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 04, 1883
    National Holiday. (Editorial)

    Today is the Fourth of July and the American people celebrate the anniversary of the Foundation and Proclamation of Independence. The experts in the history of the United States have determined which day was the most important in American history, and should be celebrated in the most fervent way. We Bohemians have nothing to do with the arrangement of the celebration, but we will stick to the sentiment of the whole American nation and will celebrate with them.

    2

    In the same way as the churches call their followers, on church holidays to their temples with the idea of inducing them to take care of church matters, in the same way this free and democratic country calls its citizens, on this festive day, to celebrate and to reflect on the problems most important to its citizens. Moderate discipline, moderate excitement, will harm nobody.

    We Bohemians, being citizens of this free country, have very much neglected our education. All people, who came to this country soon after the Civil War, have constantly met with memories of the war and have heard every year, repeated tales about the two hostile parties, their fights, bloodshed and courageous deeds. They were repeatedly warned, that the 3same conditions can return again, because one political party, the Democratic, is watching for the moment when the other party, the Republican, will shut their vigilant eye, and then they will rise, unite with the Democrats of the South and establish slavery again, they will then separate themselves from the Union and start some kind of empire.

    The new Bohemian citizens were compelled to listen, all the time, to this kind of prating and to read in their newspapers the same thing. No wonder they believed in all of this as certain truth, the experienced politicians who published it had much practice in political sagacity.

    4

    This kind of bug-bearing originated in crazed brains and rammed into the thoughts of the Bohemians. Everyone who had intentions of becoming an American patriot was obliged to believe in it, and he who ridiculed it was called a traitor to the government and to the people, a slave-dealer who favored slavery.

    It is no wonder, that the new Bohemian immigrants were afraid to accept the great privilege of becoming American citizens. They refused to take first citizens papers, they despised citizenship.

    They were scared, that when the big war would start, which was constantly probable in their minds, they would be compelled to serve in the Army 5and would suffer worse hardships than under the military Austrian scourge. Single or married, with or without children, they would all go into the army-service. That is why they did not want to listen to citizenship talk and, rather, reported from time to time to the Austrian Consul to be protected from this supposed future war.

    The result was that many years after the Civil War, when the Bohemian immigration increased to such a degree, that in some settlements they could be decisive in the elections, there was only a small number of Bohemian citizens who were eligible as voters and they were not able to achieve anything.

    6

    Those times have gone. The foolish heads were forced to withdraw from public life, because a more clarified conception started to invade the frightened Bohemian communities.

    The Bohemians in the cities and villages started to recognize that they were detoured from the right way. They realized that they had been unduly scared and cheated, and that they had suffered great damage. They started to comprehend what was to their advantage. They applied for citizenship papers. They started to make use of their citizenship rights, in many instances very successfully. It was impossible to make good all at once. However, the activity of the Bohemians in public life, in all the states, where they have large communities, in the last few years has been very progressive and hopeful.

    7

    Liberty can not exist in a country, where the government is not in the hands of the people. It means that when single citizens have not liberty, they are not in a position to partake equally in governmental affairs.

    We must observe with pleasure the social life of our Bohemian people in this country, our new fatherland, and our power should be used principally for this country's benefit and for the progress of ourselves and our children. We must admire the eager work of our numerous Bohemian newspapers and contribute to their growth.

    We must see how honest, independent and incorruptible they are. We must keep a vigilant eye on these virtues since they are generally very neglected in the publications of other nationalities.

    8

    In larger communities it often happens that before important elections some benefactor of the Bohemian people appears who buys votes for certain office-chasers. Our Bohemian citizens know very well such miserable creatures and are no longer paying attention to them.

    Bohemians in public offices, such as county and state, is no longer a rarity, and proves the enlightenment of Bohemian voters and the ardor, which they are willing to throw in their political obligations.

    The Bohemians are using much time and diligence for pre-election and election activities and they are really happy when Bohemian candidates are elected, and never show their jealousy towards elected countrymen.

    9

    It is a common event for Bohemians to appoint as candidates their most capable and trustworthy countrymen, who are supported even by the voters of other nationalities. This support is not on the basis of common nationality, but on the basis of capability and good reputation.

