Shipboard scenes from the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s… aboard the Italian Lines, Cunard Lines and the Greek Lines…
- Can you imagine what it was like to say goodbye to your family, your home and your friends?
- To leave for a strange country, not knowing the language, and with little or no money?
- Who would do such a thing?
- Why would anyone do something so drastic?
Going to America
Most Italian immigrants never planned to stay in the US permanently. There is even a special phrase that was coined for Italians: “Birds of Passage” since their intent was to be migratory laborers.
Even though about 75% of Italian immigrants were farmers in Italy, they did not wish to farm in the US (as it implied a permanence that did not figure in their plans).
Instead, they headed for cities where labor was needed and wages were relatively high.