110 years of Continuous Publication
hundred and ten years ago, an Italian immigrant who
arrived in Boston when he was only sixteen years old saw
the realization of his fondest dreams, to establish an
Italian language newspaper that would be the genuine
voice of the increasing flow of Italians to the United
States. The boy was James V. Donnaruma, the newspaper
was LA GAZETTA DEL MASSACHUSETTS which is now published
in English as the POST-GAZETTE.
He remained at the helm of this well known publication until
his demise in 1953 at which time his son, Caesar, took
over the reins of running the now famous nationally
weekly newspaper located in the North End of Boston.
Caesar was loyally assisted by an ingenious wife,
Phyllis, who assumed the role of publisher in 1971, as
one the nations first Italo-American women publishers.
Upon Phyllis' death in October 1990, their daughter,
Pamela, continued the tradition as the third generation
publisher of the POST-GAZETTE.
The GAZETTA, as it was properly called, was very short in
financial means but had a large vision, to give its
readers a better and wider understanding between two
countries. The so-called Italian Colony, or "La Colonia,"
had to face a complexity of problems and the GAZETTA had
to understand the slow and hard transition of men who,
in most cases, had been engaged in agriculture in the
home country, whereas here, they were to work in
construction, factories and restaurants, eventually
emerging as small storekeepers and finally the
professions, heads of business enterprises and
eventually to become industrial leaders, heads of state,
people to be respected by others.
If America was to some a bitter disappointment, to more it
remained its great adventure and excitement. There were
new ways to be learned as well as new institutions.
There were speculators and exploiters to be fought, a
"padrone" system was needed to be destroyed. There were
churches to be built and above all, immigrants took
advantage of America's free education while learning the
process of citizenship. We devoted pages and pages to
that very mission!
The GAZETTA became, in a way, a sort of guide, so to speak,
the go between that brought American political life to
the Italian immigrant. Many times our people were sent
unknowingly to work in places subject to a strike and
were therefore exposed to physical violence on the part
of strikers . . . in time, the situation changed as they
learned more about the new land of opportunity.
The Italian immigrant was a hard worker, a thrifty man, a
family man. He had pride. The GAZETTA stressed on these
virtues. We began to publish an all-English section
which became a real forum, discussing many problems,
criticizing discriminating laws while advocating
Americanization and responding to community needs such
as the Red Cross appeals.
A typical Horatio Alger story could be repeated by thousands
of immigrants and their American born children who
became an integral part of this great country, fighting
in its wars, facing every national crisis. It would be
impossible space wise to enumerate the many initiatives
taken by our publication from its inception as "LA
GAZETTA" to its present-day format the "POST-GAZETTE" in
its 110 years of uninterrupted publication. We never
missed an issue, even when the going was very hard.
The moral reward, over the years of hard work, came in many
ways when American Presidents, Senators, Congressmen,
Governors and other officials publicly praised the work
of the newspaper in times of national disaster, in war
and in peacetime. The newspaper had to fight vigorously
against all forms of discrimination in employment and
immigration laws, yet on the issue of loyalty and
patriotism, there was never any question.
The Italian immigrants after a long period of confusion,
which was often bewildering, has accepted in full the
American concept of school, church, and state and has
become part of this democratic society, bringing to it
all the qualities the Italians always possessed as
builders, dreamers, organizers, fighters, artists,
inspired teachers and defenders of Italo-American
Throughout the United States and in Boston, especially where
freedom began over 200 years ago, the GAZETTA or the
POST-GAZETTE has played a vital part in history.
Today, the University of Minnesota and the University of
Florence in Italy have compiled all of our issues from
the first to its current publication on microfilm for
future generations, thereby recognizing the POST-GAZETTE's
historical contribution to this country and the
development of our unique race of people on these
We continue to bring to our readers the incredible stories of
Americans from coast-to-coast who are the "Builders of
America." We salute these great men and women who have
made a unique contribution to our country and heritage.
A special thank you to those advertisers who took part in
this special edition. We urge our readers to patronize
and support these loyal friends of the POST-GAZETTE who
make weekly publication possible!