    Political independence between our Bohemians has been developed lately to a very high point; there is now only an insignificant minority, that is able to hesitate in their belonging to the one or the other party, or in obeying blindly the orders of political bosses, who carry on without principle. Even though all these revelations are very consoling, we should be aware that there is much work left still to be accomplished.

    10

    Let us continue our work, let us be civilized in our civil duties, let us proceed collectively and protect our rights, and we will succeed in providing more and more freedom for ourselves and for our children, and a complete acknowledgement to the American government and its population.

    Today is the Fourth of July and the American people celebrate the anniversary of the Foundation and Proclamation of Independence. The experts in the history of the United States have ...

    Bohemian
    III B 3 a, II B 2 d 1, III B 1, III A, III H, I F 4, I C, I G, I J
  • Svornost -- June 01, 1891
    May Ceremonials on Bohemian Cemetery.

    Today we can call the grave decorating ceremonies on the Bohemian National Cemetery a national May celebration.

    Our Bohemian people meet every year on the 30th day of May in this holy place to pay homage to the memory of our departed countrymen, who took up arms in defense of the Union and to further encourage sound activity in the national field.

    Yesterday's celebration was attended by such a large number of Bohemians, that it was necessary to dispatch two trains for the accomodation of the visitors.

    When the first shots in defense of this Union of ours were heard, it was again the inflamable heart of the Slavic race, which answered and hundreds of Bohemians took up arms in defense of the freedom of this land. We repeat once more that judging from the many laudatory notices here and there, the May celebration hereafter will be our most popular national celebration.

    2

    May 30th will be dedicated to the visiting of the National Cemetery and we expect the attendance to be even greater next year.

    Today we can call the grave decorating ceremonies on the Bohemian National Cemetery a national May celebration. Our Bohemian people meet every year on the 30th day of May in ...

    Bohemian
    III B 3 a, III D, III C, I G
  • Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- January 25, 1892
    The Bohemians in Chicago

    The Bohemians constitute a larger percentage of the population than is generally estimated... The first Bohemian immigrants arrived in Chicago in 1853. Several families undertook the long journey from New York to Chicago. Then erected log-houses upon the prairie which is now the North Side, and soon many of their countrymen followed their example. Among the first immigrants were Mathias Barcal, the father of Police-lieutenant Barcal, and J. Padeckcy...He is the founder of the Bohemian Athletic Clubs. Dr. Valenta was the first Bohemian physician and J. Fischer the first one to open a store.

    In 1860 the Bohemian colony in Chicago consisted of approximately 1,000 members. The first thing they organized was a rifle club. The sharpshooters participated in the war (Civil War) and were recognized as courageous fighters, particular in the battles at Mission-Ridge, Tunnel 2Hill, Bussetrost, etc. The commander of the Bohemian battalion, Major Michalozcy, was killed in the last mentioned battle.

    Considerable difficulties were experienced in getting a Bohemian newspaper established on a self-paying basis. Finally in 1870 the Nova Doba (New Era) seemed to be successful, but the Chicago Fire destroyed the undertaking.

    The Svornost (Unity) was organized in 1874 and became the leading newspaper among the Bohemians in the course of time. Besides the above paper two others, the Chicagske Listy, and the Denni Hlasatel, have now a large number of readers. There is also a large Bohemian library in Chicago.

    The scattered Bohemian colonies united in due time and settled in the territory between Canal, Ewing, Forquer, Taylor, and De Koven streets, 3where they build two gymnasiums, and a theater. The district located west of Halsted, and south of 16th street is now an exclusive Bohemian colony. Not less than 15,000 Bohemians own real-estate property there, and some of the buildings have a value of about $50,000.

    Other Bohemian colonies are located west of Ashland avenue, west of Douglas Park, and at Humboldt Park. Some of the schools in these territories are attended almost exclusively by Bohemian children. Likewise do we find Bohemian settlements in Town Lake, and on South Halsted street.

    There are not less than 300 Bohemian clubs in Chicago, and their social activities have reached the climax. The total Bohemian population is estimated at 60,000. The first representative of the Bohemians at the School Board was A. Kraus; his successor, Dr. Jirka, is also a Bohemian. L. W. Kadlec represented the Bohemians as an official of the Public 4Library, and his successor, W. Kaspar, became a financier. J. Kravolec is a member of the West Park Board.

