Family Story

The Baldizzi Family Story


This article shares the story of the Baldizzis, who lived in 97 Orchard Street during the Great Depression.  The parents were immigrants from Italy, and Josephine and Johnny, the children, were born in the US. The story explores what it takes to start life in a new place, and the challenges of living through the Great Depression and a period of high anti-Italian sentiment in the country. Students listen to Josephine’s oral history, analyze a ship passenger list, and the article includes student facing questions and writing activities.

Time Period

1920s – 1930s

Related Topics

  • Great Depression
  • Immigration Law
  • Italian Immigration

Primary Sources

  • Oral History: Josephine Baldizzi Discusses her Bedroom – Listen to Josephine Baldizzi, the child of Italian immigrants, remember her home and childhood in a tenement in the 1930’s. (See below)
  • 1923 Ship Passenger List (Manifest) – Find Adolfo Baldizzi, an immigrant from Italy, on this 1923 Ship Manifest. (See below)

1923 Ship Passenger List (Manifest)

Find Adolfo Baldizzi, an immigrant from Italy, on this 1923 Ship Manifest

Associated Lessons

Associated Interactive Activity

Associated Virtual Field Trip

1930s Baldizzi Family  | The Baldizzi Family story features an Italian-American family and their 1935 tenement home. Students will learn about the push and pull factors and immigration regulations impacting their immigration journey to the United States and consider how the family created a home in a time of crisis: the Great Depression.

  • Themes: Complicating Stereotypes, Push and Pull Factors
  • Topics: European Immigration, The Great Depression

Questions on lessons and activities?

The materials on this page can enrich a visit to the Museum or help you teach about immigration. If you have questions or comments, please e-mail us.

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