The Chicago Foreign Language Press Survey was published in 1942 by the Chicago Public Library Omnibus Project of the Works Progress Administration of Illinois. The purpose of the project was to translate and classify selected news articles that appeared in the foreign language press from 1855 to 1938. The project consists of 120,000 typewritten pages translated from newspapers of 22 different foreign language communities of Chicago.

Read more about this historic project.

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  • Svornost -- July 15, 1878
    [Five Bohemian Youths Admitted to High School]

    Every thoughtful citizen is very much pleased when he hears of the great desire of Bohemians to acquire an education. When he hears that Bohemian parents are thoroughly mindful of their children's education according to their means.

    In Chicago 25,000 Bohemians should take pride in the number of youths attending institutions of learning. Last year (5) five Bohemians attending "Grammar School" distinguished themselves with such extraordinary diligence, they were admitted to the High School.

    They were F. J. Patera, Jos. Koupeny, B. Novy, K. Wilen, and John Traotina. So far as is known they are thoughtful, ambitious youngsters who no doubt will serve their country to the honor of our nationality.

    Every thoughtful citizen is very much pleased when he hears of the great desire of Bohemians to acquire an education. When he hears that Bohemian parents are thoroughly mindful of ...

    Bohemian
    I A 1 a
  • Svornost -- April 12, 1879
    A Review of the Compulsory School Attendance Law.

    Enemies of the law for compulsory school attendance of children between the ages of 8 and 14 years, among whom is found the "Chicago Times" condemn this law and it's regulations. The objections they put forth can readily be dismissed by any reasonably sensible man, who is concerned about the welfare of the community as a whole, and the safe guarding of the rights of all those who in some instance may need the protection of law.

    They claim the State has no right, much less any obligation, to take children from the control of the parents, to raise and educate them against their will other wise, unless the parents so wish it. Such disregard of rights originates in Prussia and is pure and simple despotism, where every inhabitant belongs to the State and the State must provide all his necessities and watch over him. The American principles are that the citizen belongs only to himself, that he is free, and that the State is maintained only for the purpose of assuring his freedom, not for the purpose of putting him under it's protection and regulating his life.

    2

    The Prussian principle is that people are created for the State. The American principle is that the government is created for the people and that more government than is actually necessary to preserve the liberty of the citizenry is despotism. Therefore they claim that the only plane upon which compulsory attendance of schools can be placed is Despotism. These principles however, are undemocratic and contrary to out system of personal rights, which the government should guard against any curtailment.

    They say this kind of law would be as unenforcible as a law prohibiting the drinking of alcoholic liquors, or any other law tampering with our private domestic affairs. It is indeed a strange exposition of the principles of liberty and duty.

    The whole fault of this reasoning, knowingly committed, remains in the fact that they out children on the same level with the parents; they put them on the same plane as other mature citizens. They refuse to admit that children can not be compared with mature citizens, because in the first place they dont know and cannot know their rights for they would not understand them if they were being told and they are 3unable to guard their rights in any manner. Education cannot be forcibly administered in some coercive institution. That is true. We do not expect to force any one with a whip to become a Doctor or Professor if he has not the will nor ambition for it. However, everyone even the poorest and most indifferent can be persuaded while his mind is still pliant, to learn reading, writing and arithmetic thereby reducing the possibility of becoming an uneducated loafer when he has grown up, knowing nothing and seeking his livelihood in thievery.

    According to their objections the State would not have the right, even, to force convicted criminals to learn anything and if they had no trade would be compelled to keep them in idleness. The final argument of the "Limes" that this system which would force children from the home to school like convicts under sentence, would lower the morale and standards of the schools so that none would care to brag that they went to school is sheer nonsense. Only when children begin to show more common sense, can there be any talk of voluntary school attendance. We are of the opinion that all of the objections put forth by the enemies of compulsory education are worthless and that Illinois should have a law compelling parents to send their children to schools.

    Enemies of the law for compulsory school attendance of children between the ages of 8 and 14 years, among whom is found the "Chicago Times" condemn this law and it's ...

