Thirty-One Days of Italians
Italian American Doll
Thirty-One Days of Italians
2015-16 List of Names
2014-15 List of Names
2013-14 List of Names
Italian American History
Ideas for Lesson Plans
Index of Names
Contributing to America
Contributing to the World
Honorary Members
Italian Book Reviews
The History of Italian Immigrants
Celebrate Italian American Heritage Month
Promote Italian American Heritage
Italian American Doll
Con Amore
2012 List of Names
2011 List of Names
2010 List of Names
2009 List of Names
2008 List of Names
2007 List of Names
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Sponsors and Supporters
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Prior Updates



American Girl, acquired by Mattel in 1998, produces a line of historical character dolls (now BeForever) that date from 1764 to 1974. Currently, the line contains Addy , an African American doll; Josefina, a New Mexican doll; Kaya, a Native American doll; Rebecca Rubina Russian-Jewish doll. 

Will an Italian-Catholic doll be next?



On the American Girl website, Frequently Asked Questions:

"How do I submit an idea for a new American Girl Product? Unfortunately, we cannot legally use specific ideas submitted by people outside the company. All new products are conceived and designed by an in-house design and development team." 


Request an Italian American Doll (see below).




The addition of Rebecca Rubin signifies that American Girl has acknowledged religion, along with ethnicity, as important when learning about the immigrants of America.


With the Roman Catholic Church the largest of Christian Churches, and with the Pope residing in Italy, a Catholic Italian American Historical Character is an ideal choice for the next American Girl doll.


Involve your local Church group or parish. Please write to American Girl (address below) to request that an Italian American Catholic Doll be added to its Historical Characters. The setting of Tontitown (see 2008) is also ideal because it was founded by Father Pietro Bandini, a Jesuit Priest.



In September 2008, a third letter was sent to American Girl with a suggestion to use Tontitown, Arkansas as the historical setting for the Italian American Doll. In 1898, Father Pietro Bandini led a group of Italian immigrants to a land and climate in the Ozarks that was similar to their homeland of Italy; he named the settlement for Italian explorer Enrico de Tonti (known as the “Father of Arkansas”).


The first grapevines were harvested in the fall of 1899, and celebrated with a grape festival, which is still held every year. By 1913, the town was producing Concord grapes for commercial use, and in the early 1920s, Welch’s opened a plant close by. The grapes were used for juice until the plant was sold in 1992. Within this historic setting, the life of an Italian American girl is reflected in the values of integrity, work ethics, and family traditions.



In 2005, I contacted American Girl requesting an Italian American doll be added to the Historical Collection. I received a very nice response - in part, saying, "... this is a lengthy process ... we need a minimum of three years ..." I was hopeful that an Italian American Girl Doll was in the works.


My follow-up letter sent July, 2007 also received a nice reply, but this time instead of a time frame, I read, "Since our plans are not definite, your suggestion is a valuable resource in helping us formulate our direction ..."


American Girl needs more people requesting an Italian American doll. In August 2007, I posted my thoughts on an Italian forum, and received just a few responses.


A recent conversation with a friend has prompted me to create this page and ask everyone with daughters or granddaughters to contact Ellen L. Brothers, the President of American Girl, and request that an Italian American historical doll be added to the collection.







Request an Italian American Doll


The mass migration of Italians during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries and their contributions to the building of America – in agriculture, mining, transportation, construction, and industry.


Italians settled in California, Louisiana, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Ohio, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Massachusetts, and many other states.


Today, Italian Americans are a large ethnic group and continue to contribute to America. The banking system, malls, Tropicana, Mr. Peanut, Chun King, Subway, Barnes & Noble, and the Radio Flyer wagon were all created by Italians.


An Italian American historical character should be recognized and represented with other nationalities as part of American history.



Send your letter to:

Jean McKenzie, Executive Vice President

American Girl

8400 Fairway Place

Middleton, WI 53562


Please be courteous and brief.


Copyright 2007-2015 Janice Therese Mancuso
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without permission except when published with this credit: Excerpt from Thirty-One Days of Italians, 2015 Janice Therese Mancuso.