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Page 8 POST-GAZETTE, JANUARY 28, 2011 Local & Family History Lecture Series AT THE BOSTON PUBLIC LIBRARY Historians and Genealogists to Visit Copley Square The Boston Public Library's Local & Family History Lecture Series enters its eighth year. Speakers will shed light on topics such as Boston's metamorphosis into an intellectual and cultural hub, uncovering family con- nections to the Civil War, and what drove Boston-inns to dump tons of tea into the har- bor on a cold December night in 1773. The series alter- nates between topics of local historical interest and in- struction for those interested in genealogical research. A particular focus of the 2011 series is the men and women of the Civil War Era, as the nation marks the 150th anniversary of the start of the conflict. All local and family history series lectures take place in the Orientation Room of the McKim Building at the Central Library in Copley Square. Wednesday, February 9, 6:30pro: FROM THE NORTH END TO BEACON HILL: BOSTON'S BLACK COMMU- NITY SINCE 1783 -- Alex R. Goldfeld, public historian and author, will share informa- tion on Boston's African- American community from the Revolution through the Civil War. Located on the north slope of Beacon Hill, once considered part of the old West End, this relatively small group of people fought for -- and won -- the aboli- tion of slavery and civil rights for African Americans. Alex spent four years at Boston's Museum of African Ameri- can History, overseeing the visitor experience, manag- ing the historic sites, and fa- cilitating tours of the Black Heritage Trail. Wednesday, February 23, 6:30pm: GENEALOGICAL MATERIALS AT THE BOS- TON ROMAN CATHOLIC ARCHDIOCESE -- The Catholic Archdiocese of Boston holds more than 1,300 original sacramental registers that are open to research. The records reveal information not found in any other source. Cemetery and school records have also recently been made avail- able to the public. Michael Brophy, a professional ge- nealogical researcher, col- umnist, and lecturer in the Boston area, will offer tips on learning about family from these records. Wednesday, March 9, 6:30pm: ABOLITIONISTS, NURSES, AND WRITERS: BOSTON WOMEN DURING THE CIVIL WAR -- Bonnie Hurd Smith tells the stories of women from Boston who served as nurses, worked on sanitary commissions, raised funds and cared for their wounded men. From Louisa May Alcott and Julia Ward Howe to Mary Rice Ashton Livermore, Boston women did their part during the Civil War and left behind a legacy of honor and service to our nation. Smith, an indepen- dent scholar and author, is the former director of the Boston Women's Heritage Trail and the creator of the Boston Women & the Law walking trail. Wednesday, March 23, 6:30pm: PHOTOGRAPHY, THE CIVIL WAR, AND YOUR FAMILY PICTURES- Photography brought the re- alities of the Civil War home in battlefield scenes and in individual portraits of sol- diers. Maureen Taylor, an internationalIy-known ex- pert on photo identification, will discuss photographic methods used during the Civil War and offer tips on deciphering the clues in im- ages to place family photo- graphs in historical context. Wednesday, April 13, 6:30pro: DEFIANCE OF THE PATRIOTS: THE BOSTON TEA PARTY AND THE MAKING OF AMERICA -- Benjamin L. Carp tells the story of the Tea Party -- ex- Boston Redevelopment Authority The Boston Redevelopment Authority will host a public meeting regarding iGarden Garage Monday, February 7-6-8PM The Shriners Hospital for Children Auditorium 51 Blossom Street, Boston Project Proponent: Equity Residential Project Description: This community meeting is being held in compliance with Article 80 of the Boston Zoning Code to present to the community the Equity Residential (the "Proponent") proposal to replace the existing 710-space Garden Garage on Lomasney Way with two (2) major buildings with heights of approximately 240 and 310 feet and an 850-space parking structure that will extend 50 feet below grade (the "Proposed Project"). The redevelopment of the site will involve demolition of the existing garage and a small, vacant one-stow wooden structure formerly used as the Boston Children's School Annex. The Proposed Project provides approximately 985,000 sq ft of development, of: which approximately 551,000 sq ft is residential space, 22,000 sq ft is common area and amenity space for residents, and approximately 385,000 sq ft is for parking and mechanical equipment. The 21-story North Tower will contain approximately 200 residential units and the 28-story South Tower will have approximately 300 units Close of Comment Period: Friday, February 25, 2011 Jay Rourke, Boston Redevelopment Authority One City Hall Square. 9th FI, Boston, MA 02201 PHONE." 617.918.4317 FAX: 617.742.7783 EMAIL: Jay.Rourke.BRA@CityofBoston.gov Brian P. Golden Executive Director/Secretory ploding myths, exploring the unique city life of Boston, and setting this extra-ordinary event in a global context. On the evening of December 16, 1773, a group of disguised Bostonians boarded three merchant ships and dumped more than 46 tons of tea into Boston Harbor. The Bos- ton Tea Party, an audacious and revolutionary act, set the stage for war and cemented certain values in the Ameri- can psyche that many still cherish today. In this talk, Carp will answer such ques- tions as why it happened and what it meant. Wednesday, April 27, 6:30pm: URBAN TRACINGS: A PRIMER OF BOSTON- AREA REPOSITORIES -- Alice Kane will draw a path to Boston-area repositories encountered in her work as a professional genealogist and historical researcher. She will describe each facil- ity and discuss useful re- sources particular to each. Chinese-American Kane is a native Bostonian and worked in the Boston Public Library's Microtext Department before becoming a professional ge- nealogist and researcher. Wednesday, May I I, 6:30pro: A CITY SO GRAND: THE RISE OF AN AMERICAN METROPOLIS, BOSTON 1850-1900 -- Stephen Puleo is an author, historian and university teacher. A City So Grand: The Rise of an Ameri- can Metropolis, Boston 1850- 1900, his fourth book, tells the story of Boston's stunning metamorphosis into one of the world's great metropo- lises -- one that achieved national and international prominence in politics, medi- cine, education, science, so- cial