WASHINGTON - July 17, 2003 - Since 1869, the U.S. Postal Service has honored only
15 Italian Americans with postage stamps compared to
150 African Americans, 36 Jewish Americans and 14
Hispanic Americans, according to "Honoring Diversity: A
Selection of Commemorative U.S. Postage Stamps," a
new report from the Sons of Italy's Commission for
Social Justice (CSJ).
The Italian Americans with commemorative stamps are:
Mayor Fiorello La Guardia, football coach
Vince Lombardi (2 stamps and an envelope),
Bank of America founder Amadeo P. Giannini,
soprano Rosa Ponselle, boxer Rocky
Marciano, comedian Lou Costello and the
18th century patriot Francesco Vigo, believed
to be the first Italian to acquire American citizenship
Also honored are Italian citizens whose careers
flourished in the United States: Arturo
Toscanini, Enrico Caruso, Rudolph
Valentino, Enrico Fermi and Filippo
Mazzei, who was an 18th century physician and
friend of Jefferson.
In addition to the 15 stamps honoring Italian
Americans, 56 stamps commemorate Italian art and 47
honor Columbus. "Honoring Italy's art is fine," says CSJ
National President Michael Paolucci, "but we would also
like the U.S. Postal Service to recognize more Italian
American leaders and history."
The Sons of Italy is campaigning for stamps honoring
World War II hero John Basilone and Watergate federal
judge John Sirica. Contact: The Citizens' Stamp
Advisory Committee, U.S. Postal Service, Stamp
Development, RM 4474E, 475 L'Enfant Plaza SW,
Washington, DC 20260-2437.
The stamp report can be downloaded at OSIA
org. For a free printed copy, send a stamped (37
cents), self-addressed business envelope to Sons
of Italy Stamp Report, 219 E Street NE, Washington,
The CSJ is the anti-defamation arm of the Order
Sons of Italy in America (OSIA), the largest and
longest-established national organization for men and
women of Italian descent in the United States. The CSJ
fights the stereotyping of Italian Americans by the U.S.
entertainment, advertising and media industries. It also
promotes the achievements and contributions of Italian
Americans to the United States through research and
public education programs.
OSIA Press Contact: