Italians of Sunnyside holds historic presentation at Historic Arkansas Museum Jan. 19

Jan 07, 2022 344

Wednesday, Jan. 19 from 6 - 7 p.m. in the Otteneheimer Theater, Historic Arkansas Museum, 200 E 3rd Street, Little Rock, AR. They came looking for the promised land. They found a nightmare. And they built it into a new life. This is the story of the Italians of Sunnyside. Lured from Italy to buy parts of Sunnyside Plantation, instead they were little more than slaves. Their plight led to a federal investigation, quashed by a powerful senator.

The Italian government eventually began discouraging emigrants from coming to Arkansas, instead steering them to other parts of the country. Many died. Others escaped to establish or join communities from northwest Arkansas to Chicago to Colorado Springs, and across America. And still others persevered at Sunnyside, building a thriving community in Lake Village, on the shores of Lake Chicot in the Arkansas Delta. Today, over 1 million Italian-Americans across the United States trace their roots to Sunnyside.

The Italians of Sunnyside Foundation and author/historian Elizabeth “Libby” Olivi Borgognoni have released the second edition of Italians of Sunnyside, telling the colony’s story. This expanded edition, fully indexed and annotated, shares never-before-told stories of the Italian colonists’ struggles and their faith.

Libby Borgnognoni and Anthony Borgognoni, executive director of the Foundation, will present the Italians of Sunnyside story at Historic Arkansas Museum in Little Rock. The event begins at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 19. After the presentation, mingle at a reception and book signing until 7 p.m. Directions may be found on the museum’s website here

Books will be available for purchase at the museum store.

Can’t attend the event? You can order a book directly from the Italians of Sunnyside Foundation. More information is available on the website at, or follow us on Facebook @ItaliansofSunnyside.

Contact: Anthony Borgognoni


SOURCE: The Italians of Sunnyside Foundation

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