John Vecchio Tells The Story Of Mariano Lucca And Columbus Day

Oct 27, 2023 627

BY: Chris

This week’s guest, John Vecchio, is Executive Director Emeritus of the Centro Culturale Italiano di Buffalo. He starts by telling us about this center and what it took to create it during Covid. In the show’s second half, Vecchio tells the origin story of Columbus Day and the irony of President Harrison’s attempt to use it to apologize to Italian-Americans and the country of Italy for a mass lynching of Italians in Louisiana.

As the holiday became more popular, Buffalo News reporter Mariano Lucca organized an effort to have the Federal Government formally recognize it as a national holiday. Vecchio shares a telegram Lucca received from President John F. Kennedy. Congress finally passed the law that established several Monday holidays in 1968, to become effective in 1971. Columbus Day was included in this.

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