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Italian Americans Salute Columbus in 4 Historic Photos


AS FAR BACK AS 1892, the 400th anniversary of the discovery of America by Christopher Columbus, Italians in their new homeland paid tribute to one of history’s greatest figures. In Scranton, Pennsylvania, members of the Italian American community marked the date depicting Columbus’ landing with this float. Following the parade, they gathered to dedicate a statue of Columbus, created by Italian sculptor Alberto Cottini.


IN NEW MEXICO, the Associazione Italiana di Mutua Protezione Cristoforo Colombo was formed in 1892 by Italian Americans citizens residing in Albuquerque. The founding sixty-two members constructed Columbus Hall located at 416 North Second Street, pictured here in a 1910 photo. The three-story building contained a banquet room, bar, dance floor and a card room, where members could play their favorite games. Outside the building was a bocce court.


TAMPA, FLORIDA’S Italian American enclave commemorated Columbus’ voyages to the New World with celebrations such as this in the early part of the last century. Immigrants from Italy made the event a community endeavor, welcoming the Cuban and Spanish people to join with them. In the background is a streetcar driven by Columbus himself!


GREAT FALLS, MONTANA, was the setting for this 1941 photo. Founded as the Vittorio Emanuele Club in 1891, it evolved into the Cristoforo Colombo Lodge No. 2. Above, the club marked their 50th anniversary and was attended by first and second generation Italian Americans and their families.