Tag Archives: William Dal Cerro

Rewriting the script

On March 14, 1891, in New Orleans, 11 Italians found not guilty in a murder trial were dragged from their jail cells by thousands of enraged citizens, who promptly shot and hanged them. More than eight decades later, on March 14, 1972, another assault on Italian immigrants took place, this time on a cultural level. On that day, “The Godfather” premiered at the Loew Loew’s Theater in New York. The epic gangster film broke box-office records and set the standard for movie blockbusters on the way to becoming an American classic, replete with memorable quotes like “Leave the gun. Take …

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Chicago-area activists pay tribute to downstate mining disaster

On Nov. 10, Chicago-area activists Carlo Vaniglia, Frank Di Piero and Dominic Candeloro travelled west to Cherry, Illinois, to commemorate the 110th anniversary of the Cherry mine disaster. They laid a wreath at the monument that honors the 259 victims of the mine fire, 73 of whom were Italian immigrants, mainly from Emilia Romagna. It was the third worst disaster in American mining history. Welcomed with open arms by the descendants of the miners, the trio promised that they would share their story with the Chicago-area Italian-American community.  

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Here we go again

A huge warehouse. Rival gangs. Bad blood. It all came together when a group of gangsters, dressed as outsiders, surprised their rivals and murdered them in cold blood on a cold February day. We all know the story: the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre in Chicago, Feb. 14, 1929. Actually, no. The gang rub-out described above refers to the Wah Mee Massacre of Feb, 19, 1983, which took place in Seattle. Thirteen gangsters were brutally murdered as opposed to the seven who were killed in Chicago, thus making it the worst mass gang slaying in American history. And yet, no one …

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We deserve better

“In almost every act of our daily lives, whether in the sphere of politics or business, in our social conduct or our ethical thinking, we are dominated by the relatively small number of persons … who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses. It is they who pull the wires which control the public mind.” No, that’s not a quote from a conspiracy theorist. Nor does its vaguely sinister overtone belong to someone like Josef Goebbels, Hitler’s vile minister of propaganda. Ironically, it’s a quote from Edward Bernays, the brilliant 20th-century American credited as the father of …

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