Italian American History Month

As a nation state, Italy has emerged only in 1871. Until then the country was politically divided into a large number of independant cities, provinces and islands. The currently available evidences point out to a dominant Etruscan, Greek and Roman cultural influence on today's Italians.
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Italian American History Month

Postby ForzaItaliaPgh » 13 Oct 2010, 21:43

Anybody know that there is an Italian American history month? And guess when it is... October. Odd how you'd never know from watching TV. Even the History Channel can't seem to be bothered to recognize it. Seems like some other official history months get a lot more attention. Oh well, what did someone from Italy ever do that was important here in America... it's not like an Italian discovered America or anything :)

Anyone else annoyed by this or am I alone here?
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Re: Italian American History Month

Postby johnnyonthespot » 13 Oct 2010, 21:48

ForzaItaliaPgh wrote:Anyone else annoyed by this or am I alone here?


Careful; I am at that age where everything annoys me. :(
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Re: Italian American History Month

Postby Squigy » 13 Oct 2010, 23:55

ForzaItaliaPgh wrote:Anybody know that there is an Italian American history month? And guess when it is... October. Odd how you'd never know from watching TV. Even the History Channel can't seem to be bothered to recognize it. Seems like some other official history months get a lot more attention. Oh well, what did someone from Italy ever do that was important here in America... it's not like an Italian discovered America or anything :)

Anyone else annoyed by this or am I alone here?


Yes, I did know that, and I get annoyed by it too. I recently made a post about it, and linked an article by the OSIA talking about the exact same thing. Here's the link:

http://italiangenealogy.com/Forums/view ... 18692.html

The media made sure eveyone knew Sept. was Hispanic Heritage Month, and Feb was Black History Month, but Italians are often ignored.
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Re: Italian American History Month

Postby ForzaItaliaPgh » 14 Oct 2010, 00:24

Thanks for the link Squigy. In addition to the steps mentioned in the article, I think offering the Italian language in high schools would be a nice step. I can understand Spanish, but I don't see why French and German seem to be offered everywhere, but Italian is totally unavailable.
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Re: Italian American History Month

Postby Squigy » 14 Oct 2010, 00:53

ForzaItaliaPgh wrote:Thanks for the link Squigy. In addition to the steps mentioned in the article, I think offering the Italian language in high schools would be a nice step. I can understand Spanish, but I don't see why French and German seem to be offered everywhere, but Italian is totally unavailable.


I had an Italian class in 6th grade. It was a Catholic school in a small town where more than 30% of the population is Italian.

Anyway, yes, I agree. Italian language courses should be taught in schools. Italian is one of the most beautiful languages in the World, and the Italian culture is one of the richest in the World.
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Re: Italian American History Month

Postby choprjohn » 14 Oct 2010, 01:53

Im over 60 & I never heard of it, but black history month gets crammed down our throats every year. My daughter whose now only 25 years old took Italian in high school, but when she went to a Catholic college she was told "we dont teach Italian, theres not enough demand for it,but we offer Spanish" (Insert swear words here). Needless I was less than happy to hear that. This is the world we now live in....Johnnie
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Re: Italian American History Month

Postby Squigy » 14 Oct 2010, 02:28

choprjohn wrote:Im over 60 & I never heard of it, but black history month gets crammed down our throats every year. My daughter whose now only 25 years old took Italian in high school, but when she went to a Catholic college she was told "we dont teach Italian, theres not enough demand for it,but we offer Spanish" (Insert swear words here). Needless I was less than happy to hear that. This is the world we now live in....Johnnie


Of course, I'm sure you didn't know October is German Heritage Month, too. But, hey, they have Oktoberfest. Aside from that, Germans really aren't that interesting :lol:

As for the language course, I imagine larger schools have Italian courses, but a privately owned Catholic college probably just can't afford to pay Italian teachers if nobody takes the class.
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Re: Italian American History Month

Postby ForzaItaliaPgh » 14 Oct 2010, 02:52

So not only is Italian American History month ignored, but it is also shared with the Germans! A quick look online tells me that its also Hispanic History Month, Polish American History Month, and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender History Month.

