The Italian Connection

Dear readers, in February, we traditionally pause to celebrate Lovers, (Valentine’s Day) and Presidents. Once, Abe Lincoln (February 12th) and George Washington (February 22nd) were honored individually. Now they are collectively celebrated on President’s Day, February 19th, this year. *** …

Dear Readers,  “Toot! Toot!” — that’s me, tooting my own horn! I began writing for L’Italo-Americano in mid-1977, forty-plus years ago. As 2024 begins, let me pass on some good advice and January jottings to you!  ** Advice for the New Year: …

Dear readers, Americanizing Italian names is my focus for the month of May because of Mother’s Day, May 12th this year. After the baby is born, and sometimes long before, picking out a name for the little newcomer is often …

Dear Readers,  March 8, Women’s Day, honors the world’s women. It was first proclaimed on March 8, 1910, to commemorate a protest by female garment workers in New York City in 1857, and is a holiday born out of women’s …

Dear readers,  as Valentine’s Day approaches, I thought about the 1940s, when Cupid’s arrows easily bit their marks across the dining room tables and, for hundreds of Italian-American girls, “war grooms” became the silver lining to the clouds of war …


Dear readers, This year, on April 28, we remember the 75th anniversary of Benito Mussolini’s death, so I will focus on a few more Mussolini-Italian connections.  ** Benito Mussolini’s transgressions during World War II have generally been attributed by older …

Dear Readers,  Just in time for your end-of-year parties, here comes the lyrics of one of Italy’s 1950s favorites, Volare, so you, or any of your senior citizens’ relatives and friends, can sing along, or at least reminisce! ** The best-known …

Dear readers,  March, the third month of this year, has 31 days and is short for Martius Mensis, the month of Mars. In Roman mythology, Mars was the god of war and agriculture. Nereo, a minor Roman goddess, was his wife. …

Dear readers,  On April 18th, 1906, San Francisco experienced a magnitude 7.9 earthquake. It was the most significant earthquake of all time. The famous tenor Enrico Caruso, on tour in San Francisco, performed in Carmen just hours before the earthquake. He wrote the …

Dear Readers, More January jottings with an Italian connection.  Thomas Jefferson (1801-1809) our third President, had repeatedly expressed his displeasure at the low caliber of the US Marine Band. And so, in 1805, John Hall, a Marine Corps captain, was sent …


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