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Debenedet, Harry, 2003 November 20

 Part of Collection
Call Number: RU 1055, Series Accession 2008-A-001

Scope and Contents

Harry Debenedet, the son of Italian immigrants, grew up in the Hill Section of New Haven before moving to North Haven at age 12. As an adult he worked as a police officer in New Haven County. Debenedet discusses his participation in several Italian American societies in New Haven, including the Marchegiano Society, the Saint Andrew Society, the Santa Maria Maddalena Society. Debenedet was also a founding member of the Police Order of Centurions, an Italian American fraternal organization. He gives the history of these groups, recounting that most began as mutual aid societies organized around the Italian town from which its members emigrated. Today, Debenedet notes, the remaining societies focus on connecting Italian Americans and preserving their national cultural heritage. Debenedet also talks about the Italian neighborhoods of New Haven, explaining that northern Italians tended to live in the Hill section while southern Italians lived in the Wooster Street area. He then discusses the effects of urban renewal (refrred to as redevelopment) on the Italian neighborhoods and communities of New Haven and states that it "destroyed" the Hill Neighborhood. The various societies, he suggests, help maintain connections among second and third generation Italian Americans.

Interviewer: Smith, Katherine

Length (min): 38


  • 2003 November 20

Conditions Governing Access

As a preservation measure, original materials may not be used. Digital access copies must be provided for use. Contact Manuscripts and Archives at to request access


1 Computer Files (.wav)

1:16:23 Duration (HH:MM:SS.mmm)

Language of Materials

From the Collection: English

Part of the Manuscripts and Archives Repository

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