    Bohemian
    I A 1 a, I B 3 b
  • Svornost -- June 30, 1880
    Our Bohemian Youth in Local High Schools

    We are obliged to enter in this public paper the names of the Bohemian pupils in our public schools, who have successfully completed the studies in the higher grades. In comparison with the large number of Bohemians in the city, they are very, very few in number, only three this year.

    They are Fr. Patera, Fr. Novy, both whom attended the local high school with great success and have obtained their diplomas, proving their industry and extra ordinary ability. At the Foster public school, Vac. Salek was the recipient of such recognition as is seldom given to more then one or two pupils of a class. However, much the successes of these pupils pleases us, we cannot overcome our sorrow over the fact that so few of our boys attend, (and probably none of our girls) the high schools.

    It must be understood that, the fault lies with the parents, who do not realize, that by giving their children an education, they give them more than any amount of labor could provide. It is about time that Bohemian parents took more interest in our high schools and helped their children to a better education. This would of itself raise their standing as 2citizens and make their prospects of the future much brighter. There are quite a large number of us here and it is time to give thought to it, that we might have among us more men able to work in the interests of our countrymen in the midst of strange customs.

    We are obliged to enter in this public paper the names of the Bohemian pupils in our public schools, who have successfully completed the studies in the higher grades. In ...

    Bohemian
    I A 1 a
  • Svornost -- October 04, 1880
    Meeting in Regards to Eighth Ward School.

    Yesterday's meeting, called in the interests of the Bohemian English School of the 8th Ward, was fairly well-attended and it seemed apparent that this important matter still has some encouraging supporters.

    After a lengthy debate as to ways and means of keeping this school active, it was decided to let the entire matter rest in the hands of a committee composed of Mr. G. B. Reisl, Karl Soldat, Hrejsy, Karl Novak, and Fr. Dvorak.

    The committee reported the following resolution which was accepted.

    "We, citizens of the 8th ward, gathered in a mass meeting, recognizing the importance and need of a Bohemian-English Liberal School promise to do all in our power to maintain and provide for it.

    Further be it resolved to invite all national lodges and societies which still honorably consider themselves Bohemian societies to be of help to us to the utmost of their ability, and that they should elect to the committee their own representatives."

    2

    It was further resolved to hold another meeting next Sunday and the meeting then adjourned.

    The committee held a short conference and decided to begin work without further delay. Today and tomorrow the notices will have been sent out and it is hoped that the various lodges and societies will give them consideration as soon as possible and make some sort of a decision in regards to them.

    Yesterday's meeting, called in the interests of the Bohemian English School of the 8th Ward, was fairly well-attended and it seemed apparent that this important matter still has some encouraging ...

    Bohemian
    II B 2 f, III B 4, I A 1 a
  • Svornost -- June 24, 1881
    Grammar School Graduates

    There are thirty-two grammar schools in our city from which 785 boys and girls are being graduated this year. Among these graduates we find fourteen Bohemian names, though there may be more, for our English teachers have a habit of Americanizing Bohemian names to such an extent that one would have difficulty in recognizing them for such. The following are the names of the Bohemian graduates, of them we may well be proud and we wish them continued success in their future endeavors in the higher schools.

    From the "Dore" School: Annie S. Novotkiy, A. Viola Mikes, Lizzie Husak. "Brown" School: Lida Fiser. "Douglas" School: Joe Hurita. "Foster" School: Edw. Dvorak, Augusta Fiser, Otillie Goldberger, Vilem L. Lhotka and D. J. Srigar. "Hayes" School: Stepan Fiser. "Moseley" School: Anna Vitkovsky. "Newberry" School: Ella L. Huber. "Skinner" School: Jakub Vitkovsky.

    There are thirty-two grammar schools in our city from which 785 boys and girls are being graduated this year. Among these graduates we find fourteen Bohemian names, though there may ...

    Bohemian
    I A 1 a
  • Svornost -- June 29, 1881
    Bohemian Appointed to School Board

    The City Council held a meeting last night in which, as a whole, there was not much of importance to the Bohemian people except that the Mayor announced the appointment to the School Board of the Bohemian Lawyer Adolf Kraus, thereby fulfilling the long desired request of the Bohemians that they be represented in this important office.

    The Mayor announced the appointment to the School Board of the following: Adolf Kraus, Jacob T. Healy, Thomas Brennan, Dr. Norman Bridge and Adolf. Schoeninger.