    The Bohemians are represented at the present by the Republican Chott in the Congress of the State, by the Alderman, F. Dvorak in the City Council, and by Stepina at the County Board.

    They also possess a Bohemian brewery valued at $300,000 and a Bohemian cemetery in Irving Park which is valued at $200,000. They have erected a beautiful monument upon this cemetery in honor of their countrymen who lost their lives in the Civil War.

    The Bohemians constitute a larger percentage of the population than is generally estimated... The first Bohemian immigrants arrived in Chicago in 1853. Several families undertook the long journey from New ...

    Bohemian
    III A, II B 2 d 1, I A 1 a, II A 1, II A 2, II B 3, I F 4, III D, II C, I G
  • Svornost -- May 30, 1892
    Unveiling Ceremonies at the Bohemian National Cemetery. Grand Bohemian-American Manifestation.

    The 29th of May, 1892 will remain inscribed in golden letters in the history of Chicago Bohemians.

    On that day we were all united in one common thought and the enthusiasm for an accomplished work filled each one in whose bosom a Bohemian heart beat, whether a believer or free-thinker. It was a manifestation on the part of Chicago Bohemians, the effects of which must be felt even beyond the boundaries of our city. It proved that Bohemians do not come to this land merely to enjoy its freedom, - but that whenever the occasion requires it, they are willing to defend this freedom with their lives.

    An enormous crowd of people were present at yesterday's dedication, and the Bohemian people gave a practical answer to the American press for all the maligning which we have endured in recent years.

    2

    Even if we are not as strong numerically as other nationalities, still the American people must realize that the Bohemian element is one of the strongest pillars in the foundation of this republic.

    We shall not waste words as to why this monument to Bohemian veterans was erected at the National Cemetery. This was all clearly explained by the official speakers at yesterday's dedication. We will only remark that we performed our duty and carried it out honorably and with glory.

    To honor the memory of those who fought for the destruction of slavery, who fought for humanity is the duty of everyone, therefore, we honor the memory of those Bohemians who left their families and all that was dear to them and hastened to battle for the integrity of the union.

    Chicagoans understood the full meaning of yesterday's dedication and attended in large numbers.

    3

    Whoever even feels himself a Bohemian hastened to the National Cemetery, to be present when the veil covering the monument was removed. The enthusiasm with which the speakers were greeted proved that they were not brought to the cemetery by mere curiosity, but truly by the love and respect for the memory of those for whom the monument was built.

    The 29th of May, 1892 will remain inscribed in golden letters in the history of Chicago Bohemians. On that day we were all united in one common thought and the ...

    Bohemian
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  • Svornost -- May 17, 1898
    [Military Training for the Falcons]

    Appeal to the Bohemian-Slovak Falcons in Chicago. Taking in consideration that our adopted country is involved in a war with Spain in the liberation of Cuba, we consider it the duty of Bohemian Falcons to offer their services to the country. All Falcon Organizations of Chicago have held a meeting and resolved to hold one every week at 8 P.M., Thursdays. Special training will be in the hall of Pilsen Falcons. This training will be conducted under English command to prepare the Falcons to be ready in case of need.

    We appeal to all detachment chiefs to execute this resolution at once.

    Signed by the Presidium:

    John Svehla

    John Krizan

    Frank Layer

    Appeal to the Bohemian-Slovak Falcons in Chicago. Taking in consideration that our adopted country is involved in a war with Spain in the liberation of Cuba, we consider it the ...

    Bohemian
    I G, II B 3
  • Svornost -- August 27, 1898
    New Important Problems of the American Nation. (Editorial)

    The war with Spain is over. We should now consider the gained profits, obtained commodities, also new problems and obligations, created by the result of the war. We realize that we never gained immense material profits for our country, and at the same time, our problems in the cause of development of humanity has been augmented greatly.

