(Cristoforo Colombo 1451-1506) made four voyages
to the New World. His original voyage was the Discovery of
the Americas in1492.
Caboto 1450 -1498) discovered North America
Sailing under the English flag, he established Newfoundland.
Caboto 1482-1557) born to Giovanni
Caboto, sailing under the Spanish flag, explored South America, which
allowed Spain to take possession of the continent.
(1451-1512) Who was a friend to Columbus. He participated as
observer in several voyages that explored the east coast of South
America between 1499 and 1502. Vespucci was the first to advance the belief that the land discovered by
Columbus was not India, but a new continent and for that, European
cartographers named the New World "America" in his honor.
Giovanni da Verrazzano
He is renowned as the first European to explore the Atlantic
coast of North America between South
and North Carolina and Newfoundland,
York Harbor and Narragansett
Bay in 1524.
(Eusebio Francesco Chini 1645-1711) was an
priest who in 1687 explored northwestern Mexico
and the southwestern United
States and California. He established
24 missions and built many churches.
(1649-1704) was an Sicilian -born soldier, explorer, and fur trader in the service of
France. He accompanied Robert La Salle and explored for the first
the time the Great Lakes. He establish the
first settlement in Arkansas and a trading post which
would later become the historical town of Arkansas
Post. Tontitown in Arkansas is named in his
di Tonti (1659-1727) younger brother of Henri Di Tonti, helped establish
the first European
settlement at Detroit,
Michigan Pontchartrain du Detroit (1701)
Family (originally Tagliaferro, iron cutter in Italian) from
who came to America in 1637 and was one of the first families to settle in
Jamestown Virginia. Today it
is still one of the most well-known names in the South.
An estimated 300 were the first relatively large immigration of Italians to the American
colonies in 1657. They landed in New York and went on to Delaware, where
they organized the first government of the colony of New Amsterdam,
later founded New Castle, Delaware.
(Filippo Mazzei 1730–1816) Was an Italian Physician and
a promoter of liberty. While in London he met the Americans Benjamin
Franklin and Thomas Adam They convinced him to undertake his next venture.
In 1773 he led a group of Italians who came to Virginia to
introduce the cultivation of vineyards, olives, and other
Mazzei became a neighbor and friend of Jefferson started what became the first
commercial vineyard in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
They shared an interest in politics and libertarian values, and
maintained an active
correspondence for the rest of Mazzei's life.
Filippo Mazzei a Tuscan physician, fought alongside Thomas
Jefferson and Patrick Henry during the American Revolution. He drew up a plan to capture the British in New York by cutting off
their sea escape, and convinced France to help the American
colonists financially and militarily in their struggle against
In 1779 Mazzei returned to Italy as a secret agent for the
state of Virginia.
He purchased and shipped arms to them until 1783.
During the American Revolution,
Italian regiments totaling 1,500 men assisted the colonists.
Also, Italian names are found on the rolls of colonial American
Four Italian Americans became Generals (list)
during or following their Civil
War service: Luigi Palma di Cesnola;Enrico
Eduardo Ferrero and Francis
Spinola. Gen. Ferrero of the 51st N.Y. Regiment,
was among the first Union officers to command black troops. Col. di
Cesnola, commander of the 4th NY Cavalry, received the U.S.
Congressional Medal of Honor. It was awarded in 1897.
(Francesco Vigo (1747-1836), is believed the first
Italian to become an American citizen. A successful fur trader on the
western frontier (today the mid-western states of Wisconsin, Michigan,
Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio) was an Italian American
who aided the American
forces during the Revolutionary
War and helped found a public university in Vincennes,
Indiana. Vigo served as a colonel, spy, and
financier during the American Revolution. He died a pauper, but in
1876 the U.S. government gave his heirs about $50,000 to repay them
for Vigo's financial support of the Revolutionary War. Along with
George Rogers Clark, he helped settle the Northwest territory
Italian officers in the American Revolution include: Captain
Cosimo de Medici
of the North Carolina Light Dragoons; Lieutenant
James Bracco, 7th Maryland Regiment, killed at the Battle of
White Plains; Captain B. Tagliaferro, second
in command of
the Second Virginia Regiment, a direct subaltern of General George
Washington; 2nd Lieutenant Nicola Talliaferro of the 2nd Virginia
Regiment; and Colonel Richard Talliaferro, who fell at the
Battle of Guilford.
