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The Order Sons of Italy in America

Updated on January 16, 2013

History of the Sons of Italy

The Order Sons of Italy was founded June 22, 1905 by 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. The original name was "L'Ordine Figli d'Italia," which is Italian for "The Order of Children of Italy".

The Supreme Lodge, which is our national headquarters, is located in Washington DC. Throughout America, there are over 700 local lodges throughout America today.

New York State Commission for Social Justice (CSJ)

The Commission for Social Justice is the Anti Bias arm of the Order Sons of Italy in America. The NYS CSJ is focused on combating defamation of Italians, Italian Americans and other groups. The two main objectives of the Commission, 1, is to fight bias, bigotry and defamation of Italian Americans and 2, the promote a positive image of Italian Americans. The second is done using positive image materials that were produced by the Commission in the form of videos, bookmarks and posters. The posters highlight, Italian American Women, Italian American Medal of Honor Winners, Italian Explorers and Elected Officials. The Commission also produced a video entitled, "Italian American Recipients of the Congressional Medal of Honor," which won a TELLY Award Winner.

You can reach the CSJ at the following:

Commission for Social Justice

Order Sons of Italy in America

2101 Bellmore Avenue

Bellmore, NY 11710

Phone Number: 516-785-4623

If you want to file a complaint about discrimination go to the links section and click on file a complaint link

Garibaldi Meucci Museum

The Garibaldi-Meucci Museum, owned and operated by the Order Sons of Italy in America, is a historic house preserved as a memorial to the lives of Antonio Meucci and Giuseppe Garibaldi. Antonio Meucci, a native of Florence, Italy, lived here until his death in 1889. In 1849, while experimenting with the new phenomenon of electricity, he discovered that sound could be transmitted by electric wires.

Alexander Graham Bell was then two years old. Meucci also extended refuge and sanctuary to the famous Giuseppe Garibaldi, who had been forced to flee his homeland while fighting for the unification of Italy. Garibaldi lived in Meucci's home in the period between 1850-1854. Garibaldi arrived in New York City, in poor health and grieving the loss of his young wife, Anita, who had died in the terrible retreat from Rome. Meucci offered him the hospitality of his home, where Garibaldi worked with Meucci in his candle factory and enjoyed hunting, fishing and sailing with his friend until he was able to resume his trade as a sea captain. In 1854 he returned to Italy to lead his volunteer legions to the victories that unified Italy and won him worldwide fame.

Lt. Joseph Petrosino Lodge #285

The Lt. Joseph Petrosino Lodge was formed in 1999. It is located in the Little Italy section of Manhattan. The meetings for the lodge are held on the third Wednesday of the month at 7:30 pm at the Lower Hall of the Most Precious Blood Church at 113 Baxter Street. This is the only lodge in Manhattan and is now the largest lodge in District 3. With over 160 members the Petrosino Lodge has raised thousands for various charities and has given thousands of dollars in high school and college scholarships.

Join the Order Sons of Italy in America

Membership in OSIA can be a personally rewarding experience, for it allows the exploration of one's leadership abilities and ethnic enhancement. Founded in 1905, the OSIA is considered by many to be the premier community grassroots organization. Local lodges sponsor activities, which relate to the communities in which they are located. Now, nearly 100 years later, OSIA finds itself with generations of Americans of Italian descent, the grandchildren and great grandchildren of immigrants, many of whom want to hold membership in an organization firm in family values and cultural heritage.

The OSIA offers membership in a variety of ways, that is, by joining at the local community level, as an At-Large Member, Social Member, or yes, even On-Line membership. Regardless of your choice of membership, be assured that OSIA is one, one in purpose, goal and direction, all of which provides personal satisfaction in participating in a social and fraternal way in one multi-faceted and, oftentimes, complex society. OSIA has proven it is an organization of the times from generation to generation for almost 100 years.

Options of Membership

Lodge/Chapter Membership

If you can trace your or your spouse's Italian lineage, you can become a regular member. This also includes those who have been adopted by a person or persons of Italian lineage; spouses of such adopted persons; widows, widowers and divorced spouses of current or former members.

You may join a local lodge/chapter if you wish to become active and participate in its activities.

Some lodges/chapters are all male, others all female and many are co-ed. Each lodge/chapter has its own initiation fee and annual dues structure.

A listing of the lodges/chapters throughout the state is provided. However, you must contact the New York Grand Lodge office to obtain information of the types of lodges/chapters in your area and to obtain an application form.

To find a lodge in your area, click here.

At-Large Membership

This membership is for some professional persons, doctors, executives, etc., who do not have the time to attend meetings, hold any kind of elected office or belong to a local lodge/chapter. An At-Large Membership form is provided for your use.

Annual dues are $20 for students, $50 for regular At-Large members and $100 for a Golden Lion member ($50 from a Golden Lion member's dues are donated to the state scholarship program and is tax deductible).

To download an At-Large Membership application as a pdf file click here. You will need Adobe Acrobat (Download Adobe Acrobat Reader here) to read this file.

Social Membership

If you cannot trace you or your spouse's Italian lineage, you can become a social member and join a local lodge/chapter. Guidelines for regular members are applicable for social members, except that social members do not have the right to hold office or to vote.

National OSIA Online Membership

You do not have to be of Italian lineage to join the national organization. Annual dues are $35. Log on to and simply follow the instructions for Online Membership.

We Want to Hear From You

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    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Uh, I see that you have a countdown to the 107 year anniversary of OSIA. It will actually be 108 years as we were founded in 1905.

    • nyclittleitaly profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago

      @julieannbrady: Thank you for visiting my lens and for your comment and your blessing.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I was married to an Italian many many moons ago when I lived in Cleveland, Ohio ... so I had heard of the Sons of Italy. He had a really large Italian family!

    • whats4dinner profile image


      6 years ago

      Informative lens! I found it really interesting.

    • nyclittleitaly profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago

      @sockii: What part of the Country are you from? I am a state officer for OSIA in New York.

    • sockii profile image

      Nicole Pellegrini 

      6 years ago from New Jersey

      Nicely done! My fiance belongs to the Sons of Italy and we are both very proud of our Italian heritage.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      It's important to trace our lineage. I'm sure lots of Italians will appreciate this dedicated page! A pretty big lodge too.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I wasn't familiar with The Son's of Italy, thanks for taking the time to share with us.

    • Deadicated LM profile image

      Deadicated LM 

      6 years ago

      Very interesting, all Italian Americans should be involved in this organization.


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