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Crossing the Rubicon

January 12, 2015

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Profile America — Monday, January 12th. Near this date in 49 B.C., Julius Caesar, leading the 13th Roman legion, crossed the Rubicon. That minor river in northeastern Italy marked a boundary south of which a Roman general could not bring his troops. Crossing the Rubicon, which has since come to mean passing a point of no return, precipitated a civil war. Caesar triumphed, effectively ending the Roman republic and launching imperial Rome. Many generations later, the descendants of the Romans crossed a more formidable water barrier: the Atlantic Ocean. In 1832, three Italians were recorded as immigrants to the U.S.; in 1914, immigration from Italy peaked at over 283,000. Today there are nearly 17½ million Americans of Italian ancestry, around 5½ percent of the population. You can find more facts about America from the U.S. Census Bureau online at <>

Julius Caesar
Early immigration
Historical Statistics of the United States: Colonial Times to 1970, p. 105, 106
Italian ancestry

Source: U.S. Census Bureau | Public Information Office | Last Revised: January 05, 2015