October is Italian-American Heritage Month

October 1, 2014, will mark the 15th anniversary of Italian-American Heritage Month in the state of Massachusetts. A grand ceremony at the State House that day (6-10 p.m.) will kick off a month-long series of Italian-related events and happenings all across the Commonwealth.

Organized by the Italian American Heritage Month Committee, the ceremony will celebrate the impact Italian culture and language have had and continue to have in American society. The evening’s master of ceremonies will be Radio Hall of Famer Ron Della Chiesa.

The evening’s honorees include State Rep. Angelo Scaccia (D-Readville), who serves the Commonwealth since 1973; retired Judge Joseph V. Ferrino, co- founder of Italian-American Heritage Month; and Pamela Donnaruma, publisher and editor of the Boston Post-Gazette, one of the country’s oldest ethnic newspapers and a recent addition to Washington D.C.’s Newseum. An In Memoriam award will be given to the late Gov. Argeo Paul Cellucci and will be accepted on his behalf by his wife Janet Cellucci.

Several important anniversaries will also be celebrated during the evening, such as the 140th anniversary of the birth of Nobel Prize winner Guglielmo Marconi and the 80th anniversary of the 1934 Nobel Prize in Literature given to Luigi Pirandello.

Italian-American Heritage Month was instituted in Massachusetts in 1999, after a concerted effort by the community and the help of then-Gov. Argeo Paul Cellucci made it possible to have October officially designated as the month to celebrate the community’s Italian heritage.

According to U.S. Census data from 2009, “Italian” remains among the top five ancestry groups declared in surveys, while Massachusetts is sixth in the country when it comes to total Italian American population (13.5%, U.S. Census 2000), according to the National Italian American Foundation.

The event is free and open to the public. A light dinner and refreshments will be served. For press inquiries or for more information, call 617-230-7495 or email [email protected]

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