The Order Sons of Italy in America (OSIA) was founded on June 22, 1905 at 203 Grand Street in New York City. An Italian immigrant, Dr. Vincenzo Sellaro, and five compatriots; pharmacist Ludovico Ferrari, attorney Antonio Marzullo, sculptor Giuseppe Carlino and barbers Pietro Viscardi and Robert Merlo, created the organization to unite men and women of Italian heritage under one banner in order to preserve and disseminate the large cultural heritage of Italy. They also felt a need to promote and advance their progress everywhere within the framework of American society.
When OSIA was founded, it took its name from "L’Ordine Figli d’Italia," which is Italian for "The Order of Children of Italy". In America, the name was converted to its present masculine form ("Order Sons of Italy"), and has been preserved as such for name recognition and legacy purposes.
OSIA has provided a community in which both men and women of Italian descent have preserved and nurtured their Italian heritage. It continues to thrive, meeting the initial objectives of its founders through a wide variety of community, cultural, social, charitable, educational, patriotic and civic activities.
As OSIA passes it’s 100th year of service, it has grown into the largest and most demographically diverse organization representing 23 million men and women of Italian heritage on the North American continent. The National office of the Order Sons of Italy in America is located in Washington, D.C. and represents over 700 local chapters across the country. Men and women share equal status within OSIA, as do individuals of all professions and ages.
The Creed of the Order Sons of Italy in America®
We Believe in the Government of the United States of America as the Government of the people, by the people, and for the people and promise to obey and uphold its Constitution and Laws.
We Believe in the Government by orderly process and reject any doctrine that tends to subvert constituted government and authority.
We Believe in filial affection and respect for the Land of our Forefathers whose heritage is our highest contribution to America's progress.
We Believe in the brotherhood of man and promise to assist our fellow members, to care for the orphans, to extend our helping hand to the widows and to comfort those in distress.
We Believe in equal rights and duties for all; in equality of opportunity in the enjoyment of the benefits of human association extended to all without discrimination.
We Believe in freedom of thought, conscience and education and stand for individual liberty in the performance of duties and in the exercise of rights under the Constitution and laws of our Country and State.
We Believe in the future progress and expansion of the Order Sons of Italy in America® as the beneficial agent of all Americans of Italian birth or descent for their recognition and welfare, and promise to contribute to the moral, intellectual and material progress of our fellow members, and to support the program of the Order and all its activities for the welfare of our Country, our Order and the Community in which we live.