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.
Does anyone know anything about Il Progresso Italo-Americano? It looks like it operated for over 100 years, and then died in the 1990s, leaving no website, etc.
I have just learned that my great grandfather worked for them as a translator. I guess I was hoping to confirm that, but also it seems this Italian-language neighborhood paper would be much more likely to have obituaries (of the Italian speaking laborers) from the early 1900s than the New York Times. But microfilm, etc., doesn't seem readily available.
Il Progresso was founded in 1880 and shut down in 1988 due to a union dispute. It was owned by Generoso Pope from 1928-1988. Pope also owned The National Enquirer and each Christmas would put up a fantastic display at his facilities in Lantana (FL), including the world's largest Christmas tree. Each year, I would take my daughter to see this Christmas display, which remains the best display I have ever seen. When Pope died in 1988, the display was offered to the Town of Lantana for free; however, Lantana refused the gift because it would be too expensive to maintain the tradition.
I should have been more clear...by readily available, I really kind of meant more widely distributed. I had seen that it was available at the NYPL on microfilm, but unfortunately I'm on the other side of the country so it's not really an option. I was kind of wondering if anyone was familiar with the newspaper itself (or any of the the others, there were a few Italian-language papers, one of them began with a C, but it's been a long day and my brain isn't quite up to speed), and if the obituary theory was reasonable...
I did a lot of googling re: Il Progresso, trying to find out about it, and found that it actually resumed after the strike, but then it was bought by an Italian company that moved it out to Long Island and renamed it something or other media (sorry, forgot what), and then eventually closed down the newspaper and migrated to other media forms. I had seen the Enquirer connection and thought it interesting. Actually I ended up reading a bit about Pope (I'm easily distracted by tangents) and found him an interesting guy.