Mt. Carmel St. Cristina Society

American Citizenship

Did you know...

How to become an American citizen. These are true stories of Italian immigrants that settled in New Haven from the 1800's.

Rose Nappi from East Haven went to school for her citizenship. She was a little scared and she was sweating, but she knew what she was talking about. So the judge called her, "Miss Nappi, what can I do for you?" She got up and she was nervous. She says in a half Italian and half English "Signore giudice, I gone to school a long time - I learn nu-ting. If you wanna give to me, thank you, if you no wan to give to me, thank you just a same". So the judge comes over, puts his arm around her - "yeah, Miss Nappi, I'm gonna give it to you". Then she got encouraged and she said "Signore giudice, my son, she fight in the Pacific five years and now he's a sick boy - you're not doing me any favors". The judge said "I give to you momma, I give to you!". Oh! He was so nice that judge. He felt bad!

Another Italian, Bill Save told the story of his grandfather. He went for his citizenship in New Haven and he was sweating and the judge tried to get straight answers. So finally he said, "Well, I'll give you an easy one" and he asked "what flies above City Hall?" The grandfather said, "The pigeons". The judge said, "OK, you're right and he gave it to him". But the answer was - the flag! He said the pigeons and he was right!

The point here is that even they did not speak English well, they had the responsibility to become American citizens and to honor their new land!!