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Mayor Fiorello La Guardia reading the Daily News election results in 1941.

Italian Americans in Aviation

Italian American contributions in aviations in the United States have been extraordinary. The massive influx of Italian immigrants during the late 19th and 20th centuries began the process whereby Italians and their descendants would come to influence every facet of American society. The Italian American Museum and the Columbus Citizens Foundation in connection with "Wings of Italy" will be highlighting the achievements of several notable Italian Americans:

former Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia; World War I aviator, Giuseppe Bellanca, who’s place he designed, the Columbia set a world record of 51 hours, 11 minutes and 25 seconds of continuous flight. In addition, the Columbia, on June 4, 1927 flew from New York to Germany and broke Lindbergh’s distance record set just 2 weeks before by 301 miles with the distinction of being the first Tran-Atlantic flight to carry a passenger; Dominic Gentile, World War II fighter pilot known as the "ace of aces" for having a total of 30 enemy kills. General Dwight D. Eisenhower called him a one man air force.

The Italian American Museum is dedicated to exploring the rich cultural heritage of Italy and Italian America by presenting the individual and collective struggles and achievements of Italians and their heirs to the American way of life.

By collecting, preserving and interpreting tangible objects and reminiscences, the Italian American Museum displays notable contributions of Italians and Italian Americans to American culture. The Italian American Museum is a cultural and educational institution promoting constructive pluralism by educating Americans to the heritage of Italian Americans and their European roots, values, language and traditions. The Italian American Museum sponsors exhibitions, festivals, lectures, seminars, symposia and educational travel to Europe with a focus on Italy and its contributions to the world; it also houses precious collections of objects and memorabilia on the Italian American experience.

The Columbus Citizens Foundation has been organizing the Columbus Day Parade since 1929, when the Parade was founded by the Columbus Citizens Committee. The Foundation’s nearly 500 members are active in supporting scholarship funds and other initiatives developed by the Foundations Board of Directors.

Aviation posters (995k pdf file)

Exhibition Information:

Italian American Aviators
Intrepid Sea-Air-Space Museum
Pier 86, 12th Avenue and 46th Street
New York, NY 10036


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