JCCIA launches oral history project

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Do you know someone with a compelling story about achieving the Italian-American dream? The Joint Civic Committee of Italian Americans has launched an oral history project to preserve these stories for posterity.

The project gathers tales of adversity and triumph in the transition from life in Italy to life in America. Interviewees share their own life experiences or anecdotes told to them by their parents and grandparents. The videos meld audio recordings with evocative historical photos.

Here are a few of the oral histories that have been archived so far:

  • John Cavallone follows his great-grandparents’ journey from Sassano, Italy, to Chicago, and talks about the founding by his grandfather of Cavallone’s Pizza at 63rd and Pulaski.
  • Lyn Scolaro speaks admiringly of her father, a hardworking heavy machine operator and longtime leader of the Veneti Nel Mondo in Chicago.
  • John Conenna explains how his father, Vincenzo, an immigrant from Mola di Bari, went from working for a bank to owning a travel agency while helping fellow Italian immigrants process a variety of documents from their homeland.
  • Frank Di Piero talks about his dual roots in Sicily and Abruzzo and how his family’s passion for Columbus Day fuels his current commitment to the holiday.

To find out more, click here.


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Fra Noi produces a magazine and website that serve the Chicago-area Italian-American community. Our magazine offers our readers a monthly feast of news and views, culture and entertainment that keeps our diverse and widely scattered readers in touch with each other and their heritage. Our website offers a dizzying array of information drawn from every corner of the local community.

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