R 295
2001-H 6530
Enacted 6/20/2001

H  O  U  S  E     R  E  S  O  L  U  T  I  O  N


Introduced By:  Representatives Costantino, Giannini, Cicilline, Corvese and Schadone Date Introduced:   June 20, 2001

WHEREAS, The House of Representatives of the State of Rhode Island supports "Italian-American Heritage Month" and recognizes the significant contributions Italian-Americans have made to the State of Rhode Island and the United States; and

WHEREAS, In April of 1524, Giovanni da Verrazzano, a mariner from Florence, Italy, set foot in what is now Rhode Island. His arrival at Block Island and his observation that it was about the size of the island of Rhodes later gave Rhode Island its name; and

WHEREAS, Other Italians, like Amerigo Vespucci and Christopher Columbus, were some of the first explorers to discover the American continents and illustrate the geography; and

WHEREAS, Italians and Italian-Americans have made great contributions to America's society economically, culturally, and politically; and

WHEREAS, Italians and Italian-Americans invented pianos, violins, calendars, radios, telescopes, compasses, microscopes, thermometers, eyeglasses, steam engines, typewriters, batteries and the wireless telegraph; and

WHEREAS, Italian-Americans have won prestigious prizes, such as the Nobel Prize, the Academy Award, the Pritzker Award for architecture, and the Fields Medal for mathematics; and

WHEREAS, Italian-Americans have toiled and labored while helping to build our nation's infrastructure, including railroads, tunnels, highways, and subways; and

WHEREAS, A great many Americans have enjoyed the entertainment provided by Italian-Americans, such as Hall of Fame baseball player Joe DiMaggio, heavyweight boxing champion Rocky Marciano, singers Frank Sinatra and Tony Bennett, composer Henry Mancini, motion picture Director Frank Capra (who directed the Hollywood classics, "It's a Wonderful Life," and "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington") and Oscar-winning actors Robert DeNiro and Al Pacino; and

WHEREAS, Great Italian-American political figures, such as Fiorello La Guardia (who was both Mayor of, then Congressman from New York City), Anthony Cellebreze (who in the Kennedy administration was the first Italian-American Cabinet member), Antonin Scalia (who in 1986 became the first Italian-American Supreme Court Justice), Mario Cuomo (who was the Governor of the State of New York), and Rhode Island Senator John O. Pastore (who, in 1945, became the first Italian-American Governor of Rhode Island), have enriched the political process and brought national pride to our country; and

WHEREAS, Over 5.4 million Italians immigrated to the United States between 1820 and 1921, which today has resulted in over 26 million Americans of Italian descent in the United States; making them the fifth largest ethnic group; and

WHEREAS, Rhode Island's Italian-American community boasts a rich history and unequaled vitality, adding much to the rich cultural diversity of the Ocean State; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That this House of Representatives of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations hereby declares the month of October to be "Italian-American Heritage Month," and recognizes the significant contributions that Italian-Americans have made to the State of Rhode Island and the United States; and be it further

RESOLVED, That the Secretary of State be and he is hereby authorized and directed to transmit a duly certified copy of this resolution to the Italian-American Heritage Commission, The Italian American Historical Society, and The Order of the Sons of Italy, Rhode Island.

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