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About L'indipendente. (New Haven, Conn.) 1903-193?
New Haven, Conn. (1903-193?)
- L'indipendente. : (New Haven, Conn.) 1903-193?
- Alternative Titles:
- Indipendente-alla baionetta!
- Place of publication:
- New Haven, Conn.
- Geographic coverage:
- L'indipendente Pub. Co.
- Dates of publication:
- Began in 1903.
- Weekly <Jan. 22, 1922->
- Connecticut--New Haven County.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01207938
- Connecticut--New Haven.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01206280
- Italian Americans--Connecticut--New Haven--Newspapers.
- Italian Americans--Connecticut--Newspapers.
- Italian Americans.--fast--(OCoLC)fst00980419
- Italians--Connecticut--New Haven--Newspapers.
- New Haven (Conn.)--Newspapers.
- New Haven County (Conn.)--Newspapers.
- "Established 1903"--Genn. 22, 1922 issue.
- Also issued on microfilm from Connecticut State Library, Hartford, CT.
- Archived issues are available in digital format from the Library of Congress Chronicling America online collection.
- Description based on: Anno 4, no. 1 (genn. 1, 1907).
- In Italian, <1907>. In Italian and English, <1916-1922, 1936>
- Latest issue consulted: Anno 34 no. 19 (May 23, 1936).
- Published as: L'indipendente-alla baionetta!, 13 genn. 1917.
- Vol. 16, no. 3 designation repeated for Oct. 7 and Oct. 21, 1918 issues.
- sn 93053873
- Related Links:
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- First Issue Last Issue
Headquartered in Wooster Square, one of two neighborhoods (along with the "Hill") which housed New Haven's large Italian immigrant community, L'Indipendente began publication as a weekly on September 8, 1904. Within two years it became—as its masthead later proclaimed—the "first and only Italian daily in New England." Its aim all along, as a front-page editorial put it on New Year's Day 1907, was to offer a "helping hand" to "our fellow Italians who crossed the ocean in search of a livelihood in this country but who unfortunately still need support and protection..."
It unknown for how long it served as a daily, but by 1916 L'Indipendente was back to publishing weekly editions. While the masthead motto had dropped the "daily" reference, it could now claim a new distinction, that of being "the only Italian newspaper entirely devoted to the welfare of the working classes."
That potentially radical orientation only rarely shines through, as in the brief news items relating to deaths and injuries among workers in the city's factories. More often than not, the tone of the coverage was pro-capitalist and pro-American. This was a common trait in the early 20th century Italian-American press, as publishers sought to quash any lingering doubts about their community's loyalty to madre patria (the "mother country"). An editorial, published in June 1916, is typical in its fulsome praise for America's "classless" society, where "any shoeshine boy could become a professor."
During the Great War, L'Indipendente gave prominent coverage to the Sons of Italy, one of dozens of mutual aid societies then active in New Haven. Nearly all of the March 25, 1916 issue is dedicated to summarizing the proceedings of the national Sons of Italy convention, held that year in the "Elm City" (New Haven, Connecticut). The paper also regularly published lists—including names and hometowns—of those who had either donated to or received financial assistance from the Italian fraternal organization.
Leadership changes occurred throughout the early life of L'Indipendente, but from the 1920s until the end of its publication in the late 1930s, it was led by publisher Pasquale Cobianchi, who had trained in law at the University of Naples before coming to America. In a sign that New Haven's colonia ("colony") was aspiring to assimilate and climb the socioeconomic ladder, under Cobianchi's guidance more articles were published in English and tempted readers with glimpses of life in the leisure class. For example, a January 22, 1922 article described proper horse riding attire, and a regular syndicated panel "Topnotchers" featured illustrated profiles of high-achieving Horatio Alger types throughout the decade.
On May 23, 1936, a front-page editorial publicly opposed the Italian invasion of Ethiopia. This made L'Indipendente an outlier among Italian-language newspapers of the time. Il Progresso Italoamericano, a New York-based daily with large circulation, and La Verita of Waterbury, were just two examples of regional newspapers whose editors presented the carnage in the horn of Africa as a source of national pride for those of Italian ancestry. To accompany its editorial, written in English and decrying Mussolini as a "treaty-breaker," L'Indipendente reprinted letters and editorials from New Haven dailies opposing the plan by pro-Fascist Italian-Americans to celebrate the conquest of Ethiopia with a march through New Haven. In taking such a strikingly independent and antiwar stand, L'Indipendente lived up to its name.
Provided by: Connecticut State Library, Hartford, CT