|Films to Promote Americanism (Touchstone Magazine, 1920)|
The attached article, "The Immigrant and the Movies: A New Kind of Education", is about Hollywood filmmakers with the dream of instilling among the newcomers a sense of pride in being American, the Americanism Committee of the Motion Picture Industry was formed in 1920 in order to create films that would impart this sensation.
Deporting the Reds (American Legion Weekly, 1920)
In this 1920 AMERICAN LEGION WEEKLY article the mojo of the Red Scare (1917 to 1920)is fully intact and beautifully encapsulated by W.L. Whittlesey who condemned the U.S. Government for having allowed large numbers of socialist immigrants to enter the country and spread their discontent throughout the fruited plane. On the other hand, the writer was grateful that the government was finally seeing to the matter of deporting them in large numbers and doing so with every legal means available (mention was not made concerning the manner in which the evidence was secured nor was there any remark as to whether or not there was an appeal process).
"The old transport "Buford" sailed the other day as a sort of Red Noah's Ark with a whole menagerie of misfits on board, nearly all bound for Russia."
Read how film productions was being deplayed to assimilate 1920s immigrants.
Immigrant Literacy Tests Passed (New York Times, 1915)
In 1915, some newspaper readers might have preferred to interpret the passage of the Smith-Burnett Immigration bill as a legal measure that would insure a higher standard for immigrants to meet in order to guarantee citizenship; while others tended to interpret the legislation as a restrictive law that was intended only to exclude from citizenship Italians and Eastern-European Jews. This article reported on a massive New York protest decrying the Smith-Burnett bill that was attended by Louis D. Brandeis (1856 – 1941; appointed to the Supreme Court a year later), Episcopal Bishop David Hummel Greer (1844 - 1919) and former president of Columbia University Seth Low (1850 - 1916). A Rabbi in attendance remarked:
"this measure would exclude the real worker and admit the undesirable idler..."
Green Card holders are to this day still required to show fluency in the English language, although the swearing-in ceremony and their voting ballots are often in their native language.
Americanizing the Lady Immigrants (Vogue Magazine, 1917)
Upon learning that the Woman Suffrage Amendment passed the New York legislature quite handily, the Suffrage Party lost no time in solidifying their base and quickly set to work locating additional voters for future state elections. They quickly discovered that there were five hundred thousand new voters in New York City alone; two hundred thousand of them were foreign-born women.
This VOGUE article is a fun read for a number of reasons, the first one being that it seems that nothing ever really changes in America and the second reason is because this article was written by a pampered patrician of the first order and when you read between the lines you get the sense that she would rather not breathe the same air as Italian and Jewish Immigrants:
"As well-born American women, we can never out-vote the immigrant; we must make her an all-American citizen and voter."
1921 Saw Many Single European Women Moving to the U.S. (Literary Digest, 1921)
The death and disfigurement of over four million young men during the course of the First World War (1914 - 1918) created an enormous problem for the women of Europe:
"A French statesman recently estimated that in his country there are now 1,000,000 women for whom there are no mates, while similar conditions exist also in England, Italy, Germany and Austria."
This article makes clear that in a quest for husbands, half a million women had arrived in the U.S. following the end of hostilities and it was further believed that by the close of 1921 another half million will have landed.
Does The Melting Pot Melt? (Literary Digest, 1917)
The "melting pot" in this sense is applied to the race-conscious study of forensic anthropology. This article concerns the work of Dr. Ales Hrdlika (1869-1943) of the National Museum of Washington, and the records that he maintained regarding the physical features of the earliest European settlers compared to the Americans of the early Twentieth Century (read: Jews and Italians), following so many generations of immigration and intermarriage.
What is amusing is the illustration of "The American Face":
...the diagram drawn to scale from Dr. Hrdlicka's data... shows "the mean man of the old American stock". It is pointed out that the most conspicuous peculiarities of the type are the oblong outline of the face and the well-developed forehead."
*Watch An Ellis Island Film Clip*