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Page14 ' POST-GAZETTE, OCTOBER 10, 2014 .... qP ,wB Albert Sacco, Jr. U.S. TRIBUTES TO CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS Boston has the oldest statue of Columbus. It was raised in 1849 (circa} and believed to be sponsored by Marquis Niccolo Reggio, an Italian businessman and consul in Boston for the Pa- pal States, Spain, and the kingdoms of Sardinia and of the Two Siciiies. It stands in Louisburg Square. The oldest tribute to Columbus still standing is in Baltimore, Maryland. It is a stone obelisk, erected in 1792 {on his estate)by French Chevalier Charles D'Annemour, the {French Consul} to the city. In the 1960s, however, the mon- ument was moved to the Samuel Ready Institute on North Avenue and Harford Road. Philadelphia claims the first monument to Columbus entirely funded by public do- nations. The statue was erected in 1876 by Italian Americans in the city to cel- ebrate the centennial of the Declaration of Independence. The largest and most im- posing monument to Colum- bus stands in New York City's Columbus Circle at 59th Street. The 14-foot marble statue of Columbus rests on a granite column 61 feet high (total: 75 feet). It was erected in 1892 from contributions by Italian Americans across the country, led by the Ital- ian American newspaper, II Progresso. ITALIAN AMERICAN WOMEN The first American singer to perform at New York's famed Metropolitan Opera House without European training was Rosa Pon-selle. Born Rosa Ponzillo in Con- necticut, "the Cinder-ella of Opera," made her debut at the Met in 1918 when she was 21 in Verdi's La Forza del Destino, opposite Enrico Caruso after being discov- ered in vaudeville. She played over 20 roles in her 19-year career at the Met, retiring in 1936 to marry and teach. She died in 1981 at age 83. The first woman to run for national office was Geraldine Ferraro. who was the Democratic candidate for vice president in 1984. Mrs. Ferraro also served in Con- gress, representing a district in Queens, New York, from 1979 to 1985. The first woman ever elected governor in her own right was Ella T. Grasso of Connecticut. Born in 1919, Ella Grasso was elected to 00talian 00merican 00]acts 00Ttalian Heritage 004onth U.S. House of Representa- tives in 1970. According to the Library of Congress, Mrs. Grasso was also the first Ital- ian American woman elected to Congress. She served un- til 1975 when she was elected governor of Connecti- cut. Ella Grasso died of can- cer in 1981 at age 62. Penny Marshall (nee Carole Penny Masciarelli) has made a remarkable tran- sition from star of the hit TV series Laverne & Shirley to one of the few women direc- tors in HoUywood. Her second film, Big in 1988, made her the first woman director in American history to direct a film that earned $100 mil- lion. Her other films include Jumping Jack Flash, Awaken- ings, and A League of Their Own. ITALIAN AMERICANS IN SCIENCE AND MEDICINE In 1849, 27 years before Alexander Graham Bell an- nounced that he invented the telephone, Antonio Meucci invented the 'teletrofono" in his native Flo- rence and emigrated to America the following year. Meucci attempted to secure a U.S. patent, but could not afford the patent fees. He died in 1899. never recognized for his invention, Vincent R. Ciccone se- cured over 20 patents begin- ning in the 1930s for tech- niques that contributed to the mass production of peni- cillin and revol!ztionized the  way medicine is combined with hard candy. His method is widely used in the produc- tion of cough drops. Albert Sacco, Jr., the chairman of the chemistry department at Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Mas- sachusetts, flew to the moon in 1995 on the Shuttle Columbia. ITALIAN AMERICAN BUSINESS LEADERS AND ENTREPRENEURS When Prohibition was lifted in 1933, brothers Brnest and Jullo Galio took their entire savings of about $5,000, and began producing wine from the vineyards their father had owned in California. They made a profit of 834,000 in their first year of business and helped launch Cali- fomia's wine industry. Today more than 100 wineries in the U.S. are owned by Italian Americans. Mr. Coffee, the best-selling coffee maker in the world. was invented by Wince Marotta, who also invented the paper coffee filter and developed a better way to ex- tract oil from coffee beans. Since 1972, more than 50 by Ray Barron Henry Mancini million Mr. Coffees have been sold. An estimated 10 billion Mr. Coffee paper filters are sold annually. The Bank of Italy was established in 1904 by Amadeo Pietro ("A.P.") Giann/ni (1870-1949) in San Francisco. In 1928, it became the Bank of America and in 1998 the bank, now called the BankAmerica Corp., merged with NationsBank Corp. to become the largest bank in the country. Giannini fi- nanced the Golden Gate Bridge, and the fledgling film industry, including Cecil B. DeMille's "Ten Command- ments," and Disney's "Snow White," as well as California's aerospace and agricultural industries. ITALIAN AMERICANS IN U.S. MILITARY HISTORY Bancroft Gerardi was the first: Italian American to at- tain the rank of U.S. Admi- ral. He and Louis Sartori were U.S. naval commodores during the U.S.