Columbus Day Celebration Unites Rochester's Italian American Community

Oct 01, 2022 569

The leadership pf Rochester’s Italian American community, including all Italian Civic League organizations, and Rochester’s Historic Little Italy Neighborhood, will unite in the Town of Gates, NY, to celebrate Columbus Day, on October 10th, 2022, at the Italian American Community Center (150 Frank Dimino Way).

The Columbus Day program begins with a flag raising at 11:15AM, followed by Lunch served at Noon. The event will feature various dignitaries and an awards ceremony, including a “Lifetime Achievement Award” presented to local entrepreneur and former honorary Vice Consul of Italy, Mario Daniele. This year’s celebration is the 81st annual Columbus Day celebration. It has been held annually in the Rochester area since 1941.

Columbus Day was officially created in 1892, by U.S. President Benjamin Harrison, following the lynching of 11 Italians in Louisiana, and to commemorate the 400th Anniversary of Columbus’ historic voyage and arrival in the New World. Columbus Day was first recognized as a U.S. National Holiday by Proclamation of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1934. Columbus Day then became a Federal Holiday in 1966, after Mariano Lucca founded the National Columbus Day Committee, lobbying to finally make it a federal holiday in the United States.

Columbus Day was created as an apology to Italian Americans, after 11 Italians of Sicilian origin were wrongfully accused of killing a police chief, and then brutally clubbed to death and lynched in a public square in New Orleans in 1891. That horrific incident is still the biggest single-day mass lynching in U.S. history, for any culture.

The Mayor of New Orleans, Latoya Cantrell, has since formally apologized in 2019, for the mass lynching incident of 1891. Please see here

“Rochester’s Italian American community is proud to unite to continue to celebrate Columbus Day in the Rochester area, as an official U.S. National Holiday, and as part of our culture and heritage in the United States”, said Quintino DiCesare , president of the Italian Civic League.

“It’s sad and unfortunate that the City of Rochester’s cancel culture has chosen to eliminate Columbus Day this year. The leadership of Rochester’s Italian American community is united in celebrating Columbus Day in the Town of Gates, which has profound respect for our culture and heritage, and our many contributions to this area,” said Little Italy Founder Silvano Orsi.

About the Italian Civic league of Rochester:
The Italian Civic League of Rochester was founded in 1932 and serves as a forum and an umbrella organization for the Italian American Organizations in Rochester, NY, to share ideas, communicate on issues affecting all organizations, and schedule events without overlapping. Our member organizations include small social clubs, institutions of learning, and organizations that focus on culture and community, and more. New members are welcome -- please see our website and our contact information: 

SOURCE: Italian Civic League Rochester, New York

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