|John Basilone (Public Domain)|
This was Nancy Pelosi’s choice for a Columbus Day substitute, and with good reason: D’Alesandro was her dad. Even better, he wasn’t a genocidal brute.
Pelosi has additional reasons for a D’Alesandro season. During his almost 40 years as a public servant, Dad “worked to build a better future for the downtrodden and disenfranchised.” His home was “open to the hungry and homeless” of Baltimore’s Little Italy.
D’Alesandro broke through extensive prejudicial barriers to become the city’s mayor and the nation’s congressman. In those days, it was almost unheard of for Italian-Americans and/or Catholics to achieve such high public standing.
If this isn't enough for you to reboot your calendar, consider these other picks: Fiorello La Guardia (Bill de Blasio’s choice), Tony Bennett (Lady Gaga on the side) or John Basilone (an Iwo Jima hero whose namesake day is already celebrated in 12 states).
Copyright October 10, 2016 by Linda Van Slyke All Rights Reserved