    The City Council held a meeting last night in which, as a whole, there was not much of importance to the Bohemian people except that the Mayor announced the appointment ...

    Bohemian
    I A 1 a, I F 4, IV
  • Svornost -- September 19, 1883
    To the Honor of the Bohemian Nationality in Chicago (Editorial)

    America, or rather Chicago, is upset that a Bohemian attained the distinction, which many rich and prominent Americans, Germans and Irishmen hopefully expected.

    In the last session of the Board of Education, a Bohemian, Adolf Kraus, a lawyer, was nominated as Chairman of The School Board. This distinction is so great, that an English newspaper mentioned it in long articles.

    To a certain degree, the president of the Board of Education is a more educated person than the Mayor himself, who is a politician elected by the voters, whose votes must be gained by different ways and means.

    The Board of Education is an office of honor, and its members are chosen and selected men of excellence and confidence; they are trusted with the problem of the education of all the younger generation in our city, and their previous merits authorize them to run for the position of chairman of The Board of 2Education.

    It is a great honor to be a member of the Board in a large city like Chicago. Adolf Kraus was a member of the Board and he represented, with dignity, the Bohemian Community of Chicago two years, participating in deliberations and decisions together with other prominent citizens of Chicago.

    This time the members of the Board of Education called the blameless member, Mr. Kraus, to preside over them, knowing that he is the most irreproachable, capable and prominent man for this office.

    The appointment of Mr. Kraus to the presidency is in recognition and honor, of the Bohemian population in Chicago, which numbers over 40,000 people.

    We were greatly pleased, when two years ago the Bohemian lawyer, A. Kraus, was nominated by the Mayor for office in the Board of Education, and this proved a real success for our nation and greater honor, then if three Bohemian candidates should have been appointed to paying positions in some other office where everything is connected with profit and the making of a living only, and nothing more.

    3

    When our candidate and representative was elevated to the presidency of the most important board in the city we should radiate with much greater happiness than ever.

    It means that he is entrusted by all the citizens with their schools, their ambitious children and their confidence. We should be proud, that the citizens can choose from among us such trustworthy men, who are serving the City unselfishly in most important and dignified positions.

    We are absolutely sure that the Chairman of the Board of Education, our Adolph Kraus, will perform his duties to the honor, not only of himself but to honor of our whole Bohemian community. Should he not act with dignity and should he not respond to the confidence put in him, he would cast shame on our nation, as one who is not able to handle this kind of an office.

    If he responds in every way to his responsibilities he will procure for us honor and pride; he will prove that he is of our blood, educated and raised in our midst and elevated by his own merits. Thanks to his energetic efforts he wholly mastered the English language, gained the full confidence of our people during his so journ among us and received complete acknowledgement of his ability in all our social and official circles.

    4

    He deserves the elected elevation to the high office.

    We congratulate Mr. Kraus on his elevation, we ardently congratulate ourselves for this product of our social group. Our whole community, those previously despised "Bohemians" will gain tremendously in the opinion of the Germans, Irishmen and Americans, who have always insulted and ridiculed us.

    We can prove, now, that a Bohemian is the chairman of their most important institution and the fact will remain, for a long time, in the memory of all, that a Bohemian has occupied this high position honorably, honestly, and to the satisfaction of all citizens of Chicago.

    We know that Adolf Kraus will not forget the interests of the Bohemian nation here in regard to the Sokols and the more convenient location of our schools in considering the education of Bohemian children.

    America, or rather Chicago, is upset that a Bohemian attained the distinction, which many rich and prominent Americans, Germans and Irishmen hopefully expected. In the last session of the Board ...

    Bohemian
    I A 1 a, IV, I C
  • Svornost -- February 08, 1884
    Sunday and Saturday School

    Yesterday there was opened a new Sunday and Saturday school at 46 Bunker St., in the building of Matica Skolska (Alma Mater). The new school is for the Bohemian children, especially for children who on week days go to the English public schools. The Alma Mater is conducting the school. The purpose of this school is to teach all children of local Bohemian parents to speak, read and write their mother language. The knowledge of the mother tongue will ennoble every Bohemian child and every adult. We are following the example of the Germans, who are giving close attention to the instruction of their children in good English and in the ancestral language too. The Germans know that this is the only way to preserve the German nationality, thus protecting their children against denationalization. In this regard we must imitate them.

