Columbus Under Attack - Defend Our Heritage

A Message From Sons of Italy® National President Daniel J. Longo

October 12, 2015, WASHINGTON D.C.

More than 500 years ago, an Italian Renaissance navigator set sail and changed the course of history forever.

When Cristoforo Colombo was commissioned to search for a new path to the East, he did not expect to find a New World. Nevertheless, he reached Hispaniola, charting a route from Europe to this newly discovered land, and established the first permanent European settlement in the western hemisphere.

Besides representing exploration, Columbus and Columbus Day have come to symbolize and celebrate the millions of immigrants, particularly those of Italian ancestry, who followed in his footsteps by traveling across the world with the hope of finding freedom and a chance to give their families a better future. His discovery is celebrated all over the United States with over 200 memorials and numerous parades taking place every year. The Pledge of Allegiance, which was written in celebration of the 400th anniversary of Columbus’ voyage, continues to be recited by school children across our nation.

Columbus had a dream of finding a new trade route and he was followed by another Italian explorer, Amerigo Vespucci, who shares his name with our great country. Dr. Vincenzo Sellaro, the founder of the Order Sons of Italy in America, also had a dream. His dream was that one day Italian Americans would be accepted and proud of their heritage, traditions and culture.

On this day, let us fulfill Dr. Sellaro’s dream by celebrating our heritage and remembering the Italians and Italian Americans who have changed the world – and continue to inspire us all.

Best wishes from the Sons of Italy for a happy Columbus Day and Italian-American Heritage Month.

Established in 1905, the Order Sons of Italy in America (OSIA) has hundreds of thousands of family members located in all fifty states and the District of Columbia. OSIA works at the community, national and international levels to promote the heritage and culture of an estimated 26 million Italian Americans, the nation's fifth largest ethnic group, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. To learn more, visit


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