Massachusetts (Lawrence) Male
Aged 55 | Born 1959
About the Speaker
"I was born in Laurence Massachusetts ... I write computer programmes, which led me into a career of software engineering ... My maternal grandparents were both born in Italy, outside of Naples. They spoke a mix of English and Italian around the house. We were brought up Catholics ... I was an altar boy."
This kit contains all the elements of a full Accent Kit
About Lawrence, Massachusetts
Located 25 miles north of Boston on the East Coast of the USA, Lawrence was built in the 1840’s as the nation’s first planned industrial city. By the early 20th century Lawrence was a world leader in the production of cotton and woollen textiles.
It has been called the ‘Immigrant City’, as Lawrence has always been a multicultural gateway city with a high percentage of foreign born residents. Large groups of immigrants from Europe began populating the city such as the Irish in 1845, Germans after the social upheaval in Germany in 1848, and from the 1850’s, French Canadians seeking to escape hard northern farm life. A second wave began arriving after 1900, as part of the great mass of Italian and Eastern European immigrants, including Jews from Russia, Poland, Lithuania and neighbouring regions. Immigration to the United States was severely curtailed in the 1920s with the Immigration Act of 1924. In 1920, toward the end of the first wave of immigration, most ethnic groups had numerous social clubs in the city. However, the centre of social life, even more than clubs or fraternal organisations, was churches.
Lawrence is dotted with churches, many now closed, torn down or converted into other uses. Italian immigrants maintained a particular devotion to three Catholic martyrs, Saint Alfio, Saint Filadelfo and Saint Cirino, and in 1923 began celebrating a procession on their feast days. Although most of the participants live in neighbouring towns, the Feast of Three Saints festival continues in Lawrence every year around the beginning of September for three days.