October is Italian Heritage Month, formerly known as National Italian-American Heritage Month. Coinciding with the festivities surrounding Columbus Day, the proclamation is in recognition of the many achievements, contributions, and successes of Americans of Italian descent as well as Italians in America.
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. The country was even named after an Italian, the explorer and geographer Amerigo Vespucci.
The Library has partnered with Unico, America’s largest Italian American service organization, to put up a display showcasing this wonderful heritage.
Displayed are Library books covering various aspects of Italian history, society and culture, some of which were donated by UNICO.
There is a special focus on honoring Christopher Columbus for his heroic voyages in founding the New World. His 4 voyages opened up the flood gates for Europeans to start their migration to America escaping prejudices to seek a land of liberty where they could freely practice their religion and escape the tyranny of the English monarchy.
Besides Library books, there are artifacts such as Murano glass items, handmade textiles, wooden ships (replicas inspired by Columbus’ ships) as well as posters, photographs and plaques demonstrating UNICO’s support of our community.
-Archana Chiplunkar, Adult Services Librarian