 12,. 1863, in Pescara in the Provence of Abruzzo, the son of a wealthy landowner and mayor of the town whose name was originally Francesco Rapagnetta, to which he legally added D'Annunzio. His precocious talent was recognised early in life, and he was sent to school at the Liceo Cicognini in Prato, Tuscany. He published his first poetry while still at school at the age of sixteen with a small volume of verses called Primo Vere (1879), influenced by Giosuè Carducci's Odi barbare, in which, side by side with some almost brutal imitations of Lorenzo Stecchetti, the fashionable poet of Postuma, were some translations from the Latin, distinguished by such agile grace that Giuseppe Chiarini on reading them brought the unknown youth before the public in an enthusiastic article. In 1881 D'Annunzio entered the University of Rome La Sapienza, where he became a member of various literary groups, including Cronaca Bizantina and wrote articles and criticism for local newspapers.

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Robert James "Gino" Marella, AKA, Gorilla Monsoon, was an Italian/American professional wrestler, play-by-play announcer and booker. He is known as one of the great super heavyweights of the WWF and later as the voice of the World Wrestling Federation, as it was known then. He also served as the on-screen President and backstage manager during the 1980s and 1990s. In professional wrestling, the staging area just behind the entrance curtain at an event, is a position Marella established and where he could often be found during WWF shows late in his career. It has been named the Gorilla position in his honor.

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Italian-Americans in the Civil War

Between the Census of 1850 and the Census of 1860, the number of Italians immigrating to America jumped by 7,000, so that on the eve of the Civil War just over 11,000 Americans listed themselves as having been born in Italy. Many of them came to escape from stifling poverty, only to find it pursued them to the crowded cities of the East Coast of the United States Most Italians were simply looking for peace, for their homeland was torn by wars of its own.

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The son of Italian immigrants, Vincent R. Impellitteri was born February 4, 1900 in Isnello, Sicily and emigrated from Italy to the United States in 1901, when he was an infant. He grew up in Connecticut and entered the Navy after finishing high school. Upon moving to New York, Impellitteri attended Fordham Law School, where he received his law degree in 1924. He served as Assistant New York District Attorney from 1929 to 1938.

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As one of the world's most influential filmmakers, and as an actor who starred in some 150 movies, Vittorio De Sica built a remarkable film career that spanned half a century. De Sica directed 34 feature films, for which he won numerous international prizes. He was honored with four Academy Awards: two Special Awards, preceding the creation of the Best Foreign Film category, for "Shoeshine" in 1947, and "The Bicycle Thief" in 1949, and Best Foreign Film Awards for "Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow" in 1964, and The Garden of the Finzi-Continis in 1971.

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Very politically active from a young age, at only fourteen years old he joined in a revolt in Albania under the leadership of Ricciotti Garibaldi, the son of Giueseppe Garibaldi, the father of a United Italy. As World War I broke out and Italy declared its Neutrality, Italo Balbo supported joining the war on the side of the Allies. Once Italy eventually joined the war, he served with the 8TH Alpine regiment and earned one bronze medals and two silver medals. He reached the rank of Captain due to courage and bravery under fire.

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The History and Origin of the Feast of St Paolino De Nola - a.k.a. The Feast of the Giglio

As the story goes, during the waning years of the Roman Empire in 409 A.D., Southern Italy was overrun by conquerors known as the Huns. San Paolino was able to escape the rage and rampage with many of the children of the town. The men of the town were captured, indentured as slaves and brought back to North Africa.

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Salvatore "Turi" Giuliano

In 1942, with his family struggling partially because of the corrupt government in Palermo, Turi Giuliano established links within the Sicilian Black-market and began transporting prohibited goods across the mountain range. In September of 1943, Giuliano shot a member of the Carabinieri who was suspicious of Giuliano's cargo. From this point on he became a fugitive, living out in the hills of Montelepre. He established his head quarters on Mount Sagana. As his fame or notoriety grew, his band of fugitives also grew. Some of the best-known bandits of this area became members of his group.

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Silvana Mangano

Italian actress, Silvana Mangano, was born on April 21, 1930, in Rome, Lazio, Italy. Her father, Amedeo, was a Sicilian train conductor. Her mother, Ivy Webb, was from England. She was raised in poverty in Rome during World War II and trained as a dancer and worked as model to support herself. In 1946 she won the "Miss Rome" Beauty Contest. A year later, she became a contestant in the "Miss Italia" beauty contest. This led to work in films. Her first notable success was "Riso Amaro," better known in English as "Bitter Rice," in 1949. She would continue to work in films for the next twenty-plus years. Some of her most notable films were Anna (1951), the Gold of Naples (1954), Mambo (1954), Ulysses (1954), 5 Branded Women (1960), Barrabas (1962) and Death in Venice (1971.)

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Ettore Boiardi, aka Chef Boyardee

Ettore Boiardi (October 22, 1897-June 21, 1985) was an Italian-born chef who became famous for his brand of food products, named Chef Boyardee. Ettore (Hector) Boiardi was born in Piacenza, Italy, to Giuseppe and Maria Maffi Boiardi. He was one of a three children. He had two Brothers, who were also in the Restaurant Business. His brother Mario was also a chef and his brother Paul was a Maitre'd.

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Antonio Meucci: The Real Inventor of the Telephone

Most of us were brought up on the story that Alexander Graham Bell invented the Telephone. But it seems that history must be rewritten if justice is to be served to an immigrant who came from Florence, Italy: Antonio Meucci. He invented the telephone in 1849 and filed his first patent caveat (notice of intention to take out a patent) in 1871, setting into motion a series of mysterious events and injustices that would be incredible if so well documented.

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La Festa di San Giuseppe

St. Joseph was known as the carpenter of Nazareth. He was the foster father of Jesus, chosen by God. The Gospels say very little about him but he has been revered and beloved by generations of Italians and Italian-Americans. We celebrate his life on March 19th of each year. He is pictured as a bearded man with a sympathetic face. This was certainly fitting, as his role was protector of his young bride Mary and her child, Jesus.

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A History of Carnevale - Farewell to Meat, Hello to Fantasy

Carnevale is a festival which can trace it's roots back to the Roman Saturnalia, a pagan festival held in Mid-December to honor the God, Saturn, with feasting, gift giving and role reversal. As often happened with such festivals in the then early Catholic Church, the church leaders found a way to work the festival into their own liturgical year.

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Lt. Giuseppe "Joe" Petrosino

Lt. Joe Petrosino was a New York City Police Officer who was a pioneer in the fight against organized crime. The various crime fighting techniques that Petrosino pioneered during his law enforcement career are still practiced by various agencies in the fight against organized crime

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Celebrate Christmas and New Year's, Italian Style

The Christmas and New Year's holidays in Italy are marked with the spirit of celebration and reverence for which Italians are famous. Since 98% of Italians are Catholic, as the holidays approach, it may seem like the entire country is going through the same motions of eager preparation. Yet, although rituals may be similar throughout the country, they vary from region to region as well as house to house. Food plays a central role 
in each.

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The Legend of "LA BEFANA"

La Befana is the benevolent old woman with magical powers who brings gifts to the children of Italy on the eve of Epiphany.

Like most legends there are many versions. This is just one of them. The name Befana is derived from the word epifania, the Italian name for the religious festival of the Epiphany.

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