The Real Story Behind the Music

This postcard shows a benign setting featuring the Hershey Band in the Hershey Park bandshell.  What it reveals on the reverse is what appears at first glance to be an equally benign communication.  However, to an Italian immigrant over 100 years ago, the communication reflected the subtlety of the oft tolerated anti-immigrant sentiments that were standard.  Read the caption below to learn more.

"This is how 

I am making 

part of my living 

for the summer some 

bunch is it not, 20 wops 

2 you can’t see the base 

horn players. 2 not there 

1 trombone, 1 baritone, the dog 

belongs to everybody. 

Box 56 Hershey Pa. 


It also serves to note that in a directory of the local area published by the Hershey Press in 1911, including the areas of Hershey, Sand Beach, Hockersville, Campbelltown, and Swatara Station - a well known community of both PA German and Italian immigrants - included few, if any, in the listings.  Many families recall the bigotry and discriminatory feelings toward the Italian community by some within the town of Hershey.

Visit the Odyssey to America, Revisited exhibit at the History Center to learn more about the discrimination faced by local Italians and about their vast contributions to our community's success.