Order Sons & Daughters of Italy in America — Grand Lodge of New York
New York State Commission for Social Justice
2101 Bellmore Avenue, Bellmore, NY 11710
516-785-4623 | www.nysosia.org
Presentation of an Official Proclamation of Apology by the
Mayor of New Orleans to the Italian American Community for America’s Largest Single Mass Lynching
DATE & TIME: Friday, April 12, 2019 @ 11:00
LOCATION: AMERICAN ITALIAN CULTURAL CENTER
537 South Peters Street | New Orleans
(Bellmore, NY/ New Orleans LA; March 28, 2019) — Robert M. Ferrito, State President of the Order Sons & Daughters of Italy in America — Grand Lodge of New York (OSDIA) in conjunction with John Fratta, Chairman of the New York State Commission for Social Justice, and Michael A. Santo, Esq., is proud to announce an historical event concerning a significant social wound stemming from America’s largest single mass lynching in U.S. History.
On March 14th, 1891, eleven Italian immigrants, accused of killing New Orleans Police Commissioner David Hennessy, were tried and exonerated of the crime, only to be murdered themselves after a crowd of thousands gathered at the prison while the men were awaiting their release. Anti-immigrant sentiment and along with religion, economic forces, and terrorism shaped white Americans’ views of Italian immigrants as fundamentally foreign, as unwanted competition for labor, and as carriers of violent radicalism.
Given the local New Orleans governmental leaders’ complicity at the time, the tragedy loomed large not only over the City, but over the Nation, leading to a serious international dispute as Italy cut off diplomatic relations with the United States setting back Italian/American relations for several years.
There has never been an official apology by any New Orleans government official for the tragedy. However, due to the efforts of the NYS Order Sons & Daughters of Italy in America – Grand Lodge of New York and the New York State Commission for Social Justice, and after 128 years, New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell has agreed to issue an official Proclamation of Apology. This solemn event signifies a profound milestone in acknowledging a human tragedy and helps heal decades-old social wounds.
The public and the media are invited to attend the event to take place at the American Italian Cultural Center at 537 South Peters Street in New Orleans. More information about the NYS Grand Lodge can be found here http://www.nysosia.org/about-us.
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[Media: For information as to the 1891 tragedy, GOOGLE: 1891 New Orleans lynching]