Family Story

The Baldizzi Family Story

Learn about the Baldizzi family, who came from Italy in the 1930s.

This Family Story is part of our Upper Elementary Unit Plan. You can view the full unit plan here.


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

Upper Elementary: 4-5th Grade

Investigate a 1914 Report Card

Students learn about Victoria Confino through her 2nd grade report card from 1913.

Read More
Upper Elementary: 4-5th Grade

Listen Closely to an Oral History

Teach using an oral history from the child of Italian immigrants in the 1930s.

Read More

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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