LA VOCE DEL POPOLO ITALIANO (The Voice of the Italian People) was founded by cousins Olindo G. and Fernando Melaragno in 1904. Cleveland's first Italian newspaper, it was also published as L'Italiano and Il Progresso Italiano in America before assuming its permanent appellation on 2 Apr. 1910. Located on the fringes of BIG ITALY at Central Ave., the weekly was incorporated as the United Italian Publishing Co. By 1913 it was owned wholly by the Melaragnos, with Fernando handling the editorial chores and Olindo supervising the business side. One of the early officers, Dr. GIOVANNI A. BARRICELLI, remained a frequent contributor. In domestic politics, La Voce favored the Republicans and resisted Prohibition. Its interest in European affairs increased dramatically after Italy's entry into World War I in 1915. Its opposition to Communism led La Voce to endorse Mussolini's Fascist regime in Italy. Through Mussolini's intercession, Italy's King Victor Emmanuel conferred the title of Chevalier of the Crown on Olindo G. Melaragno. Only after Italy's open entry into World War II as Hitler's ally in 1940 did La Voce condemn the Mussolini government. With circulation under 2,000, La Voce suspended publication in 1944, according to some accounts, although it may have survived in some format into the following year.

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