    During the four months period of the war the change in the nationalities of the immigrants, and in the political aspect of every community- was enormous. The division of the north and south as political items is smoothed over. The differences between the political parties - Democratic, Republican, northern and southern are almost forgotten. The fraternal hands were mutually extended, a grasp strengthened, and the unity of the whole nation proclaimed with word and action. This unity of the nation, obedient and strong, is enforced forever 2and sealed with our own blood so powerfully, that the political disturbers will in the future not be able to divide the people into hostile camps and to incite one nationality against the other. North and South were fighting shoulder to shoulder and all nationalities, as parts of our big country, stuck one to another on the bloody battlefields. Now they realize that concord and collaboration is the only basis for construction of prosperity for our big country.

    As a result the different nationalities, as a part of the United States, joined in a mutual task will be much more appreciated and stabilized; European countries will be more acquainted with us and our power in unity; we will have more respect for our union.

    Until now the European powers were not much inclined to understand us, to know and recognize us. When the war started they expressed their belief we could not expect a success.

    3

    The war has changed it all. They were taught to consider us. Our naval victories, the irreproachable behavior of our army, which consisted of different nationalities and races, and the absence of a sense of revenge gained their respect for our nation.

    The facts showed Europe that we were involved in the war for entirely different purposes than vengeance or annexation. -We proved this. We sent the remnants of the Spanish navy on our own expense through the ocean, we set at liberty the high navy officers on word of honor only, we fed many Spaniards on our own account.

    It was stated many times that our American diplomats are not civilized enough, not polished, are too rough; maybe it is so, but European diplomacy is always postponing, delaying, that is why it is more flexible, smooth, using more hypocrisy and lies to cheat its adversaries.

    The European envoys never told what they were thinking about or what was the intention of their countries, our representatives were always outspoken, telling everything that was in their hearts.

    4

    When the United States went to the last war, they believed without doubt in victory but never supposed that a complete victory would be attained so easily, so quickly, and with such little loss.

    Our first problem is how to govern a remote country, populated with strange nations, accustomed to another regime, habits, and culture.

    Fortunately, America has an example and experience in England, which succeeded in similar circumstances and reached the best results.-

    It is almost sure that national and individual nationalistic desire is, that the United States should keep all conquered territories, not to take into consideration the advice and alarms of some croakers who are crying to see a danger to our freedom and government by an annexation of new territories. It depends upon the people not to lose anything from the possessed goods, by not being dishonest and thoughtless. -

    5

    To what does Cuba, Porto Rico or the Philippine Islands amount?

    The difficulty of managing them is not the distance from our coasts, but the enormous difference between their population and ours.

    Our problem should be to assure the new people a constant and good government, because the laws will not change these new citizens. The new government for the acquired territories should give them the possibility of regaining in time their liberty and self government.

    The war with Spain is over. We should now consider the gained profits, obtained commodities, also new problems and obligations, created by the result of the war. We realize that ...

    Bohemian
    I J, I G
  • Svornost -- May 04, 1899
    In Honor of Bohemian Soldiers.

    Reception and welcome to our boys in Pilsen Falcon. Yesterday at 7 P. M. Pilsen Hall was overflowing with both old and young generations to welcome our brave Bohemian soldiers, who returned, healthy, from the last Spanish-American war to enjoy life among their beloved ones. The music greeted the boys and all neighbors were out on the streets to look at them. Everyone read in the newspapers about the hardships and the bloody battles and sometimes hungry days experienced by the soldiers, and now seeing them marching, our hearts were filled with national pride. Many had among the boys their sons, or brothers, and maybe sweethearts, and many eyes were wet.

    The parade started from 624 Centre Ave., home of the Bohemian-American Veterans from 1898 to 1899, and was led by Capt. Frank A. Yaska to the Pilsen Falcon, where it was heartily greeted by the Bohemian ladies, sponsors, and arrangers, of the celebration. Then the brave boys were introduced by their fathers or relatives to their friends and treated with tasty dishes and cigarettes. Then followed many speeches made by the Bohemian ladies accenting the bravery of the boys and thanking them for their achievements, which raised the name of Bohemian-Americans to a high point in the eyes of the whole population of the United States.

