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

“Black Hand”
Returns to Mulberry Street

October 9, 2009 - The Italian American Museum (IAM) is pleased to announce the opening of its new exhibition "Italian Americans in Law Enforcement; Petrosino, Serpico, Sprizzo" for Columbus Day, October 12, 2009 through November 22, 2009. The exhibit features three notable Italian Americans in Law Enforcement.
Lieutenant Detective Giuseppe Petrosino, the first Italian American to become a Lieutenant in the New York City Police Department and the only NYPD police officer ever to have been killed on foreign soil in the line of duty (Palermo, Sicily- March 12, 1909). Petrosino created the “Italian Squad and the Bomb Squad to fight Black Hand crime in Little Italy and was one of the first to use disguises and forensics in his police work.” On display at the IAM are copies of New York Times articles from 1909, which chronicle the exploits of this heroic Lt. Detective, as well as an original Black Hand letter sent to the Giovenco family. Dr. Joseph V. Scelsa, President and Founder of the IAM received the Giovenco Black Hand letter from a relative of his, when he was mounting “The Italians of New York” in 1999 at the New York Historical Society. “Until then it was a family secret. It is time to sha re with the public the true face of Italian on Italian crime and the heroes who fought to stop it.”, said Dr. Scelsa.
Also on display, are artifacts of hero police officer Frank Serpico: his pearl handle service revolver and two of his automatic fire arms along with an original copy of "Serpico" by author Peter Maas; which later was made into a movie starring, Al Pacino. Serpico testified before the Knapp Commission and in doing so, is credited with rooting out corruption in the N.Y.P.D. Included in the exhibit, is an original copy of the Knapp Commissions report and memorabilia of Federal Court Judge John E. Sprizzo who was one of the Knapp Commissioners.
This exhibit is curated by the museum’s President, Dr. Joseph V. Scelsa in collaboration with Curatorial Assistant, Mr. Antonio Carlucci. 
The Italian American Museum is located at 155 Mulberry Street in the heart of New York City’s “Little Italy”. The IAM is open to the public from 11:00 AM to 6:00 PM, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday, and on Fridays from 11:00 AM to 8:00 PM.  

For more information, please visit our website www.ItalianAmericanMuseum.org or call (212) 965-9000. 

Members of the press can contact Dr. Scelsa
directly at (917) 642-4922.

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