new PBS series on Italian Americans starts Tuesday
To: pie-online@googlegroups.com

Looks to be an interesting series, especially for me, since my grandfather came from Sicily at the turn of the century and came to NY through Ellis Island in 1899.

“The Italian Americans reveals how Italian immigrants challenged the notion of the American “melting pot” — chronicling four generations of Italian-American lives, from the massive late 19th Century wave of immigration to today. From the importance of the family over an individual’s personal aspirations, to their distinctive, circular migration patterns, to the specter of the Mafia that still plagues Italian Americans today, this series peels away myths and stereotypes to reveal a world uniquely Italian and uniquely American.”

“The Italian Americans, this new arrival is a four-hour documentary series that will air nationally on the PBS station KQED in San Francisco and PBS stations across the U.S. on February 17 and 24, 2015, for two hours each evening”

further reading

What Sets Italian Americans Off From Other Immigrants?


We will see how PBS handles the series.

A lot of people are unaware that during WWII that some Italian Americans were held in internment camps. But unlike the Japanese Americans, the US government never said they were sorry and never repaid those who were affected. The US Congress came close in the 1990s, but it failed to pass anything. California only recently passed a bill to address this.

Missoula Montana is the most well known camp,
but there were also camps in other states including TX. Those not sent to camps had restrictions such as curfews and no flashlights. Why the Italian Americans were targeted was because of Mussolini actions in Italy. You had situations where while there sons were fighting for the US, the parent was sent to an internment camp if the parent had not quite finished the steps to become a US Citizen.
further reading:

Una Storia Segreta : The Secret History of Italian American Evacuation and Internment During World War II Paperback – June 1, 2001
by Lawrence Distasi (Editor) Sandra Gilbert (Foreword) (Author)

It Wasn’t Just Japanese Americans Who Fell Under Suspicion in World War II. So Did Italian Americans. – See more at:

“During WWII, over 51,000 of the over 425,000 Prisoners Of War held in the United States were Italian”: http://www.gentracer.org/pow.html

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