Other Italian officers, most from Massachusetts,
are on regimental rolls of the 26th Continental Army.
Major John Belli
was the Quartermaster General of the U.S.
Army from 1792 to 1794. (photo)
The first settler in Scioto County, Ohio, he
lived there until his death in 1809.
Giuseppe Garibaldi, who led Italy to unification in
1861, was offered a command as Major General in the Union Army by
President Lincoln. Garibaldi declined, but to honor him, the 39th New
York Infantry was known as the Garibaldi Guard. About 150 of
its 850 men were Italian. It fought in the Union Army from Bull Run to
inspired the Jeffersonian phrase: "All
men are created equal" when he wrote "All men are by
nature equally free and independent." This phrase appears in
Italian in Mazzei's own hand, written in Italian, several years prior to
the writing of the Declaration of Independence. Mazzei and Jefferson
often exchanged ideas ears prior to
the writing of the Declaration of Independence.
An estimated 5,000 to 10,000 Italians fought
in the American Civil War for both the North and the South.
The exact number is not known since many names were Americanized.
More than 100 Italian Americans served as
officers in the Union forces during the Civil War including
4 generals; 2 naval commanders; 11 naval officers; 9 colonels and
lieutenant colonels; and 28 majors and captains. The exact number is
unknown because of the Americanization of Italian surnames and mixed
THE LINCOLN MEMORIAL
-- Neapolitan immigrant Attilio
Piccirilli and his five brothers carved the statue of Lincoln, which they
began in 1911 and completed in 1922. The
Piccirilli Brothers were a family of renowned who carved a large number of the most significant marble
in the United
States, The gifted
sculptors, working out of their studio/living complex in the Bronx, also
carved the famous lions on the steps of the New York Public Library, and the
facade of the Brooklyn Museum among many other works in New York and across
by Piccirilli brothers)
THE NATIONAL CATHEDRAL -- Using techniques handed down by
stone carvers since the Middle Ages, Italian artisans created the
gargoyles and statues that decorate the facade of Washington's most famous
place of worship.
THE CAPITOL BUILDING -- A concrete symbol of American
democracy, the Capitol bears the imprint of Italian talent. Between 1855 and
1870, the Italian artist, Constantino Brumidi
decorated its interior dome,
corridors, and the President's Room where Lincoln signed the Emancipation
-- Italian construction workers helped build
Washington's train station, which was begun in 1905 and completed in 1908,
considered one of the most beautiful train stations in the United States.
The six statues that decorate the station's facade were sculpted by Andrew
E. Bernasconi between 1909 and 1911.
METRO -- Washington is justifiably proud of its quiet,
modern subway system, but few of the thousands of commuters who ride it
daily know that more than 60 percent of Metro's 764 subway cars are made in
Italy. The DC Transit Authority purchased 466 cars from Breda Costruzioni
Ferroviarie in Pistoia at a cost of about $1.3 million each.
About 5 million Italians immigrated to the U.S. The greatest surge of
The 2006U.S. Census, Italian Americans are the 4th largest ancestry
group in America with about 17.8 million people, 6% of the total
U.S. population. Sicilian
Americans are a subset of numerous Americans of regional Italian
References, Sources and Links: No copyright infringement
Music: Ferrante & Teicher "As Time Goes By"
Every year the U.S. President signs an Executive Order
month of October as National Italian American. Coinciding with the festivities
surrounding Columbus Day, the proclamation is recognition of the achievements, contributions, and successes of
more than 20 million Americans of Italian
descent as well as Italians in America., the fifth largest ethnic group the
exhibit “In Search of a New Life" at the Museo Italo Americano,
Fort Mason Center, San Francisco, highlights 160 years of history of
Italian immigration to California -- from 1850 to today-- through rare
photographs, interactive videos, artifacts and original documents
In Search of a New Life. The Italians who Made California