The Italian Tribune Looks Back

The remarkable history of Italian America, and the important newspaper that covered it all...

This article appears on The Italian Tribune.

The Early Years – 1930s

The year was 1931, the country was in the worst economic depression of its 155 years. The great immigration was over, but many Italians still struggled and strove to make the lives of their families better. Those that had jobs worked hard for little pay and, if they felt fortune if they were able to work long hours. Italian Americans – often first generation citizens, grew vegetables where ever they could, even in the cities, any spare plot of land was put to use to raise vegetables. It was in this environment that The Italian Tribune began, as a small weekly newspaper covering the Italian neighborhood in Newark, NJ.

The Italian Tribune’s first issue was published on July 31, 1931. The original owners were John Sileo and Fred Matullo. Within a few years after the papers fledgling beginnings, Italians flet a boost, as New York City elected its first Italian American Mayor – Fiorello La Guardia. He remained mayor up until 1945. Another New Yorker – Vito Marcantonio was first elected to Congress in 1934 and Robert Maestri began his ten year run as mayor of New Orleans in 1936. Beyond the political world, Italian and Italian Americans made their presence felt in the field of entertainment and sports. Importers opened shops that specialized in Italian products. The rich culture and heritage was never abandoned, never forgotten and as the Tribune grew, our readers remained loyal, savoring the stories and news of the humble paper. In 1968, it was purchased by well-known political and former White House Photographer, Ace Alagna and the paper has remained in the family ever since. We are proud to bring you our paper each week, though 85 years of change, one thing has remained the same, our readers are the most loyal in the world – Thank you!


Fiorello La Guardia became mayor of New York City only a few years after The Italian Tribune first began publication. The Metropolitan Opera flourished under the leadership of Giulio Gatti-Casazza during the decade of the 1930s. Read more at The Italian Tribune…  

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