The Necessity for Leadership in the Americanization Movement, June 19, 1920 (excerpt)


Jane Addams Talks.

Jane Addams pleaded for sympathy and understanding for the millions of children facing starvation in Europe. "The Czecho-Slovaks, the Armenians and the Poles in this country are wild with anxiety about their relatives and friends over there. If we could send money to the great Polish National society, if we could make them feel that Americans are concerned about them. We are losing an opportunity of making friends of [page 2] these neighbors. They cannot understand that the American people are not concerned. We must meet them on a humane and charitable basis."

Miss Addams explained briefly the laws concerning the naturalization of alien women. "The first year we voted at municipal election in Chicago I acted as a judge. Many women came who had only been in this country six months, able to vote because their husbands had been here three or five years and were naturalized. When we asked their party they spoke but one word -- that was the name of the Alderman. That and "vote" were the only words they knew. The men had to pass examinations but the women could vote because their husbands could. On the other hand when an American woman marries an alien she loses her citizenship though she be most valuable as a voter. All this much be changed now that woman has the ballot."

"We are going to ask for a resolution from this federation for legislation seeking to correct this, giving women citizenship only on their own recognition for it and not through their husband's."