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Encyclopedia > Italian Americans

An Italian-American is an American of Italian descent. Many, although proud of their heritage, prefer to be referred to simply as "American."

Although Italians arrived early to the new world, beginning with Christopher Columbus in 1492, and continuing with early explorers John Cabot, Giovanni da Verrazano and Amerigo Vespucci, the largest wave of Italian immigration to the United States took place in the late 19th century and early 20th century. Between 1820 and 1978, 5.3 million Italians immigrated to the United States, including over two million in the years 1900-1910 alone (although about 1/4th of all Italian immigrants did not settle permanently in America and eventually returned to Italy). Only the Irish and Germans immigrated in larger numbers.

In the 2000 US Census, Italian-Americans constituted the sixth largest ancestry group in America with about 16 million people (5.3% of the total U.S. population).

Common stereotypes continue to link Italian Americans to organized crime and restaurant workers [1] (http://www.niaf.org/research/report_zogby.asp), unflattering images which remain staples of Hollywood movies. In fact, the National Italian American Foundation found that two-thirds of Italian Americans held white collar jobs in 1990 and that there were never more than a few thousand individuals in the Mafia.

Like other ethnic groups in the USA their political beliefs are diverse. The U.S. Congress includes Italian Americans who are regarded as leaders on both sides of the aisle.

In some Italian American communities, Saint Joseph's Day (March 19) is marked with celebrations and parades. Columbus Day is also widely celebrated in these communities, as are the feasts of some regional Italian patron saints, most notably San Gennaro (September 19) by those claiming Neapolitan heritage, and Santa Rosalia (September 4) by Sicilians.

Italian American communities

A list of people who have referred to themselves ethnically as "Italian," or have an Italian parent can be seen at the list of Italian Americans.

External links

  Results from FactBites:
Wartime Violation of Italian American Civil Liberties Act (397 words)
Italian Americans who were taken into custody during the initial roundup following the attack on Pearl Harbor, and prior to the United States declaration of war against Italy
Italian American fishermen who were prevented from fishing in prohibited zones and therefore undable to pursue their livelihoods
Italian American railroad workers who were prevented from working in prohibited zones.
Italian American (368 words)
Italian American heritage and culture and all issues related to Italian Americans and Italy.
Italian American Cultural Organization to honor our families who emigrated to the Americas from Southern Italy and Sicily.
community where italian americans can exchange ideas, thoughts,links to italian related sites,such as culture, sports,travel,recipies,links to other webpages and many more.
  More results at FactBites »



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