Celebrate Italian American Heritage Month with Thirty-One Days of Italians

Celebrating Italian Heritage By Acknowledging the Accomplishments of Italians and Italian Americans

Who are the champions of our Italian American culture? What can we do to help preserve our Italian heritage?

In 2006, a record of Italians and Italian Americans who should be recognized for their extraordinary achievements was compiled and “Thirty-One Days of Italians” 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:

Father Michael Accolti

One of the first Italian Jesuits to work as a Missionary in the Pacific Northwest. In 1844, he traveled to Oregon to work with Native Americans and later went to San Francisco to minister in the Gold Rush town.

Helen Barolini

The author of more than 50 literary works, many depicting Italian American culture from a woman’s point of view. Her classic novel “Umbertina,” published in 1979, received the “Women in Literature” Award and is often a resource in college classes that examine women and culture.

Joseph Barbera

Half of the famed Hanna-Barbera Productions, creators of numerous classic animated shows including “The Flintstones,” “The Yogi Bear Show,” “The Jetsons” and “Scooby Doo.”

Yogi Berra

Popular baseball player, manager and coach as famous for his quotes – known as yogi-isms – as for his sports career.

Giovanni Caboto

A spice merchant who became an expert navigator, he sailed for England, known as John Cabot, landing on the North American continent in 1497 and claiming the “new found land” for King Henry VII.

Joe DiMaggio

Known for his gracefulness on the field, he brought the New York Yankees to nine World Championships and still holds the record for the longest hitting streak of 56 games.

Geraldine Ferraro

The first woman nominated on a major party ticket for vice President of the United States, she was also commended for her work in the Special Victims Bureau as a Queen’s County (NY) Assistant District Attorney.

Lee Iacocca

As CEO of Chrysler Corporation, he turned it from the verge of bankruptcy into receiving record-breaking profits and headed the Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation to raise funds for the largest American restoration to date.

Fiorello La Guardia

The first three-term mayor of New York City and credited for changing its landscape and establishing the foundation for the city’s growth after the Depression. 

Vince Lombardi

Throughout a football career that started in his teens, he played fullback and guard, was a freshman and varsity coach, assistant coach and head coach. The Super Bowl trophy was changed to the Vince Lombardy Trophy in his honor.

Henry Mancini

He arranged, composed, conducted, and performed music for movies and television for more than 40 years, receiving a Golden Globe, four Academy Awards, 20 Grammy Awards, and a posthumous Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.

Rocky Marciano

The only heavyweight world champion to retire undefeated, and still holds the title – with 43 knockouts in 49 fights – more than 60 years after his final fight. He defended his title six times (with five knockouts) before retiring from boxing.

Dean Martin

With a career spanning almost 60 years, he is one of the most popular entertainers of the 20th century, performing on stage, radio, television, and film.

Frank Sinatra

An international entertainment icon on stage, radio, television, and films and still influencing musicians today. He is also known as a philanthropist of many causes, and was the leading force behind desegregation in Las Vegas.

Visit www.thirtyonedaysofitalians.com to see the complete calendar of names and learn more about each person honored.

Biographies have been updated and new resources have been added.