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Letter: Italian-Americans have made great contributions

Italian-Americans have made great contributions

For two nights I watched the History Channel’s “America: Promised Land.” I enjoy history and the topic of seeing the stories of various ethnic groups coming from the different countries in Europe, China and Africa interested me. The struggles endured and the contributions made by the different nationalities was, for the most part, interesting. Each story highlighted a central character who was an early immigrant to our country and his or her contribution. Then famous members of their ethnicity down through the ages were mentioned.

I eagerly awaited the story of Italians who came to our wonderful America and the innovative and valuable contributions they made to our country’s growth. What did the History Channel highlight about Italian immigrants? The Mafia and its evil practices in Chicago. The central figure was a brave Italian who became the first Italian to serve as a police officer in Chicago and his goal was to eliminate the Mafia. He was then killed during a trip to Italy. That was it!

No mention of Enrico Fermi, scientist; Lee Iacocca, businessman; Almerindo Portfolio, treasurer of New York City under Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia; Amadeo Pietro Giannini, Bank of America founder; Mother Cabrini, a saint who served the sick and the poor of New York City; or any of the four Italian-American Nobel Prize winners. All the History Channel could feature about Italian-Americans was organized crime. Yes, I’m offended, and so should all Americans of Italian heritage.

JoAnn Pierro Gioeli

North Tonawanda

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