Tag Archives: history

Theodore Roosevelt on Immigration

Theodore Roosevelt on Immigrants and being an American – January 3, 1919

“In the first place we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the man’s becoming in very fact an American, and nothing but an American. If he tries to keep segregated with men of his own origin and separated from the rest of America, then he isn’t doing his part as an American. There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn’t an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag, and this excludes the red flag, which symbolizes all wars against liberty and civilization, just as much as it excludes any foreign flag of a nation to which we are hostile. We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language for we intend to see that the crucible turns our people out as Americans, and American nationality, and not as dwellers in a polyglot boarding house; and we have room for but one soul[sic] loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people.”

This quote made the rounds as an e-mail a while back and I hadn’t gotten around to sharing it.  Well, I finally got around to researching it and just needed to correct a couple minor mistakes so that it be taken in the proper context.  First, the quote is NOT from a 1907 speech made by Roosevelt while still in office.  The text actually comes from a letter he wrote in 1919 just days before his death.  I also restored a couple lines that had been edited out.  If you would like to see the original document from the Manuscript Division of the Library of Congress, it can be viewed here.

During my research on this I found some other quotes by Teddy Roosevelton along similar lines.  Here are a couple.

“Let us say to the immigrant not that we hope he will learn English, but that he has got to learn it.  Let the immigrant who does not learn it go back.  He has got to consider the interest of the United States or he should not stay here.  He must be made to see that his opportunities in this country depend on his knowing English and observing American standards.  the employer cannot be permitted to regard him only as an industrial asset.

We must in every way possible encourage the immigrant to rise, help him up, give him a chance to help himself.  If we try to carry him he may well prove not well worth carrying.  We must in turn insist upon his showing the same standard of fealty to this country and to join us in raising the level of our common American citizenship.”

Excerpted from a speach by former President Roosevelt from The New York Times of February 2, 1916.

“I appeal to all our citizens no matter what land their forefathers came from, to keep this ever in mind, and to shun with scorn and contempt the sinister intrigues and mischiefmakers who would seek to divide them along lines of creed, or birthplace or of national origin…  The effort to keep our citizenship divided against itself by the use of the hyphen and along the lines of national origin is certain to breed a spirit of bitterness and prejudice and dislike between great bodies of our citizens.  If some citizens band together as German-Americans or Irish-Americans, then after a while others are certain to band together as English-Americans or Scandanavian-Americans, and every such banding together, means down at the bottom an effort against the interest of straight-out American citizenship, an effort to bring into our nation the bitter Old World rivalries and jealousies and hatreds.”

Memorial Day speech by former President Roosevelt from The Washington Post of June 1, 1916.

Now, I am not a big fan of either Roosevelt.  But Teddy, despite being the first progressive president, was still able to recognize the exceptional nature of America and that it needed to be protected from enemies both foreign and domestic.

Lost and Found – January 3rd Edition

What to remember about January 3rd…

  • 106 BC  Roman philosopher and statesman Cicero is born (d. 43 BC)
  • 1521  Pope Leo X excommunicates Martin Luther from the Catholic Church, declares Luther an outlaw and heretic
  • 1777  While evading a superior British force, Patriot troops ambush straggling rear guard at Battle of Princeton
  • 1834  Founder of Texas colonies Stephen Austin is imprisoned by President Santa Ana after delivering their new Constitution
  • 1861  Vote to secede from the Union fails in Delaware
  • 1892  English author J.R.R. Tolkien is born (d. 1973), creator of Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit
  • 1919  Emir Faisal and Chaim Weizmann sign agreement at the Paris Peace Conference to develop a Jewish homeland
  • 1938  President Franklin D. Roosevelt creates National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis; later renamed the March of Dimes foundation
  • 1959  President Eisenhower signs proclamation admitting Alaska as the 49th state in the Union
  • 1987 Aretha Franklin becomes 1st woman inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
  • 1990  During invasion of Panama, dictator Manuel Noriega surrenders to U.S. forces after 10-day standoff
  • 1999  NASA launches Mars Polar Lander atop Delta II rocket

the hobbit first edition dust jacket book cover

Lost and Found – January 2nd Edition

What to remember about January 2nd…

  • 1776  Congress publishes Tory Act to advise colonies on how to deal with persons remaining loyal to Britain
  • 1788  Georgia becomes 4th state in the Union by voting to ratify the U.S. Constitution
  • 1909 Father of modern conservatism and 5-term U.S. Senator Barry Morris Goldwater is born in Phoenix, Arizona (d. 1998)
  • 1923  Albert Fall, Secretary of the Interior under President Harding resigns over corruption charges in Teapot Dome scandal
  • 1935  Bruno Hauptman goes on trial for the murder of the infant son of aviation hero Charles Lindbergh
  • 1974  President Nixon signs Emergency Highway Energy Conservation Act to establish a national speed limit during oil crisis
  • 1980  President Carter reacts to Soviet invasion of Afghanistan by delaying implementation of SALT-II Treaty; Soviets unimpressed

