Among the very first industrial-era immigrants to the United States were citizens of Austria-Hungary, who were recruited to work the coal fields of Pennsylvania and certain other states. An absolute necessity for both industry and homes, coal was king.
In this talk, John Righetti will outline what coal communities were like at the beginning of mass immigration to the U.S., and how they even became an economic system distinct from the rest of America. He will explain how coal communities developed as a culture unto itself. For anyone with family roots in coal mining communities, this presentation is a must.
John Righetti has been active in Carpatho-Rusyn cultural affairs internationally for more than four decades. He has taught Rusyn dance, lectured to children and adults, taught Rusyn culture in churches and in schools, and lectured extensively on Carpatho-Rusyn culture, history, and immigration throughout the United States and Eastern Europe. He was the founding president of the national Carpatho-Rusyn Society, he is the facilitator of the Carpatho-Rusyn Consortium of North America, and he works with the U.S. government, the European Union, and various European governments on human rights issues for Carpatho-Rusyns. He also served, until recently, as the North American representative to the World Council of Rusyns, based in Prešov, Slovakia. A graduate of the University of Pittsburgh, with a Certificate in Russian and East European Studies, he also studied the Slovak and Ukrainian languages.