- May 2014
Check the U.S. Census records as far back as 1900. Those who were born in Italy were listed as "white" in the race column.
Also, the US Census race category didn't begin in 1900. Rather, it began all of the way back in 1790. Each individual was enumerated starting from 1850. While most Italian immigration to the US occurred after 1880, surely there was some Italian immigration to the US before 1880 as well.