For comparisons sake, the only history celebrated in February is Black History Month.

Don't get me wrong, I'm all for anything that celebrates any history (once upon a time, I earned a BA in History) but it seems to me that the contributions of Italians here in America warrants more than a "hidden" month no one knows about.

But then again, we are all just a bunch of mobsters (apparently over 3/4 of teens think this...wow!)
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Re: Italian American History Month

Postby Squigy » 14 Oct 2010, 03:07

ForzaItaliaPgh wrote:
Squigy wrote:
choprjohn wrote:Im over 60 & I never heard of it, but black history month gets crammed down our throats every year. My daughter whose now only 25 years old took Italian in high school, but when she went to a Catholic college she was told "we dont teach Italian, theres not enough demand for it,but we offer Spanish" (Insert swear words here). Needless I was less than happy to hear that. This is the world we now live in....Johnnie


Of course, I'm sure you didn't know October is German Heritage Month, too. But, hey, they have Oktoberfest. Aside from that, Germans really aren't that interesting :lol:

As for the language course, I imagine larger schools have Italian courses, but a privately owned Catholic college probably just can't afford to pay Italian teachers if nobody takes the class.
So not only is Italian American History month ignored, but it is also shared with the Germans! A quick look online tells me that its also Hispanic History Month and Breast Cancer Awareness Month. I might be wrong, but I don't think February is anything other than Black History Month.

Don't get me wrong, I'm all for anything that celebrates any history (once upon a time, I earned a BA in History) but it seems to me that the contributions of Italians here in America warrants more than a "hidden" month no one knows about.


Don't forget Polish Heritage Month. But some have to share, there aren't enough months!

Anyway, I agree with you 100%. I think people should learn about Black History, and Jewish History, and Hispanic History. But it shouldn't completely dominate the media like it does (it becomes a bit redundant), and they shouldn't be the only groups we hear about. Like you said, Italians deserve more than a hidden month, or a holiday that technically isn't exclusive to Italians (Columbus Day).
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Re: Italian American History Month

Postby Squigy » 14 Oct 2010, 03:08

ForzaItaliaPgh wrote:But then again, we are all just a bunch of mobsters (apparently over 3/4 of teens think this...wow!)


Yeah, I know! That's awful high! Although....I do have some cousins who were in the Mafia :lol:
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Re: Italian American History Month

Postby Biff83 » 14 Oct 2010, 12:32

Since it's Italian American History month, I thought members might find my previous 2007 post interesting.

"Often overlooked is the role that Italians played in the early days of jazz music. Nick LaRocca, Anthony Parenti, Frank Signorelli, Eddie Lang (Salvatore Massaro), Leon Roppolo, Adrian Rollini, Joe "Wingy" Manone, Phil Napoleon (Filippo Napoli), Jimmy Durante (yep, the great Schnozzola started out as a piano player), and the baddest jazz violin player of all time Joe Venuti. Here's a link to the Joe Venuti, Eddie Lang and Their All-Star Orchestra page on the Red Hot Jazz Archive where you can listen to a number of selections. Not too shabby a line up with Venuti on violin, Lang on guitar, Benny Goodman on clarinet and Jack Teagarden on trombone and vocals. Make sure you listen to "After You've Gone" for a really hot violin solo by Venuti, and "Beale Street Blues" featuring some wonderful ensemble work and Jack T's funky vocal. You can also access the pages of the other musicians mentioned above for bios and full version songs.

www.redhotjazz.com/vlo.html

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Re: Italian American History Month

Postby Squigy » 15 Oct 2010, 04:23

Biff83 wrote:Since it's Italian American History month, I thought members might find my previous 2007 post interesting.

