Welcome to the Grand Lodge of Ohio, Order Sons and Daughters of Italy in America!
L’Ordine Figli d’Italia in America (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 and physician, 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, protect, 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 the Order was founded, it took the name "L’Ordine Figli d’Italia in America," which in Italian literally means "The Order of Children of Italy in America." Of course, “figli” in Italian can mean both “sons” (plural masculine) or “children” (plural both masculine and feminine). Due to an unfortunate century old translation and in an attempt not to confuse people that the organization was for little children, as opposed to adults, the organization took the English translation “Order Sons of Italy in America (OSIA).” This, over time, lead to the unfortunate misconception that the Order is a men’s organization, even though women have always held equal membership status in the Order. While the name in masculine form ("Order Sons of Italy in America"), has been preserved as such for name recognition, legal, and legacy purposes, the misconception has been address recently by adopting and legally registering the dba name “Order Sons and Daughters of Italy in America (OSDIA),” the name under which the Order currently operates.
OSDIA 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 OSDIA passed its 100th year of service, it had grown into the largest and most demographically diverse organization representing the estimated 26 million men and women of Italian heritage on the North American continent. The Order remains the oldest and largest fraternal organization of men and women of Italian heritage in the United States. The National office of the Order is located in Washington, D.C. and represents over 400 local lodges (chapters) across the country. Men and women share equal status within OSDIA, as do individuals of all ages and walks of life.