Youngstown State University History professors Martha Pallante and Donna DeBlasio will sign copies of their latest book, “Italian Americans of the Greater Mahoning Valley,” 5:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 23, at the Youngstown Historical Center of Industry and Labor in Youngstown.
Pallante and DeBlasio will also present a talk about the book, which details the important contributions of Italian Americans to the steel industry in Northeast Ohio.
DeBlasio, a Youngstown native, is professor of History and director of the Center for Applied History at YSU. Pallante, a Niles native, is professor and chair of History at YSU. Both have co-authored several books for Arcadia Publishing.
The book focuses on how Ohio’s Mahoning Valley, with its burgeoning iron and steel industry, became a magnet for immigrants from southern and eastern Europe in the early 20th century. Men and women from Italy heard about the opportunities and found their way to the region, eventually becoming the second largest ethnic group in the area. They worked not only in the steel industry but also in allied manufacturing firms such as producers of refractory brick and steel mill equipment. They also operated businesses like groceries and restaurants, educated their children, entered the professions and contributed to local culture. From the small corner grocery stores to two of the largest mall developers in the nation, Italian Americans made a distinctive mark on the Mahoning Valley.
The Youngstown Historical Center of Industry and Labor is at 151 W. Wood St. in Youngstown. The event is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served. For more information, call 330-941-1314.