Thursday, November 16, 2017

Portuguese in New England

In 1915, four Madeiran men organized a feast at the Church of the Immaculate Conception in New Bedford, Mass., to celebrate the safe arrival of Portuguese immigrants after a stormy journey. 
In 1914, immigrants from Brava, Cape Verde, looking ashore from the Savoia as they await the disembarkation process to be finished. 
The festival mimicked the traditional religious feast observed in their village on Madeira Island, with a celebration of the Roman Catholic Mass, a grand procession, traditional food and folk dancing.
Today, the 103-year-old Feast of the Blessed Sacrament is the largest Portuguese festival in the world, reflecting both the size and the identity of the Portuguese-American population in New England.
Portuguese dory fisherman gossiping in the sun, Provincetown 1942
Two great waves of Portuguese immigration gave Southeastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island the densest concentration of people with ancestry from Portugal, including the Azores and Cape Verde.

They made their mark with restaurants and bakeries, with fishing fleets, with Catholic churches and with the Boston Red Sox. 
Evening recreation of the "Young Holy Ghosters"  – all mill workers – all Portuguese immigrants.  Location: Fall River, Massachusetts
Dustin Pedroia, Jonny Gomes and Shane Victorino all have Portuguese ancestry. So does actor Tom Hanks, U.S. Sen. Jack Reed and Aerosmith’s Joe Perry. Portugal also produced John Philip Sousa, who composed that most American march, Stars and Stripes Forever, and Emma Lazarus, who wrote the inscription on the Statue of Liberty.

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