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Cavaliere Anthonly Lascio

Cav. Anthony Lascio Chapter - PIP 1
September 2007

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PIP Chapter 1 Meeting Notes
September 2007

Our fall quarterly PIP1 meeting was held at the Italian Cultural Center in the Chicago suburb of Stone Park on 19 September.  Aside from some sharing of news, an audience of just five viewed a video, thanks to Dominic Candeloro, that was carried recently on our local TV stations.

Narrated by Tony Award winner and Chicago native Joe Mantegna, And They Came To Chicago: The Italian American Legacy traces an extraordinary chapter of the Italian American experience in the United States.
It begins in Chicago in the 1850’s, when Italian entrepreneurs first built thriving businesses around today’s Loop. The Midwest’s manufacturing and railroad center soon became a primary destination for scores of others following the tumultuous aftermath of Italian unification.
The saga unfolds from there: the struggle to gain acceptance on the factory floor, the establishment of Italian parishes, the anti-immigrant backlash and Prohibition, aviator Italo Balbo’s flight from Rome to Chicago during the 1933 Century of Progress Exposition, and the heroism of Italian Americans’ servicemen and women during World War Two even as their families’ loyalty was being questioned on the homefront.
And finally, the post-war era, a study in contrasts between increased opportunity for Italian Americans and urban renewal’ devastating impact on inner-city Italian neighborhoods.

Through rare archival photographs and footage, interviews with historians and Chicago Italian Americans, And They Came To Chicago: The Italian American Legacy is a universal tale of adversity and triumph, fierce individualism and the strong bonds of community celebrating italianità and the courage of ancestors who first made the journey.

A collection of interview outtakes has been resurrected from the cutting-room floor. Individuals featured in And They Came To Chicago discuss growing up Italian American in Chicago, the old neighborhood, adjusting to American culture and visiting their hometown of origin in Italy, while offering up a host of favorite family anecdotes. Length: Approx. 18 mins.

The Italian American voice in literature is a multi-faceted, and influential, one. Italian American writers from Chicago have emerged in recent years with compelling works, both fiction and non-fiction, that reveal the range and depth of the Italian American experience in Chicago. In this feature, noted Italian American writers bring real and imagined worlds to life through their own voices.

Copies of the DVD may be purchased from Dominic 708-354-0952,   847-951-9109,


Our next quarterly meeting is scheduled, because of the holidays, for December 5th, and the highlight is to be individual reports by members on their recent research results and visits to Italy.

-- Alex DeVolpi


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