    2

    Gen. Theodore F. Brown in a brief speech praised the boys and finished the allocation by expressing the hope that the veterans will not be in need to look for jobs, because the government will offer the best jobs and positions to the ex-soldiers, who have risked their young lives for their adopted fatherland. Then followed different patriotic songs, as "America", "The Old Folks at Home," "Break the News to Mother".

    The moving pictures, demonstrated by the "vitascope" finished the celebration. We have seen the destruction of the Spanish fleet at Manila and Santiago, the battle by El Cancy, and many others. - The celebration ended late in the night.

    Reception and welcome to our boys in Pilsen Falcon. Yesterday at 7 P. M. Pilsen Hall was overflowing with both old and young generations to welcome our brave Bohemian soldiers, ...

    Bohemian
    III D, II B 3, I G
  • Svornost -- June 30, 1899
    The Bohemian Volunteers Off for Philippine Islands

    Many young people were transported lately to the federal and volunteer regiments in the Philippine Islands. Among them were also Bohemians.

    Yesterday a few Bohemian boys joined again the American Army, namely the 19th Federal Infantry Regiment, stationed in Manilla on the Philippine Islands; their names are as follows:

    George Marik, John Vesely, B. Kovarik, Vaclav Vacek and John Smolik. They are all assigned to the Company "D". They left Chicago on the Northwestern Railroad yesterday at 10 P:M and on the 12th of July will leave San Francisco port for Manilla. These Bohemian Volunteers, en route now to the Philippine Islands, served in Illinois Volunteer Regiments during the war in Cuba.

    Many young people were transported lately to the federal and volunteer regiments in the Philippine Islands. Among them were also Bohemians. Yesterday a few Bohemian boys joined again the American ...

    Bohemian
    III D, I G
  • Svornost -- March 10, 1900
    For the Benefit of the Boers

    Yesterday evening there was held a meeting in Pitzen-Sokol, for the purpose of selecting from the Bohemian population a committee to organize a society manifesting our sympathy with the fearless Boers.

    The hall was crowded, which is the best testimonial of the sentiment of our countrymen, who always sympathize with the fighters for independence and freedom in government and language.

    Yesterday evening there was held a meeting in Pitzen-Sokol, for the purpose of selecting from the Bohemian population a committee to organize a society manifesting our sympathy with the fearless ...

    Bohemian
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  • Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- March 26, 1900
    The Bohemians Compare Themselves to the Boers.

    Several hundred of Chicago's citizens of Bohemian extraction gathered at the Pilsen Turner Hall yesterday to express their pro-Boer sympathies, Mr. John Habenicht, the chairman of the meeting, compared the fate of the Boers to that of the Bohemians. He said, that Britain is trying to enslave the Boer nation just as the Germans are doing with Bohemia. He asked for intervention by our federal Government in the war in South Africa, To this proposal the meeting responded with loud applause. Mr. Frank Cesvacek, publisher of the newspaper Spravedenost, and William Kronziker of the Svornost delivered speeches to the same effect. Mr. William Naseman of the Onze Toekomst, thanked the Bohemians in the name of the Dutch for their expression of sympathy for this South African nation. - The following resolution was then read and passed: "This assembly thus expresses its sympathy and its deep admiration for the courageous Boer nation which is fighting to defend its independence. We, the descendants of a glorious nation which has for centuries lived under the yoke, sympathize with the Boers, whose only desire is to remain masters of their own country. The Bohemians are a peace-loving nation, respecting the rights of others. We are, therefore deeply concerned about the so-called enlightened tendency of the powerful nations of the earth which tolerates the absorption of smaller nations and the extinction of their native tongues.

    2

    The Peace Conference at The Hague, which was supposed to be an intermediary in international disagreements, is a sorry burlesque in the case of the present conflict.

    Yes, Bohemian's sons fight, too, for their liberty, and will continue to do so until the day dawns when they will lift the yoke and be a free nation again. As citizens of this country we appeal to the government of the United States to exercise its influence toward the speedy termination of this horrible war and to protect a small nation which is so honorably defending its liberty.

    Several hundred of Chicago's citizens of Bohemian extraction gathered at the Pilsen Turner Hall yesterday to express their pro-Boer sympathies, Mr. John Habenicht, the chairman of the meeting, compared the ...

    Bohemian
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