-Mexican War. The first Italian American to receive the U.S. Congres- sional Medal of Honor was Luigi Palma di Cesnola, a Union general in the Civil War, who later became the first director of the Metropoli- tan Museum of Art in New York City. Anthony Zlnnl, a Four- star General, veteran Marine and the son of Italian immi- grants, commanded Opera- tion Desert Fox, the U.S. bombing of Iraq in 1998. It was the largest U.S. offensive since the Gulf War in 1991. A highly decorated officer, he is Commander-in-Chief of the U.S. Central Command. ITALIAN AMERICANS IN POLITICS Neapolitan immigrant Attilio Piccirilli and his five brothers carved the statue of Lincoln for The Lincoln Me- morial, which they began in 1911 and completed in 1922. It is 19 feet high and made of 28 blocks of marble, carefully fitted together. A concrete symbol of American democracy, the Capitol Building bears the imprint of Italian talent. Between 1855 and 1870, the Italian artist, Constantino Brumidi decorated its inte- rior dome, corridors, and the President's Room where Lincoln signed the Emanci- pation Proclamation. The words in the Declara- tion of Independence, "All men are created equal" were suggested to Thomas Jefferson by Filippo Mazzei, a Tuscan physician, busi- nessman, pamphleteer and Jefferson's friend and neigh- bor. Mazzei's original words were "All men are by nature equally free and independent." ITALIAN AMERICANS IN SPORTS Rocky Marciano is the only undefeated heavyweight boxing champion in history. He retired in 1956 with a 49-0 record that counted 43 knockouts. Marciano won the Heavyweight Crown in Philadelphia in 1952 and defended his title six times before retiring. He was elected to the Boxing Hall of Fame in 1959 and died in a plane crash ten years later, the day before his 46th birth- day. His real name was Rocco Marchegiano. Boxing manager Angelo Dundee. born Angelo Merena, Jr. in 1921, trained and managed 15 world cham- pions, including Muham- mad All, Sugar Ray Leonard, and Jimmy Ellis. At age 15, I,inda lhmtianne won the U.S. Ladies Figure Skating Championships and the World Figure Skating Championships in 1977 and 1980. She capped her career with a silver medal from the 1980 Olympics. One of the few women skaters who routinely performed triple jumps, she won over 140 championships. For three consecutive years from 1986 to 1988, then-22-year-old Olympic champion Brian Boitano won the men's singles title at the annual World Figure Skating Championships. During the 1988 Olympics he won the gold medal. Gene Sarazen, born Eu- gene Saracini in 1902, is the first golfer to win each of the modern Grand Slam Cham- pionships, beginning with the Professional Golf Associa- tion and U.S. Open titles in 1922. He won both again two more times each. During the 1973 British Open, he got a hole-in-one on the 126-yard eighth hole. In 1990, Mary Lou Retton, born Mary Lou Rettoni, be- came the first female gym- nast and the Youngest ath-" Rocky Marciano lete ever inducted into the Olympic Hall of Fame. In the 1984 Olympics at age 16, she won the all-around gold medal in women's gymnastics. Matt Biondi has set four World Records and is believed to be the fastest swimmer of all times. His 11 Olympic medals (8 gold, 2 silver and I bronze) tie him with Mark Spitz as the most decorated U.S. Olympian in history. ITALIAN. AMERICAN INNOVATORS The chocolate bar exists today in part thanks to Domenico Ghirardelli. In 1867, he perfected a method to make ground chocolate. Today, Ghirardelli chocolate is sold all over the world, in- cluding the square in San Francisco named after him, where his chocolate factory - now a shopping center- still stands. The cough drop was created by Vincent R. Ciccone, who began his career in the 1930s as a janitor at the Charms Candy Co. and re- tired as the company's presi- dent and chief executive officer. Ciccone secured 20 patents, including the "Blow Pop," a lollypop with a bubble gum center. He died at age 81 in 1997. The ice cream cone was invented by an Italian immi- grant to New Jersey named Italo Marcioni in 1896. ITALIAN AMERICANS IN POPULAR MUSIC Three-time Academy Award winner Harry Warren {1893-1981), was bom Salva- tore Guaragna in Brooklyn and was the son of a Cala- brian boot maker. One of Hollywood's most successful and prolific composers during the 30s, 40s and 50s, he wrote "Chattanooga Choo Choo," "I Only Have Eyes For You,  "11 Love Affair to Remem- ber," and "That's Amore,  among many other songs. Between 1935 and 1950, he wrote more hit songs than Cole Porter, Irving Berlin or George Gershwin, three of which earned him Academy Awards: "Lullaby of Broad- way," "You'll Never Know,  and "Atchison, Topeka and the Santa Fe." Four-time Academy Award and 20-time Grammy and Gold Record winner Henry Mancini is remembered for his classic "Moon River" from Breakfast at Tiffany's. He also wrote the scores for 80 other movies, including the Pink Panther series, The Days of Wine and Roses and Victor-Victoria. Born in 1924 in Ohio, he was a child prodigy who mastered the piccolo, flute, and piano by the time he was 12. His break came when he scored the theme music to Peter Gunn, a popu- lar TV series of the early 1960s. Mancini died in 1994. He was 70 years old.