    2

    Now we have the most favorable opportunity to do it. The Alma Mater makes for this purpose new sacrifices and our duty should be to see that Bohemian parents take advantage of this opportunity and send their children to this new school. It is absolutely necessary that the American citizen know the English language, but would a Bohemian be a real Bohemian who did not know the mother tongue and the history of his celebrated ancestors? Would we call a real Bohemian a man who would be confused, listening to an educated man speaking of the history of our famed Bohemia? Such a one would be an absolute nonentity in the community. Such a youth would become a so-called "dude"; in his foolish superiority he would not care to speak Bohemian, being ashamed of the language and would not be worthy of the notice by anyone. We have many individuals of this kind among our growing youths. It is the noble task of our schools to stop the increase of this element.

    3

    Bohemian parents should take notice; every true Bohemian must care whether his children know their ancestral tongue. We hopefully expect that a large number of children will be registered in the school.

    Next Sunday a school for young men will be started in the same building. We urge especially those young men to attend who in previous years had no opportunity to gain some education, and being now occupied through the week, are unable to acquire a spiritual education. And what is a workingman without spiritual education? A mere machine, a slave of his employer, possessing not enough power to act freely toward his own progress.

    The Alma Mater is about the only society which has taken extensive care of the Bohemian, being unsparing in its sacrifice to teach Bohemian 4children to speak, read and write their mother tongue so that in the future they may be the real representatives of their ancestral country - likewise, good citizens of our adopted country.

    The success of this noble work rests now on the shoulders of Bohemian parents, who should lend a helpful hand and send their children to this school.

    Yesterday there was opened a new Sunday and Saturday school at 46 Bunker St., in the building of Matica Skolska (Alma Mater). The new school is for the Bohemian children, ...

    Bohemian
    II B 2 f, I C, III A, I A 1 a, I A 3
  • Svornost -- September 10, 1885
    Board of Education.

    All members of the Board were present at yesterday's meeting. After deciding many business issues, the members of the Board began the election of the officers for the coming year. Mr. Clark proposed the renomination of the present chairman Doolittle. Mr. Nichoff proposed our countryman, Adolf Kraus, as chairman; many other members in their short speeches declared their approval to the proposition, proving the great confidence in our countryman. Many members publicly stated that the Bohemian Kraus was experienced in educational problems and will fulfill the duties of his office very successfully and to the fullest satisfaction of the City of Chicago. Both candidates had their followers among the members of the Board.

    The result of the voting was undecided, Doolittle obtained five votes and Kraus, seven; the second vote was postponed, and the election of other officers accomplished.

    2

    Then followed the second vote for chairman; this time the Bohemian, Adolf Kraus, was elected chairman with a majority of votes.

    We certainly can be proud that our countryman was elected as chairman of such an important office.

    All members of the Board were present at yesterday's meeting. After deciding many business issues, the members of the Board began the election of the officers for the coming year. ...

    Bohemian
    I A 1 a, IV
  • Svornost -- January 08, 1890
    [Children Should Be Sent to School]

    The State of Illinois has experienced considerable difficulty in forcing the foreign-born in sending their children to school. When asked why they did not send their children to school, they would reply that they had no money or clothes to send the children to school with. When that was furnished they still did not send them.

    Finally Mrs. Axford, a woman with a twelve year old boy, whom she refused to send to school after repeated orders, was made an example of. She was brought before the judge, fined $20.00 and forced to send the boy to school. This example made the other recalcitrant parents take notice and as a consequence the school was crowded on the following day.

    The law is that all children must attend school form the ages of 7 to 14. Heretofore, small children were sent to factories and lot of them had no schooling at all, leaving them illiterate. The English language is taught in all schools, whether they be secular or public and all children should be given an opportunity to acquire an education.

    The State of Illinois has experienced considerable difficulty in forcing the foreign-born in sending their children to school. When asked why they did not send their children to school, they ...

    Bohemian
    I A 1 a, I B 3 b