"Often overlooked is the role that Italians played in the early days of jazz music. Nick LaRocca, Anthony Parenti, Frank Signorelli, Eddie Lang (Salvatore Massaro), Leon Roppolo, Adrian Rollini, Joe "Wingy" Manone, Phil Napoleon (Filippo Napoli), Jimmy Durante (yep, the great Schnozzola started out as a piano player), and the baddest jazz violin player of all time Joe Venuti. Here's a link to the Joe Venuti, Eddie Lang and Their All-Star Orchestra page on the Red Hot Jazz Archive where you can listen to a number of selections. Not too shabby a line up with Venuti on violin, Lang on guitar, Benny Goodman on clarinet and Jack Teagarden on trombone and vocals. Make sure you listen to "After You've Gone" for a really hot violin solo by Venuti, and "Beale Street Blues" featuring some wonderful ensemble work and Jack T's funky vocal. You can also access the pages of the other musicians mentioned above for bios and full version songs.

www.redhotjazz.com/vlo.html

Biff"


Interesting. I've always sort of seen jazz as a black thing. In fact, Jimmy Durante is the only name I recognize on here, and for some reason, I always thought he was Jewish.

What are your views on what we were discussing, Biff?
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Re: Italian American History Month

Postby choprjohn » 15 Oct 2010, 14:56

There are also all the great Italian Doo Wop groups. There are too many to list here, but if you go on the Gente di Mare site under the music forum there are many listed....Johnnie P.S. Jimmy Durante always been Italian, in fact early in his career there were rumors that he was mob backed.
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Re: Italian American History Month

Postby Squigy » 16 Oct 2010, 01:12

choprjohn wrote:There are also all the great Italian Doo Wop groups. There are too many to list here, but if you go on the Gente di Mare site under the music forum there are many listed....Johnnie P.S. Jimmy Durante always been Italian, in fact early in his career there were rumors that he was mob backed.


From Wikipedia:

Rise of Italian-American doo-wop
1958 heralded the rise of Italian doo-wop groups. This Italian-American sub-group took over a large portion of the genre (but certainly not all of it), from 1959 to 1964, when doo-wop "ended." Though some African-Americans moved toward their new creation, "soul music", this alone cannot explain the Italian genre dominance. Like African-Americans, the Italians also hailed from the inner city and urban areas. For example, Dion DiMucci and the Belmonts hailed from the Belmont section of the Bronx. And, like African-Americans, the Italians were generally very religious. They mostly attended Catholic churches, which gave them much singing experience. By the late 1950s, Italian street corner doo-wop groups were seen in urban cities like New York, especially the Bronx and Brooklyn. Some of the Italian groups who had national chart hits included Dion and the Belmonts in 1958 with "A Teenager In Love", The Capris with "There's A Moon Out Tonight" in 1960, The Four Seasons with Frankie Valli, The Elegants, The Mystics, The Duprees, Vito & the Salutations, The Gaylords, Johnny Maestro, and the Del Satins. Other Italian groups included Dino and the Diplomats, The Four Js, Billy and the Essentials, and Randy and the Rainbows, who charted with their 1963 smash, "Denise."

Doo-wop remained popular until just before the British Invasion of 1964. 1961 might have been the peak of doo-wop, with hits that include The Marcels' "Blue Moon". There was a revival of the nonsense-syllable form of doo-wop in the early 1960s, with popular records by The Marcels, The Rivingtons, and Vito & the Salutations. A few years later, the genre had reached the self-referential stage, with songs about the singers ("Mr. Bass Man" by Johnny Cymbal) and the songwriters ("Who Put the Bomp?" by Barry Mann) in 1961.



When I think of Italian-American music, I think of Dean Martin, Rosemary Clooney (but just the one song), Frank Sinatra, and Louis Prima. Those are my favorites. Unlike most people, their songs are the ones I heard growing up.
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Re: Italian American History Month

Postby ForzaItaliaPgh » 16 Oct 2010, 04:12

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think Rosemary Clooney is actually Italian. I know some Italian performers anglicized their names (Dean Martin for example) but I think Rosemary Clooney just happened sing Mambo Italiano, but wasn't actually Italian herself. Great song, either way and on my I-pod :)
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