The Romanian Press
GERALD J. BOBANGO
Making the very best of imperfect statistics, one may estimate that some 85,000 Romanians, most of them from Transylvania, had come to the United States by 1920, while another 5,400 native-born Americans were of Romanian parentage. The vast majority of those arriving in the peak period between 1895 and 1920 were single men between the ages of eighteen and forty-five, 97 percent of them unskilled laborers, who settled in the industrial heartland of the mid-Atlantic and Great Lakes states. New York, Chicago, Detroit, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Youngstown, Gary, Akron, Canton, Erie, and Johnston all had active and substantial Romanian colonies by the end of World War I.
Despite the increasingly rapid passing of the pioneer generation of Romanian immigrants, Romanian-language and Romanian-English publications devoted to the concerns and interests of the second-- and third--generation ethnic community continue to appear in the United States and Canada today. In the summer of 1983, well-known Cleveland journalist Theodore Andrica counted twenty-eight in the United States and seven in Canada. 1 A majority of these seem to appear with fair regularity, others only sporadically. The tradition established for Romanian-American journalism by the pioneer priest Father Moise Balea, who placed on the masthead of the premier number of his newspaper America in 1906, "published when I have time, money, and disposition," has not been lost.
A complete catalogue of the Romanian press in America has yet to be compiled. The researcher encounters what as early as the 1920s appears to be a bewildering proliferation of regional and local newspapers, little magazines, "journals," bulletins, official and semi-official organs of this or that Romanian group, church, or beneficial society, many of which appeared only for one or two issues, then ceased to exist or reorganized and appeared again under a different name. It is likely that dozens of local or even wider-ranging publications remain unknown to us today, so long as the records of numerous Romanian societies and parishes during the early years of the century continue to molder in dozens of crumbling parish halls and society basements, or in the attics and