Sunday, October 12, 2008

Dedication of Columbus Statue 1937 (Roselli and Sinatra)/The NJ Italian American Heritage Commission

From "The Jimmy Roselli Story" by David Evanier a fine biography on Hoboken's Jimmy Roselli and a wonderful historical narrative of Hoboken during the first part of the 20th Century..."When they finally shared the stage for the first and last time- at the dedication (presided over by Mayor Barney McFeeley) of the Christopher Columbus Statue in the Christopher Columbus Park in Hoboken on October 12, 1937-Sinatra was on his way. Roselli was twelve; Sinatra was twenty-two. Today Roselli's house looks down into the park." Today marks the 71st anniversary of both the dedication of the statue in Columbus Park as well as the only time Mr. Roselli and Mr. Sinatra performed in public.

The NEW JERSEY ITALIAN AMERICAN HERITAGE COMMISSION* raises public awareness of the rich and varied culture, positive achievements and traditions of Italy, the Italian people, and Italian Americans as these have contributed to American, western and world civilization.

The Commission carries out its responsibilities through public and privately sponsored resources and programs. These activities are designed to enhance and develop better understanding and appreciation for youth and adult Italian Americans and the public at large regarding the global and new world experiences of Italians and Italian Americans. These informed persons constitute an ever-increasing number of ambassadors to spread the message of understanding, respect and appreciation of Italian heritage and culture to the general public in New Jersey.

The more than two million descendents of Italian immigrants in New Jersey form a vast untapped reservoir for the development of leadership talent. Sharing a common purpose, they will be the essential driving force to develop and sustain the work and goals of the Commission. Knowledge of the unique past and present global contributions and accomplishments of the inhabitants of the Italian peninsula both before and after its unification in 1861, form a necessary foundation for a complete understanding of the contributions and accomplishments of Italian Americans to the new world and to New Jersey. The Commission engages in the development, support and production of educational programs, forums, seminars, publications and exchanges for schools and the private and public sector audiences throughout the state. The Commission brings long overdue recognition to Italian accomplishments that have improved the quality of life for all, be it the sciences, jurisprudence, the fine and performing arts, technology, medicine, literature, philosophy, trade and commerce. This largest immigrant group to New Jersey at the turn of the nineteenth century represents in deed and symbolizes as a model for others, how America, as the world's oldest flourishing democracy, was built on the love, sweat and tears of its immigrant ethnic peoples.

Our great nation and state were built by numerous emigrant groups. Thus, respect for all ethnic groups is a cornerstone of our values. For more information see:

*Founded as: New Jersey Commission on Italian and Americans of Italian HeritageCultural and Educational Programs, P.L. 2001 Chapter 343 C.18A 4-42The New Jersey Commission on Italian and Americans of Italian Heritage Cultural and Educational Programs is a body operating under its own by laws, policies and positions consistent with the requirements set forth in -PL 2001, Chapter 343 C.18A4-42 of the New Jersey legislature. It serves the Department of Education and the public at large to provide curricular resource guides, information and other resources to assist in meeting the requirements of the law for the study of the culture, history, contributions and heritage of Italians and Americans of Italian heritage