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 »  Home  »  People  »  Croatians in America - photo collection by Vladimir Novak, part 1
 »  Home  »  History  »  Croatians in America - photo collection by Vladimir Novak, part 1
Croatians in America - photo collection by Vladimir Novak, part 1
By Prof.Dr. Darko Zubrinic | Published  01/7/2008 | People , History | Unrated
Croatian Energy, page 4

Above General John J. Pershing decorating 2nd Lt. Louis Cukela (Vjekoslav Lujo Cukela), who was awarded both the Navy and Army Medals of Honor for extraordinary heroism in France 1918 during World War I. He was the only living man to hold two such decorations for extreme bravery in a single war.

Cukela was born on May 1, 1888 in Split, Croatia, son of George (Đuro) from the village of Koljane (near Vrlika) and mother Johana (Ivanica Bubrić).

In 1913 Cukela emigratted to the United States and he and his brother setttled in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

On September 21, 1914 he enlisted in the U.S. Army and later in 1917 he enlisted in the Marine Corps. With war raging in Europe, he went to France and took part in all the engagements in which the Fifth marines fought.

In addition to the two Medals of Honor, Cukela was awarded the Silver Star by the Army; the Medaille Militaire (he was the first Marine officer ever to receive this medal), the Legion d'Honneur, the Croix de Guerre with two palms, another Croix with Silver Star by France and several other medals by Italy and U.S.A. In 1940 he was promoted to the rank of Major.

Major Cukela died in 1956 and he was buried with military honors in Arlington Cemetery in March 22, 1956.

Above The warship U.S.S. ARIZONA which the Japanese planes sank in December 1941 at Pearl Harbur (Hawaii) with entire crew of 1177 sailors and marines. Among them were also 9 Croatians: S. Marinich, J. Borovich, W. Ratkovich, Charles and Joseph Starkovich Jr., J. Claudius, Bušić, P. Hazdovac and Beg.

Peter Tomich vessel, 1942

Medal of Honor for Peter Tomich by the President of the United States, in the name of the Congress

In 1916 one of the largest funerals that occured in the Los Angeles Croatian community was for John Barkigia, the 13 year old son of Kata Barkigia (Born Bogišić) from the village of Dubravica, near Dubrovnik.

She was extremely active in Croatian affairs and a member of most organizations.

The Main Street in Sutter Creek, Amador County, California, also called the Golden Heart of the Mother Lode. It was named after John A. Sutter, the first white man to come to the area in 1846. He was the first to mine localy, but few others later managed to make success of it and made millions.

The epochal event was the discovery of gold at Sutter's mill on the American River in January 1848. In the stampede of people from all over America and the world there were many Croatians.

On the top of the hill on the photo we can see a nice house. This was the first Croatian Home in the USA, built in 1874. It was built by Slavonic Society organized in San Francisco in 1857.

Please, go to the next page below.

  • Comment #1 (Posted by Mira Plecko)

  • Comment #2 (Posted by John Ceperich)

    Hi Mr. Novak,
    That is my dedo in front of the Croatian Home in your photo from 1950. Seeing this picture was a pleasant reminder of what a leader and proud hrvat John G. Ceperich really was. Hvala.
  • Comment #3 (Posted by ECK SPAHICH, FRITCH, TEXAS)


  • Comment #4 (Posted by Anton Angelich)

    What a wonderful photographic odyssey of Croatian-Americana. Please continue the process and showcase more from your archives. We hope that you share some of the photos that the Croatian New Yorker Club sent to you years ago... Puno hvala. Anton Angelich, Trustee, Croatian New Yorker Club ( P.S. There also was another man with ancestry from our part of the world lost on the U.S.S. Arizona: Jerry Angelich
  • Comment #5 (Posted by Nedjeljko Jerkoviæ)

    This is excellent.I d like you to help me if you can.My grandfather had gonne to America 1913,and after few mounts he went to Aberdeen(probably).He is Ante Jerkovic,and i think that he married Mara Setka.If you have any information about this please return e-mail back because i am writeing a book about familly.thank you very much.
  • Comment #6 (Posted by george novak)

  • Comment #7 (Posted by felix vlacic)

    Cestitam g.Novak na ulozenom trudu.Koliko energije asamo jedna osoba Lijep pozdrav iz canade
  • Comment #8 (Posted by Ahmet)

    Have been following this a bit, and find a mere 28 % of the elttcoraee voting for membership astonishing. A Danish referendum would be invalid with those numbers.Was in the EU Parliament back in 2005, watching the parliamentarians as hungry wolves putting pressure on the Croatian Government to get Gotovina, disregarding all other points towards EU membership. The parliamentarians made it clear that it was an obligation of the Government to change the opinion of the citizens to no longer admiring him for winning the war and bringing lasting peace to Croatia. The foreign minister explained that they had undertaken extensive efforts to influence public opinion, but still drew the line at going into private homes to take down pictures of the national hero.They got Gotovina later, he now sits in Hague accused of "Not preventing the death" of 150 people during Operation Storm. To my knowledge still not convicted, he is widely considered a "War criminal" in the press, who reports it as a fact, not as a charge.Looks to me like a choice between national pride already heavily damaged and dismal economy. I understand that most Croatians chose not to vote at all.
  • Comment #9 (Posted by John Sabo)

    My great-grandfather is the Frank Hoffer shown in Part 1, Croatian Energy, page 5. He came to the U.S. as Andrej Uršanović. He changed his name to Frank Hoffer while in Philadelphia. My grandmother was his youngest daughter - Frances Dulcie Uršanović Hoffer Sabo, born in Karlovac in 1884. Thanks for giving him the credit for the bringing of the Tamburica to America!
  • Comment #10 (Posted by Jeanne Therese Sabo Finn)

    Thank you for your credit given to our great grandfather, Frank Andre Ursanovec Hoffer, and to his daughters, our aunts- Mima, Katica, Anna, and to his daughter, our grandmother, Frances Dulcie, for his contribution of building, introducing and playing the Tamburitza,a national Croatian musical stringed instrument, along with his daughters at the Chicago World Fair in 1893 and various other events. His daughter, Frances, was our grandmother, mother of our father, John W. Sabo Jr.,born April 29,1907,in Pueblo, Colorado,where he was a life-long resident until he departed this life. His siblings included Russel C. Sabo (a long -time resident of Cheyenne,Wyo.,and Gladyce Sabo Krutak (a long-time resident of New Orleans, LA)
  • Comment #11 (Posted by Chad Martinac)

    My names Chad Martinac, born and raised in Kansas City Ks, Strawberry Hill. Where our beautiful little retreat from the world on top and overlooking KC, From St John The Baptist Catholic Church right here. I long to know where I came from. So I had fraternal grandpa named George and his brother Butch. My uncle John Martinac,Dad Jay Anthony Martinac and by marriage John and James Vrbanic. My name isn't widely used so where did I come from? Do I have Martinacs in Croatia now,still? And would they welcome me? My great grandfather Vladimir came here at what time or why, I don't know. Strawberry Hill was and Is Kansas City's "Little Croatia" please google us and email me at I would love some info , or contact.

    Chad Martinac.
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