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THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 15, 2012 L'Italo-Americano PAGE 23 veteran, long time "Fra Noi" columnist and friend of Padre Pio, whom he met when he was stationed near Foggia, while serving with the 15th Army Air Force Squadron during WW II, left us earlier this year. He was born in 1918, a few months before the WWI Armistice was signed. Italian Connection: Airman Mario Avignone, war-weary Europe in 1918, at 11 am on the 11th day on the 11th month, when the armistice took effect. After four years and four- teen weeks, the crash of artillery, the thump of the how- itzer and the scream of "minen- werfer" were no longer heard, but the "war to end all wars" did not. surname Johnson. Andrew Johnson (1865-1869) and Lyndon B. Johnson (1863-1969) who were both Southerners. Lincoln was elected in 1860 and Kennedy in 1960. Both were slain on a Friday and in the presence of their wives. Both presidential successors named Johnson had served in the U.S. Senate. Both presidents Lincoln and Kennedy were concerned with the issue of civil rights. * * * president A. Lincoln (1861- 1865) and our 35th president J.F Kennedy (1961-1963) who died in Dallas, Texas on November 22, 1963. By coincidence they were both followed by presi- dents Assassins shot our 16th U.S. * * * with the Armistice and Peace came to a * * * Dear Readers, November Notes with an www.aihaweb.org) 35th Annual Conference edited by Gary R. Mormino, titled "The Impact of World War II on Italian Americans 1935-present", I was reminded of the 1948 Italian Election and the anti-commu- nist Letter Writing Campaign, organized by Il Progresso owner Generoso Pope in New York but supported by Italian American Media throughout the U.S.A. I also remember my father Vincenzo and all his friends taking pen to paper with anti-communist messages for all his "paesani" in Italy urging them to vote the Christian Democratic Party Ticket. My job was to walk the letters to post-office mail box, so they would not languish in a corner mail box, which my father thought would slow down deliv- ery. In Stefano Luconi's essay titled "Italian Americans' lob- bying efforts on behalf of their ancestral country after World War II and anti-communism in Italy's Association, eye. Italo-American Leaders were less concerned about Italian politics than securing a favorable attitude towards Italy from the United States. Anti- Communism and the alleged menace of a Red takeover in Italy were often the means by which Italian Americans pres- sured Washington into benefit- elections" I learned that there was more to the Letter Writing Campaign than met parliamentary the Elections are traditionally held in November. In looking over a copy of selected essays from the A.I.H.A (American Italian Historical America's National descent and resorted to these issues to channel US funds into the post-war reconstruction of Italy and to reserve the most punitive clauses of the peace treaty that she had to sign after her defeat in World War II. Italy had to give the Dodecanese Islands to Greece, Brig and Tenda to France, and Istria and Dalmatia to Yugoslavia. Trieste, for whose possession Italy had fought against Austria in World War I, was made into ing the land of their his own organization to send letters to their relatives and friends in Italy and to warm them against the risks of a Communist victory in the forth- coming election. In the subse- quent months, the state and local lodges of the Order followed suit, especially in Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and New York. Il Progresso Italo-Americano, the most authoritative Italian- American daily newspaper in the United States echoed Spatuzza's appeal. Other Italian-language success of the Left at the polls would eventually push Italy into the Soviet Bloc. Washington appropriated $227 million in interim aid to Italy but threat- ened to discontinue American assistance in case of the estab- lishment of the Communist gov- ernment, helped finance the election campaign of the Christian Democrats and their Allies, and persuaded France and Great Britain to issue the Tripartite Declaration, by which they promised that Trieste would return to Italy in the near future. Although De Gasperi's Christian Democrats won and became America's chief ally in Italian politics, New York's Il Progresso noted that in order to prevent culture Communist party gains "the key to the decisive victory in the next battle" against Communism in Italy was "to correct and eliminate the ter- rible injustices inflicted on Italy by the 'scandalous' peace treaty". According to La Gazzetta del Massachusetts, the reason for the weakening of De Gasperi's coalition at the polls was the failure of the United States to fulfill its 1948 promise to give Trieste back to Italy. Clare Boothe Luce, U.S. Clare Boothe Luce urged Pres. Eisenhower to speed up Trieste's return to Italy a free city under international control. A significant number of Americans of Italian descent backed the plans of the Truman administration to secure the defeat of Front. In November 1947, George Spatuzza, then the national leader of the Order Sons of Italy in America, the largest and most influential Italian-American ethnic frater- nal association in the United States – spurred the members of the Popular newspaper (i.e., La Gazzetta del Massachusetts, L'Araldo, in Cleveland; Il Popolo Italiano, in Philadelphia; and Italian Echo, in Providence), ethnic associations, and labor unions with large memberships of Italian descent also joined the anti-Communist drive. As a result, according to the more conservative estimates, between February and April 1948, Italian Americans sent at in Boston; 1,000,000 letters to Italy, asking kinsfolk and friends not to vote for the Communist and the Socialist candidates. In Italy's 1948 parliamentary least Ambassador to Italy (1953- 1957) agreed in part with the comments made in the Italian- American press and interpreta- tion of the election results. In a confidential report the Truman administration inter- vened massively in the Italian election campaign in support of De Gaspari's party for fear that a policy, election the Christian Democrats of Prime Minister Alcide De Gasperi faced a coalition made up by the communist and Socialist parties with the name of Popular Front. The elections were held in the aftermath of the Communist coup of February 1948 in Czechoslovakia. In the wake of this early setback in the US containment Secretary of State John Foster Dulles, the ambassador listed "our failure to honor our Tripartite Declaration" and the restrictive immigration laws that were prejudicial toward the Italians among the factors that had made the "case against America" in the eyes of many voters and had consequently contributed to the 4.3% gain of the Communist and Socialist parties as a whole at the polls between 1948 and 1953. In a period during which the US gov- ernment began to abandon its efforts to contain Communism in Italy by promoting economic development per se and progres- sively focused on the attempt at having Communist purged from Italian politics and labor unions, Luce turned her own conclu- sions to good account and relied on her relatively easy access to President Eisenhower in order to speed up Trieste's return to the Italian rule, which was eventually achieved in 1954. The following year, Italy joined the United Nations... to US

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