An October Celebration of Italian Heritage, Culture, and History
Over 5.4 million Italians immigrated to the United States between 1820 and 1992. Today there are over 26 million Americans of Italian descent in the United States, making them the fifth largest ethnic group – and the country was even named after an Italian, the explorer and geographer Amerigo Vespucci.
Without the Italians, America would be a very different place today. So many of her discoverers, explorers, and colonizers were of Italian descent, one might even conclude that without Italians, America may not even exist.
Italian Americans throughout the nation join together to celebrate their heritage during the month of October, but the name of the month is as varied as those who celebrate. Depending on the organization and region, October may be Italian American Heritage Month, Italian American History Month, Italian Heritage Month, Italian Culture Month, Italian Heritage and Culture Month, or Italian History Month. However, it is recognized as National Italian American Heritage Month in the annual proclamation signed by the President of the United States.
Although the month of festivities may be identified by many names, the purpose of celebrating is the same — to honor those of Italian heritage who have so richly contributed to America… and the world.
So, I hope that you who read this will in some way celebrate with me National Italian-American Heritage Month.
To all the Italian-Americans who contribute to what makes America great, we thank you!
Richard J. Michelli — Italia Living Founder/Executive Director