BY: Janice Therese Mancuso
Who are the champions of our Italian American culture? What can we do to help preserve our Italian heritage? Thirty-One Days of Italians releases its 2019-20 List on its website at thirtyonedaysofitalians.com. The List provides a person of Italian heritage to learn about and celebrate for each day in October, Italian American Heritage Month.
In 2006, a record of Italians and Italian Americans who should be recognized for their extraordinary achievements was compiled and a website was created. The website features 74 names, but the annual List is limited to 31 – one for each day in October.
The first day in October honors the Italian immigrant and the last day is set aside to honor someone not on the List. Honorary Members are on the List every year. In alphabetical order, they are Father Pietro Bandini, Constantino Brumidi, Mother Francis Cabrini, Enrico Caruso, Christopher Columbus, Enrico Fermi, Amadeo Pietro Giannini, Guglielmo Marconi, Filippo Mazzei, Antonio Meucci, Maria Montessori, Andrea Palladio, Antonio Pasin, Arturo Toscanini, and Amerigo Vespucci.
Other names are rotated, giving everyone on Thirty-One Days of Italians a chance to have their day. The 2019-20 List includes (in alphabetical order) Father Michael Accolti, Helen Barolini, Joseph Barbera, Yogi Berra, Giovanni Caboto, Joe DiMaggio, Geraldine Ferraro, Lee Iacocca, Fiorello La Guardia, Vince Lombardi, Henry Mancini, Rocky Marciano, Dean Martin, and Frank Sinatra.
See the complete calendar of names and learn more about them at Thirty-One Days of Italians 2019-20 List.