A History of American Immigration
The individuals that make up the term “Americans” come from various backgrounds of ethnicities and race. Beginning with Jamestown and later the English Puritans, who fled religious persecution, the United States of America was built by immigrants who came to this country seeking change and a new life. From the Irish who left a famine-torn country, to the Chinese who found prejudice wherever they turned, every group faced challenges and overcame obstacles in the process of becoming American. The history of immigration in the United States includes millions of individuals, hundreds of cultures, and dozens of countries. It is a patchwork quilt and a melting pot. Most of all, the history of American immigration is the story of the individuals who crossed water and land to take part in the “American Dream” and change the lives of their families for generations.
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Al Capone’s father, Gabriele Capone, immigrated to the United States from Italy and became a citizen on May 25, 1906. Alphonse Gabriele “Al” Capone, born in Brooklyn, New York, on January 17, 1899, was the most notorious gangster of the 1920s. Al Capone, also know as “Scarface,” began his life of crime at an early age, dropping out of school in the sixth grade and joining the Five Points gang in Manhattan. Capone earned a living in Chicago during the Prohibition Age through bootlegging and running saloons, gambling houses, speakeasies, bookie joints, horse and race tracks, nightclubs, distilleries, breweries and brothels. Although he was arrested several times, Al Capone did not spend much time in jail until 1931, when he was convicted for income tax evasion and sentenced to 11 years in prison. After being incarcerated in Atlanta and Alcatraz, he was released on November 16, 1939, for good behavior. He died on January 25, 1947.
Charles Alexander See of See’s Candies
Charles Alexander See immigrated to the United States from Canada on October 20, 1919, with his wife Florence and three of their children. After moving to Los Angeles, California, Charles started a candy business with his mother, Mary See, using her candy recipes. The first See’s Candies shop opened on Western Avenue, Los Angeles, in November of 1921. The business grew from twelve shops in the mid-1920s to thirty shops during the Depression, and by 1936, See’s Candies was in San Francisco. To this day, See’s Candies remains one of the most successful candy stores and still resembles the vision Charles See had when he came to America in 1919.
Ettore Boiardi was born in Borgonovo, Italy, on October 22, 1897. He came to the United States on May 12, 1914, at age eighteen to work as a chef at the Ritz Carlton in New York City. Ettore, or Hector, moved to Cleveland three years later to be head chef at the Hotel Winton. It was there that his spaghetti dinners became famous in the Midwest. He married Helen Wroblewski, and they opened their first restaurant, Giardino d’Italia, in 1924. Chef Boiardi’s recipes were so popular by 1928, that he opened a factory to produce his meals that were then sold in stores across the Midwest. His success prompted him to change the spelling of his name to Boyardee so his customers could phonetically pronounce his name. The Boyardee Company grew during the Depression, due to the inexpensive and high quality of the food. Ettore died in Parma, Italy, on June 21, 1985, leaving behind him a successful career as chef and developer of one of the most popular food brands of the twentieth century.
1953 Commercial for Chef Boyardee Spagetti: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wSFIdYcClrs
Born Leslie Towns Hope, Bob Hope came from England to America on April 21, 1907, as a child with his mother and father. His dad, William Henry Hope, worked as a mason. Bob would joke later in life that he “left England at the age of four when I found out I couldn’t be king.” Hope became a famous actor and American icon. His first major role to earn him recognition from both the critics and the public came in 1939, when he played Huckleberry Haines in the Broadway musical, Roberta. His first major feature film was for Paramount Pictures, The Big Broadcast of 1938. Later in 1938, Bob signed a contract with Pepsodent for his own radio show on NBC. Bob Hope succeeded in every field he ventured into, including television where he made his biggest success. For sixty years Bob Hope hosted his show on NBC, entertaining viewers and earning top ratings. He befriended presidents and received an honorary knighthood from Queen Elizabeth in 1998. Bob Hope died on July 27, 2003. In his lifetime, he received over two thousand awards and citations for humanitarian and professional efforts.