News & Events

October is National Italian Heritage Month

Date 10.06.2014

Every year the U.S. president signs an executive order designating the month of October as National Italian American Heritage Month. Coinciding with the festivities surrounding Columbus Day, the proclamation is 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.

Federico Fellini, the movie director, once said that “language is culture and culture is the language,” and nowhere is this more true than in Italy. There was a time when speaking Italian was considered a crime, but today many Italian Americans are learning Italian to discover more about their family heritage. Looking for ways to identify, understand, and bond with their family’s ethnic background, they getting in touch with their family heritage by learning their ancestors’ native language.