For Ron Onesti, the president of Chicago’s Joint Civic Committee of Italian Americans, Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s decision to remove the city’s three statues of Christopher Columbus after violent protests was a bitter pill to swallow.While most of the media attention focused on the city’s overnight removal of the explorer’s statue in Grant Park, Onesti...

I’m so proud to be writing to you as the new president of the Joint Civic Committee of Italian Americans. It’s a sacred trust I take as seriously as anything I’ve ever done. I have big plans for our venerable organization, and there will be plenty of time to share those with you in the coming months. Right now, though, we need to bear down on a tim...

As current president of the National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame, and someone who has been blessed to call Tommy Lasorda a close friend for more than 30 years because of it, I was deeply saddened this week as we lost another American hero. The Hall of Fame began as an Italian American Boxing Hall of Fame in 1977, founded by George Randazzo...

The new year is expected to bring new life to the Arcada Theatre in downtown St. Charles, which has been closed since March because of the COVID-19 pandemic. When it reopens, the building will not look the same. The historic theater and its sister operation, Club Arcada, are undergoing a major renovation project that includes new eateries, hotel su...

The Joint Civic Committee of Italian Americans is proud to announce the unanimous election of Ron Onesti as its new President. The JCCIA is the umbrella organization of almost fifty organizations in the Chicago area and has produced Chicago’s Columbus Day Parade since its inception in 1952. Ron will lead the Italian American community in fostering...

On Dec. 12, Frank Sinatra will have turned 105. In those 100-plus years, few people in modern history have been as iconic, with as much influence on popular music as he had. His songs are timeless and his persona was legendary. I recently came across some vintage pix of "Ol' Blue Eyes," and it reminded me just how much he was a part of my "inner cu...

For many of us, looking ahead to the year 2021 represents a possible return to “normal”… but in the heart of one of Chicago’s Little Italy neighborhoods, a more than 40 old Italian American institution is gearing up to reclaim its rightful spot on the Italian American map! This week, host John Viola is sitting down with longtime friend, and newly-a...

I am the son of a proud World War II veteran, Squad Leader Sgt. Albert J. Onesti, #36682557, Unites States Army, 179th Infantry, 45th Division "Thunderbirds" -- with battles in Rome, Southern France, Anzio. My hero. For the first 10 years of my life, I lived in the building my grandparents settled in upon their emigration from Italy in 1911. It was...

October 12 2020 Roma, Italy / The United States

Columbus Day in Chicago will look different this year as the fight for the return of the Columbus statues weighs heavy on the Italian American community. One of the Columbus statues removed this summer sat at Arrigo Park. It was relocated because of violent protests, but not destroyed. Italian Americans say enough is enough and to put the statues b...