Declaration of (Italian) American Independence

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“They all laughed at Christopher Columbus/When he said the world was round…” So begins the lyrics of Ira Gershwin for brother George’s 1937 composition “They All Laughed.” The Gershwins wrote the song for the movie Shall We Dance, starring Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire. Frank Sinatra famously included the tune in his masterpiece Trilogy album, where he sings the closing lyrics “Who’s got the last laugh now?” with a knowing wink.

From Christopher Columbus to Frank Sinatra, it’s clear that Italians and Italian-Americans have had a tremendous impact on America. Over the next three weeks, we’ll focus on those names history books seem to have neglected.

Did you know Italian-Americans played a prominent role in the founding of America? For example, three of the first five American warships were named after Italians. These were Continue Reading “Declaration of (Italian) American Independence”

Happy 4th of July! (?)

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[This Commentary originally appeared in the August 2, 1990 issue of The Mendon-Honeoye Falls-Lima Sentinel.]

CarosaCommentaryNewLogo_259Thomas Jefferson and John Adams bickered constantly during their lives. I don’t know too much about what they argued about. From the little reading I’ve done on the matter, though, it seems they agreed to disagree on just about everything.

We do know they agreed on at least three important things. First, they agreed the American colonies should be free from the reign of King George of Britain. This led to perhaps their best known Continue Reading “Happy 4th of July! (?)”