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They Made America: "Newcomers"

"Newcomers" focuses on recent immigrants to America, their diligence and desires and the often harsh reality of their lives. The success stories among them imbued whole communities with pride in the face of rampant prejudice.

When Amadeo Giannini's idea -- a bank that gave working people a chance to secure and earn from their savings -- blossomed into Bank of America, the largest private bank in the world, many shared the wealth. "Giannini's great thing is to start saying we're going to open our doors to everybody; we're going to judge loans, not on what they've got in the bank, but what they've got in their soul," says author Harold Evans.

Also uplifting is the story of a Russian seamstress who became a lingerie tycoon. With the creation of Maidenform, Ida Rosenthal mass-produced a bra that was the perfect fit for the new, corsetless American woman.

Innovators profiled in "Newcomers":

Samuel Insull, Thomas Edison's apprentice, realized the dream of serving all America with cheap electricity.

Amadeo Giannini, a big man on the side of the little people, became the people's banker.

Ida Rosenthal liberated women from centuries of constriction with her Maidenform bra.

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page created on 6.30.2004
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