Thursday, February 15, 2024

The Italian Honor Roll- 1942 and 1943

Memorial Day is still a few months away but every day is the right day to honor our veterans.  The Italians of Omaha were well represented in the Armed Forces during World War II.  We discussed these two newspaper pages at our last Zoom meeting and spent a good deal of time looking for relatives who served during World War II.

The American Citizen was dubbed the official organ of the Italian Americans of Omaha, Lincoln and Council Bluffs.  The Library of Congress offers the following notes about this newspaper:

  • -  Quarterly,
  • -  Began 1923 ; ceased Dec. 1985.
  • -  "A.C. Pini - Founder-Publisher, 1923-1957," Cf. pub. statement, 1971.
  • -  "An independent Italian language newspaper established in 1923 for Nebraska and W. Iowa," <1971-73>.
  • -  "La nostra modesta opera per tener viva la nostra lingua," <1971-73> ; trans." Our modest effort to keep our language alive."
  • -  Masthead ornament: Title emblazoned across the Statue of Liberty.
  • -  "Official organ of the "Order Sons of Italy in America" .
  • -  Available on microfilm (1938-1985) from Nebraska State Historical Society. [Also available at Omaha Public Library and on
  • -  English and Italian.
  • -  Description based on: 58th year, no. 9 (July 30, 1981); title from caption.
  • -  Latest issue consulted: (July 30, 1981).

See if you can find your surnames represented amongst the soldiers and sailors on these two lists. You may need to download the image to zoom in depending on the type of device you are using to view these images. On a PC, I recommend that you right click on the image and save it or open it in a new window.  This will allow you to see the image at its full size.

Monday, February 12, 2024

Arrival Story 1960- Vacanti Siblings Together Again

Do you have arrival stories about your immigrant ancestor?  We are looking for stories about how your immigrant ancestors arrived in the United States.  We are assuming that most immigrants traveled by train to one of the major ports including Palermo, Messina and Naples. I was searching the newspapers for arrival stories and found this one that my friends in Omaha might appreciate. The text from the newspaper article is transcribed below the image for easier reading.

‘Kid Brother’ in Italy Joins Family

-World-Herald Photo Caption: Mrs. Randazzo, Mrs. Anzalone, Yano, Joseph Vacanti... Happiest Christmas in 40 years

One of the happiest Yule-tide seasons in 40 years will be observed at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Sam Randazzo, 2422 South Nineteenth Street The reason: Arrival Friday night of Yano Vacanti, Mrs. Randazzo’s brother from Italy.

Another sister and a brother in Omaha will also share in the Christmas gladness. 

They are Mrs. Nancy Anzalone 2516 South Eleventh Street and Joseph Vacanti 1718 Martha Street. 

It was 40 years ago that Mrs. Randazzo, Mrs. Anzalone and Mr. Vacanti left their native land to seek opportunity in America. 

Yano was only five years old so he stayed behind with his parents. 

Mr. and Mrs. Anzalone visited Italy nine years ago so had no difficulty recognizing Yano when he stepped off the train with his wife and two sons. 

Though the entire family originated in Carlentini, Yano has been making his residence in Palermo He is a bricklayer. 

Yano said through an interpreter that it has been nine years since he initiated his attempt to get to this country.

“Everything looks good to me” he said. 

What will he do for employment in Omaha? Lay bricks of course. 

He will go to' work for his brother and brother-in-law. They have their own I brick-laying contracting company. 

Omaha World-Herald
18 Dec 1960
Page 26