Lost and Found – January 1st Edition

What to remember about January 1st…

  • 1781  1500 Patriot troops under General Anthony Wayne mutiny over not being paid; they march off on their own to capture Princeton
  • 1808  As the 20-year constitutional prohibition against legislation in relation to slavery expires, Act Prohibiting Importation of Slaves goes into effect in any U.S. jurisdiction
  • 1863  As promised, President Lincoln signs the Emancipation Proclamation freeing all slaves in rebellious America; Union army is instructed to liberate any they find
  • 1892  Federal immigration receiving station opens on Ellis Island
  • 1934  Law for the Prevention of Genetically Diseased Offspring goes into effect in Nazi Germany; court ordered sterilization
  • 1942  President Roosevelt and Minister Churchill issue proclamation at end of the Arcadia Conference vowing to create United Nations
  • 1958  At San Quentin Johnny Cash plays his 1st prison performance; inmate Mearle Haggard is inspired to change his life
  • 1959  Communist led by Fidel Castro force Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista to flee the country for the Dominican Republic
  • 1962  United States Navy’s Sea, Air, and Land Teams (SEALs) are established
  • 1966  Advance units of 1st Marine Division arrive in Vietnam; by march 20,000 Marines will be in country
  • 1984  As a result of 1974 anti-trust lawsuit brought by Justice Department, AT&T is broken into 7 holding companies known as “Baby Bells”
  • 2004  Roman Catholic and Protestant Boy Scout organizations reunite after almost a century of division

Lost and Found – December 31st Edition

What to remember about December 31st…

    • 1695  Britain passes a “window tax”; consequently may britons just brick up their windows to avoid paying
    • 1775  Attack on Quebec during snowstorm by Patriot forces is repulsed; Colonel Benedict Arnold wounded during fighting
    • 1862  Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest pretends to surrender at Parker’s Crossroads in order to  escape
    • 1879  Thomas Edison puts on 1st demonstration of public incandescent lighting on streets of Menlo Park, New Jersey
    • 1943  American musician and songwriter John Denver (John Deutschendorf, Jr.) is born in Roswell, New Mexico (d. 1997)
    • 1968  1st test flight by Soviet TU-144 supersonic airliner; nicknamed “Konkordski” for fact that design mostly stolen from european Concord
    • 1974  U.S. citizens are allowed to buy or own gold again after more than 40 years
    • 1999  Treaty signed by President Carter goes into effect and the United States gives away control of the Panama Canal
    • 1999 In surprise announcement, Russia’s 1st President Boris Yeltsin resigns and puts former KGB colonel Vladimir Putin in office
    • 2006  Islamic terror group Jemaah Islamiyah detonates 8 of 9 bombs planted to target New Years celebrations in Bangkok, Thailand
    • 1999  People around the world await the “Y2K Millennium Bug” to crash computers everywhere; disruptions are scattered and mostly minor
    • 2008  In Aspen, Colorado James Chester Blanning Jr. places 4 bombs at banks in extortion attempt and protest against Bush war policies

Lost and Found – December 30th Edition

What to remember about December 30th…

    • 1066  Muslim mobs in Grenada crucify Jewish vizier and murder almost 4000 Jews living there at the urging of an anti-Semitic poem
    • 1803  Welsh-American patriot, POW, and signer of Declaration of Independence Francis Lewis dies in New York (b. 1713)
    • 1852  Future President Rutherford B. Hayes marries abolitionist Lucy Webb in Ohio; 1st presidential wife to be called “first Lady”
    • 1853  James Gadsden and General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna sign Gadsden Purchase in Mexico City establishing U.S. southern border
    • 1862  Civil War ironclad warship USS Monitor sinks in heavy seas off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina with 16 hands still aboard
    • 1922  Delegates sign declaration and treaty creating the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR); apx 58 million of their citizens will die by their own governments hands in next 69 years
    • 1937  Folksinger and songwriter Noel Paul Stookey is born in Baltimore, Md.; famously a member of group Peter, Paul, and Mary
    • 1972  After U.S. agrees to halt Linebacker II bombing campaign, North Vietnamese representatives agree to resume peace negotiations
    • 1977  Serial killer Ted Bundy escapes prison a second time; his bloody rampage in Florida will begin January 14th
    • 2006  Deposed Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein is hanged for charges related to 1982 massacre of Shi’ite muslims (b. 1937)

Warbirds – B-24 Liberator Heavy Bomber

December 29th marks the anniversary of the first-flight of the Consolidated B-24 Liberator.  Designed by Consolidated under the name Model 32, in 1939 the proposal was offered to the War Department as the highest flying, fastest, and most advanced heavy bomber that American forces would have at their disposal.  Though having a shorter hull and less wing area, the innovative design features of the B-24 resulted in a lighter aircraft with substantially greater carrying capacity.  Only nine months after the awarding of the contract, the first prototype took flight.

b-24 liberator line drawing

Often forgotten alongside the more famous B-17 Flying Fortress, the Liberator is still the most produced American military aircraft of all time.  More than 18,400 units were delivered by war’s end; over half coming produced at the Ford Motor Company Willow Run plant at Belleville, Michigan.  At peak, this purpose-built production plant rolled out B-24s at a rate of one per hour.  Over 1000 crewmen slept in cots at the facility just to accommodate testing and delivery of the bombers.

