May 1918 – Italian – American Day Observed

The third anniversary of the entry of Italy into the Great War on the side of the Western Powers was celebrated in Follansbee. A street parade and series of public speeches occurred under the auspices of the Italian community. The parade featured the local city band (see photo) and an Italian band followed by the Garibaldi – Italia Redenta Society of over 200 strong marching behind flag bearers carrying their beautiful silk Italian flags and the Lodge banner.   Also participating in the celebration were Red Cross ladies in uniform, school children and others who marched through town and back to the public park at the intersection of Penn and Main streets. Addresses were given by Joe Zago, president of the Garibaldi Society, who made a brief address introducing the rest of the speakers: William and Gilbert Follansbee, Rev. F.P. Patrona of the Italian Mission of the Presbyterian Church, and Rev. Father Parascandola of St. Anthony Church. The speeches were in Italian and English. The ceremonies ended with a group of little girls of Italian and Romanian parentage in their ethnic clothing singing songs.


City band. Photo courtesy of former Mayor Tony Paesano, Follansbee.

  • Follansbee Review, “Italo-Amerian Day Observed,” May 24, 1918.