Founded in 1905 as a mutual aid society for the early Italian immigrants, today OSDIA has thousands of family members in all fifty states and the District of Columbia, making it the leading service and advocacy organization for the nation’s estimated 26 million people of Italian descent.
Originally called Ordine Figli d’Italia, the Order Sons of Italy in America® (OSIA) was established in the Little Italy neighborhood of New York City on June 22, 1905, by Vincenzo Sellaro, M.D., and five other Italian immigrants who came to the United States during the great Italian migration (1880-1923). They aimed to create a support system for all Italian immigrants that would assist them with becoming U.S. citizens, provide health/death benefits and educational opportunities and offer assistance with assimilation into America. In 2017, the Order Sons of Italy in America was renamed the Order Sons and Daughters of Italy in America® (OSDIA).
The Order Sons of Italy in America was founded in the State of California on September 22, 1922. As if to signify that as a center from which the Order would spread its roots over the entire State, its birth was in Fresno, geographical center of California and important seat of one of the richest agricultural zones of our Nation, enriched by the sacrifices, work and genius of Italians.
There existed in that locality the "Columbus Nest O.O.O.", consisting almost entirely of our nationality. To Alfonso Cubicciotti goes the credit for initiating the movement to organize the Order Sons of Italy in America in our State. Born in Italy, he immigrated to America where he saw in the organization of people of our ethnic background the only path for progress.
After arriving in California in 1919, and after getting settled in his new home, he set to work to organize several lodges of the Order Sons of Italy in America. The Supreme Lodge nominated him as Supreme Deputy for the West, and asked him to call a meeting of those who were interested in this project in the San Joaquin Valley.
Thus on September 22, 1922, the First Lodge in California was instituted - a Lodge, which took its name from the Great Admiral: "Loggia Cristoforo Colombo" No. 1149, now called "Colombo Stella."
The seed was sown! Brother Cubicciotti was relentless in his work. On April 21, 1923, auspicious date of the foundation of Rome, through the untiring efforts of the unforgettable Cubiciotti, in collaboration with Vincenzo Melella, Vincenzo Airpoli and Ludovico Tentarelli, and G. Torchia, the "Vita Nuova" No. 1198, was instituted in San Francisco.
The Word of the Order is diffused: Captain Edoardo Dinucci meets Brother Cubicciotti and shares the latter's enthusiasm for the growth of a Grand Lodge of the Order Sons of Italy in our State. To that end he dedicated himself without regard to any personal sacrifice. Gifted with polished oratory, he spread the message of our organization to our immigrants. Together with others, he worked with enthusiasm and with great personal sacrifice for the formation of "Cuori Uniti" No. 1269, of Weed, instituted January 6, 1924; "Nobile Pensiero" No. 1275, of McCloud, instituted March 3, 1924; and "Eureka" No. 1274, instituted March 16 1924. On July 18th, 1924, the Vittorio Veneto" Lodge No. 1283 was instituted in Los Angeles, dissolved in 1977.
Brother Dinucci was an expert and efficient employee of several banking organizations and in that capacity had occasion to visit the Italo-American communities in Oregon as well as our own State. The "Camelia-Colombo" Lodge No. 1294, in Klamath Falls, Oregon, was instituted in June, of 1924. The "Colombo" Antioch Lodge No. 1315 was instituted August 31, 1924, through the efforts of Brother Sam de Lulio. Next came the "Giacomo Puccini" Lodge No. 1352, Sacramento, on February 8, 1925; the Los Angeles Lodge No. 1319, instituted July 4, 1925; and the Pugliese Lodge No. 1375 on September 5, 1925 in Los Angeles.
Having accomplished the organization of twelve lodges, Brother Cubicciotti made application to the Supreme Lodge for the institution of the Grand Lodge of California, and upon the application's being granted, agreement with the existing lodges was made. The first Grand Convention was held in Stockton, September 22, 1925, just three years after the first lodge was instituted in California. Brother Dinucci was elected Grand Venerable and Brother Cubicciotti became the Grand Recording Secretary, in which capacity he served until his death in 1940.
Since then, the effort in the development of our organization has been untiring, continuous, and far-reaching; its will-indomitable, its spirit of sacrifice-praise-worthy. There is no regret in the hearts of the devoted members. The march-sometimes rapid, sometimes slow and difficult, has always aimed toward the luminous and immutable point of arrival. A handful of pioneers have become a legion, which advances with accelerated step toward the glorious goal.
After the establishment of the Grand Lodge, and following the institution of the above-mentioned Lodges, our great family was enriched by the formation of many more lodges, which we list here in order of their foundation:
Our very active Brother V. Melella instituted in Oakland the "Oakland" Lodge No. 1385, November 18, 1925. The following year (April 26, 1926) Brother Rossi instituted "Roseville" Lodge No. 1413.
The "Regina Margherita" Lodge No. 1423, was established in Sacramento through the efforts of R. Giorgi and E. Galli, June 3, 1926.
Brothers G. Aragona, J. Dambrosio, and N. Latorraca of Los Banos instituted the "Redenzione" Lodge No. 1427, September 5, 1926