b-24 liberator willow run assembly line

b-24 liberator willow run assembly line final assembly

The B-24 entered service in 1941 with the British as transports and anti-submarine coastal patrols.  The first American B-24 to see action was the lone Liberator stationed at Pearl Harbor and it was destroyed on the ground during the Japanese attack December 7th, 1941.  Despite this less than heroic debut, the legacy of this aircraft is one of the most storied of WWII.  During the war, crews of the Liberators would earn every honor available to our aviators; including the awarding of several Medals of Honor.

http://youtu.be/YWOk2–CY6E

Notable crewmen on B-24s included:

  • George McGovern – pilot (Senator and Presidential candidate)
  • Jim Wright – bombardier (Congressman and Speaker of the House)
  • Stewart Udall – waist gunner (Congressman, Secretary of the Interior, author, and conservationist)
  • Jimmy Stewart – pilot, squadron commander (actor)
  • Robert Altman – co-pilot (film director)
  • Don Herbert – pilot (actor, host of TV show Ask Mr. Wizard)
  • Louis Zamperini – bombardier (Olympic runner and POW)

B-24 Liberator with Jimmy Stewart as pilot

By the end of its service life, dozens of B-24 variants flew with a whole host of nations, including:

Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Czechoslovakia, Germany (as Beuteflugzeug, captured aircraft, India, Italy, Netherlands, Nicaragua, Romania (At least three B-24Ds and one B-24J were rebuild from wrecks around Ploiesti in 1943–44.), Poland, Portugal, Soviet Union, South Africa, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the United States

In its time, the B-24 was one of the most advanced and effective heavy bombers in the world.  Though crews (and history) seem to prefer the B-17, the lessons learned during the creation, evolution, and service of the B-24 would lead to the development of the B-32 and B-36.  These Warbirds would carry the Liberator’s legacy forward through Korea, to Vietnam, and into the height of the Cold War.  Today, only 3 of these historic bombers remain airworthy.

B-24 Liberators over Ploiesti Oil Fields 1943 low level run

B-24 Liberators over Ploiesti Oil Fields 1943

Lost and Found – December 29th Edition

What to remember about December 29th…

  • 1778  Redcoats, mercenaries, and loyalist militia surprise Patriots at Savannah; city remains British controlled until 1782
  • 1808  Future 17th President Andrew Johnson is born in Raleigh, N.C. (d. 1875); he will be impeached for opposing reconstruction
  • 1812  HMS Java engages USS Constitution off Brazil; though damaged her captain wounded “Old Ironsides” captures the British ship
  • 1845  Texas is admitted to the Union as the 28th state
  • 1862  Union forces repulsed at Battle of Chickasaw Bluffs at Vicksburg, Mississippi; Sherman will learn from the mistake
  • 1890  U.S. Cavalry massacre over 100 Souix at Wounded knee following a scuffle and accidental shooting
  • 1939  1st flight of the Consolidated B-24 Liberator
  • 1975  Bomb explodes in main terminal at La Guardia Airport killing 11 and injuring 79; remains unsolved

Lost and Found – December 28th Edition

What to remember about December 28th…

    • 1793  American patriot and author of Common Sense Thomas Paine is arrested for treason in France
    • 1832  John C. Calhoun resigns as vice-president to Andrew Jackson over states rights; 1st ever to step down from that office
    • 1846  Iowa is admitted to the Union as the 29th state
    • 1856  Future 28th President Woodrow Wilson is born in Staunton, Virginia (d. 1924)
    • 1922  American comic book writer Stan Lee is born in New York City; co-creator of Spider-Man, the Hulk, the X-Men, Iron Man and more
    • 1941  Admiral Ben Moreell requests permission from Navy to form specialized construction battalions; will become known as “Seabees”
    • 1973  President Nixon signs Endangered Species Act into law
    • 2000  After 128 years , retail giant Montgomery Ward announces that they are going out of business

Stan Lee’s 1st published work.

Lost and Found – December 27th Edition

What to remember about December 27th…

    • 1831  British naturalist Charles Darwin leaves England aboard HMS Beagle on surveying expedition of southern Atlantic and Pacific
    • 1836  American pioneer and “Father of Texas” Stephen Fuller Austin dies of pneumonia (b. 1793)
    • 1941  Rationing program begins in U.S. when federal Office of Price Administration mandates no driver can own more than five tires
    • 1944  FDR orders the National Guard to sieze Montgomery Ward plants because of refusals to allow unionization
    • 1945  International Monetary Fund and World Bank are created; agreement to organize was signed in July at the Breton Woods Conference
    • 1968  Crew of Apollo 8 splashes down safely after becoming 1st humans to orbit the Moon
    • 1979  Soviets begin to send an additional 75,000 troops to Afghanistan in 10-year bid to support puppet communist regime
    • 2002  Raëlian bishop and Clonaid CEO Brigitte Boisselier announces 1st human reproductive cloning success with birth of baby Eve; scientists sceptical and no proof ever supplied