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Tag Archives: History

Roman in the Provinces: Art on the Periphery of Empire

Egypt, 5th–6th century CE
Wool on linen, 18 x 21 cm
Donald and Barbara Tellalian, 1982-02500

Opening February 14, the Boston College exhibit presents a vast array of textiles, inscriptions, sculpture, glass, coins, and pottery from the 2nd–6th century to explore the lives and experiences of people living in the provinces through evidence gleaned from their material culture.

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Christmas Tree Origins and an 1896 Celebration in the North End

albero-di-natale

I always grew up with a decorated Christmas tree. Along with the Manger, the tree seemed both a very Italian and a very Catholic thing to have in the house. The gifts were under the tree and we usually opened them on Christmas morning. I know now, but I didn’t know then, that in Italy people give gifts on the eve of the Epiphany, January 6, and they are brought by La Befana. Today, this tradition still holds, though Babbo Natale and the giving of gifts on Christmas day are becoming more popular in Italy (and many other places, such ...

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A Modern History Lesson in the North End

Screen Shot 2014-06-18 at 7.37.56 AM

Last July, I wrote about North Ender Cotton Mather and his involvement in what is called the “First American Revolution” of 1689. The “second” and more renowned American Revolution took place almost a hundred years later, and it too involved North Enders, like Robert Sexton and Paul Revere, playing a key role. That story is well-known, but it deserves retelling. However, I’m not going to do that here, at least not this year. Rather, I’d like to point out, truthfully, how oblivious I was to the history and historical sites I walked past every day as a kid. #sb10065822f-001 / ...

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“Street Corner Society” revisited

north-end-home23

On Jan. 8 of this year, Mario Di Leo and I visited the Schlesinger Library at Radcliffe College in Cambridge. The library is home to the archival records of the North Bennet Street Industrial School. The records run from 1880 to 1973, and include administrative, financial and personnel reports; information on the various school programs (such as Shaw House and Caddy Camp); studies of immigration and Americanization in the North End; letters, scrapbooks and photographs; and a lot more. Mario and I were looking for something in particular: folder IIAviii:39, titled “Correspondence re: “Street Corner Society,” 1944.” To explain why ...

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Historian Vincenza Scarpaci Presents ‘The Journey of Italians in America’

italians-home

On September 24, Italian American author and historian Vincenza Scarpaci presented her book, Journey of the Italians in America, at the North End branch of the Boston Public Library.

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Remembering Andrew Cuneo, Boston’s First Italian American Police Officer Killed in the Line of Duty (1921)

cuneo-home

August 13 marks the 90th anniversary of the death of Andrew Cuneo, Boston's first Italian American police officer to be killed in the line of duty. He will finally be commemorated by the city he gave his life for.

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