activism, literature, commerce and :transporta- tion. Puleo is also the author of The Boston Italians: A story of Pride, Perseverance, and Paesani from the Years of the Great Immigration to the Present Day; Dark Tide: The Great Boston Molasses Flood of 1919; and Due to Enemy Ac- tion: The True World War H Story of the USS Eagle-56. Wednesday, May 25, 6:30pm: CIVIL WAR ANCESTORS: A PANEL DISCUSSION -- Four mem- bers of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States (MOLLUS) will share the history of this hereditary organization, discuss re- search methods for finding records of Civil War ances- tors and offer readings from ancestors' writings. The four descendants of Civil War vet- erans who will share their stories are: Frederick Stevens, a retired U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel and current commander for the Massachusetts Commander of MOLLUS; Douglass Knight, a specialist in researching Civil War military records; John Taft, a WWll veteran and past commander of the Massachusetts MOLLUS and Edward Welsh, a collector of Civil War artifacts and a Civil War re-enactor. For further info, visit the Boston Public Library website at www.bpl.org. Ritorno in Italia by Tony Ghezzo The dream of every person who migrates to another land is to one day return to domestic shores, after hav- ing obtained success in the foreign country, and revisit the sites and experiences of yesteryear. The people, places and feelings left behind have haunted the migrant through the years of absence, so curiosity and emotion bring him back to his native land to relive the past in the comfort of a more prosperous and secure position in life. I go back to Italy now and then and every time I do I find that the coun- try is changing rapidly. Of course not everything; for example, some habits peculiar to the old country remain, such as the small food stores emanating old familiar scents, the pace of life slower than bustling America, especially in the small towns and those bells ringing from the local steeple in the main piazza which sadly announce we are only pawns of fate. And here is the solicitous smile of the old folks at the calf6 who wave their hands and proclaim to you: "Bravo, sei tomato a casaF The little details of old Italy still beckon to you but change is at hand: the local Internet shop is run by Pakistanis, and the Chinese restau- rants are sprouting here and there. The little children sitting at the border of the large fountain spouting wa- ter from a stone statue are holding small colored cell phones to their ears and sending God knows what personal messages to their peers. The landscape is changing too: large malls have been built, usually at the outskirts of towns, with enormous parking areas surrounding them; it is interesting to see the cunning system used to avoid the scattering of shop- ping carts: you need to put a Euro coin in the slot to re- move the cart. To get you money back you must rein- state the cart in the proper stall. Inside the mall you find everything under the sun, from fresh produce to cloth- ing to restaurants. Shopping in such structure affords great variety and perhaps value, but I miss the color- ful exchange with the ven- dor, the small excitement I used to experience in get- ting a special cut of meat or choice fresh fruit. I console myself by driv- ing back to the center of town and feasting on fresh croissants (cornetti) and a cappuccino made in heaven (creamy foam mixed with strong aromatic espresso). The old folks complain: "You see how expensive fruit and vegetables are?" "Son tutti ladri', they are all thieves!!l And the influx of foreign immigrants seeking a bet- ter place in life has lit up prejudice and distrust. Was I not welcomed in the same way when I landed in the USA? I don't remember be- ing antagonized much, but then I was educated and I did speak decent English. Many of these immigrants enter- ing Italy come from dirt poor conditions in their country especially those from Africa or some parts of Eastern Europe. I see them clustered in the parks, in Milan, Parma, Venice or Rome. They carry ghetto blasters and they shout at each other in their incomprehensible language. Some have kids who go to Italian schools and speak Italian; they are now inte: grating a lot better than their parents. Some of them populate the factories in the North and fruit and veg- etable farms in the South, handling physically hard jobs, the jobs Italian young men avoid, and some live close to or in the midst of crime. This invasion is tak- ing place all over Europe and the landscape of the old con- tinent is undergoing drastic changes. Most of the resentment of the local population comes from those who feel that the Christian religion is being subverted. When America welcomed the large mass of immigrants in the 19th and 20th century the people streaming into American cities were the Germans, the Irish, the. Italians, the Jews. Their religions were connected to the main fiber of America: even the Latinos now pouring in are Catholic. But Europe is facing a large influx of Islam, and Islam has been for century the despised enemy. In Italy it is too easy to recall the bitter rivalry of the Islamic Turks for the control of the Mediterranean. The villages of southern Italy adjacent to the sea were built or moved to high grounds where the marauding Turkish pirates could be spotted before they would siege and destroy the small Italian towns. The Italians are watching with alarm the construction of mosques and the presence of veiled women. One can only hope that a process of friendly coexistence might diffuse some perceived hostility. An old friend com- plains: "They are request- ing that Christ on the cross be removed from the classroom, because they say their children are spooked by a naked man dying and nailed!!" He adds: "In their country they do not allow building of Christian churches, and they come here to change our way of life!I" What is the Italian scene going to be in a few decades? I sincerely hope that we can teach our children the great privilege we have been be- stowed by fate, of a country excelling in art, inventive- ness, wit and taste and that the achievements of our beautiful, blessed country of origin will be preserved for history. Taken from L'Italo Americano WWW.BOSTONPOSTGAZETTE.COM