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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  • Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- June 26, 1872
    [Bohemian Aid Committee Formed].

    The Chicago Bohemians resolved in a meeting to collect money for the support of their countrymen in Bohemia, who lost all they had through a terrible inundation during May 25th to 28th, and to forward it to the Aid Committee in Prague. At the meeting, immediately, about $250.00 was collected. An Aid Committee was formed consisting of:

    Cenek Duras, President

    Vaslav Kolzum, Vice President

    F. V. Ligro, Secretary

    Henry Horner, Treasurer.

    The Chicago Bohemians resolved in a meeting to collect money for the support of their countrymen in Bohemia, who lost all they had through a terrible inundation during May 25th ...

    Bohemian
    II D 10, III H
  • Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- July 31, 1874
    Czech Books.

    At the beginning of this year one of the German members of the library board of directors wrote to Mr. Vojta Naprstek, eminent leader of the Czech national party in Prague, and asked him for a list of books in the Czech language most suited for the public library here. The attention of Mr. Naprstek was called to the fact that we intended to make our library a cosmopolitan one, containing especially the best literary works of the nationalities represented in Chicago. This was the first time that a public library in American was attempting to acquire Czech literature and it was to be hoped that the leader of the Czech national party would take part in it.

    The letter remained unanswered - as well as a second one mailed three months later to the same address and the deduction was justified that even such eminent Czech leaders as Mr. Naprstek were indifferent to the mental needs of their compatriots in this country.

    2

    This deduction has lately been refuted through the arrival of a box of Czech books, which are stamped with the words, "Vojta Naprstek Napamatku" or "Americk Klub." As this consignment was not accompanied by any written message, we are unable to say if it is the result of a collection or the gift of an individual. Many of the books are well bound and over nine tenths of them have been published since 1860, thus no old junk.

    At the beginning of this year one of the German members of the library board of directors wrote to Mr. Vojta Naprstek, eminent leader of the Czech national party in ...

    Bohemian
    II B 2 a, III H
  • Svornost -- July 17, 1879
    [Sokol Celebration]

    Damsky S'Bor Vlasta Cislo I (Vlasta Woman's Club No. 1) held a celebration yesterday in Telocyicne Jednota Sokol (Sokol Gymnastic Union) Hall in commemoration of the birth of the great Bohemian teacher and nationalist, Josef Jakob Jungmann.

    Mrs. Kl. Novak opened the session with an appropriate address referring to the deathless memory of Josef Jungmann, after which Miss Alb. Fligl gave a biographical lecture on this celebrated genius of ours, calling especial attention to all that Josef Jungmann did for Bohemian nationality. Several more short talks followed. Every speaker was applauded.

    It is to the honor of the Woman's club that it never forgets to honor the memory of those who merit remembrance. Toward midnight the ladies served a delightful supper. The entertainment was informal, and there were dancing and singing. It is to be regretted that so few young men attended.

    Damsky S'Bor Vlasta Cislo I (Vlasta Woman's Club No. 1) held a celebration yesterday in Telocyicne Jednota Sokol (Sokol Gymnastic Union) Hall in commemoration of the birth of the great ...

    Bohemian
    III B 2, II B 1 c 3, II B 2 g, III H, III A
  • Svornost -- May 08, 1880
    Let Us Help Ourselves

    There is considerable talk in public about the collection of donations for the establishment of a National Theatre in Prague. It is hoped that some contribution will be sent from Chicago, but before any start is made to collect funds for this purpose, it is unavoidably necessary, as we said more than a week ago, and which becomes more urgent day by day, that we take every cent, every dollar, which it is possible to collect from our charitable donors, for the benefit of our countrymen arriving here continuously from our native land moving to America to make homes here for themselves and their children, which, in their native land, they were unable to accomplish because of the government and bad times.

    At the present time, every cent so graciously contributed should be used only for the help of those hundreds of our countrymen who passed through Chicago each week toward the west. It would be a sin to divert this money toward any other purpose, no matter how worthy, while we see these hundreds of our countrymen at the railroad depots each week, unfamiliar with the language, robbed of all their means, wornout groaning with hunger; and thirsting for every bit of sincere advice and for all help no matter how small.

    2

    Any one who has visited the railroad depot just once, when a train of immigrants arrived and has met his country men there, men, women and children, who following our example, are coming to build for themselves a more dignified life in this land of freedom, has seen their troubles, has seen how they are swindled, robbed and oppressed in spite of all efforts of the city police and railroad officials, will not harden his heart toward these unfortunates and will admit that all other cultural purposes must wait until this condition is remedied.

    We called attention, to this matter publicly last week, to the Bohemian Ticket Agents who sell railroad and steamship tickets to the people, thereby deriving a profit and a living; they are citizens: J.B. Belohradsky, Vaclav Kaspar, Fr. Novak, Aug. Geringer and V. Fiala. It should be their chief concern to see that some sort of aid is provided and steps taken to provide some kind of organization for the benefit of immigrants to Chicago. They make a profit from this, their interests and gain are first. Thus far not one of them has signified that he would take any step in this matter.

    3

    We know of no other method whereby this much-needed organization can be realized, except that the above-named citizens should meet, dedicating one whole evening for the purpose of consulting and taking the necessary steps among the lodges and citizens of our city. Or must we wait until the summer's sultry days have passed, until it begins to snow, until several thousand Bohemians have passed through Chicago are cursing the city and all its inhabitants, because at no other point in their journey did they meet with any injustice or robbery except here, (as is pointed out in the previous paragraphs)? Shall we wait, as so often happens in national undertakings, until Bohemians stop arriving, and arrive with the cross after the funeral?

    In the name of several Bohemian citizens who have many times gone to the railroad depots and convinced themselves of the suffering and need for some kind of aid for Bohemian immigrants, and in the name of our national honor, the love toward our brother countrymen felt by our Bohemian fellow citizens, we call once more for the cooperation of all our countrymen, and we urgently beg that the above named citizens, the ticket agents, whom it concerns most, should not delay, but that they meet and decide as to what in their opinion would be the proper procedure.

    4

    Let us show our countrymen, that there are in Chicago Bohemians, and to be sure Bohemians who are not denationalized, but with a warm heart and with the good old Bohemian spirit, which seeks to help those brothers in distress.

    There is considerable talk in public about the collection of donations for the establishment of a National Theatre in Prague. It is hoped that some contribution will be sent from ...

    Bohemian
    III G, II D 10, III H, IV
  • Svornost -- September 12, 1881
    Chicago Bohemian Citizens and the National Theatre in Prague

    Some of our Chicago Bohemian Citizens called a public meeting for yesterday afternoon, the purpose of which was to elect a committee for the collection of contributions to the rebuilding of the National Theatre of Prague which was destroyed by fire a short time ago. Although the meeting was in behalf of a noble purpose, there were in attendance only about one hundred citizens, among them five or six ladies.

    The elaborate "Slovak Band", under the direction of Mr. J. Koula, rendered several selections after which, Mr. Fr. Kolar called the meeting to order. He said that every brother in Bohemia has already given, in order to help in the rebuilding of the unfortunately burned National Theatre and that is the duty of Bohemians in America to follow this example. At the request of Mr. Kolar, a chairman, a secretary and treasurer were elected.

    It was resolved that all money be sent to the Directors of the Committee for rebuilding the Theatre in Prague at one time, that every donor be acknowledged by name and in amount in the Chicago newspapers.

    Some of our Chicago Bohemian Citizens called a public meeting for yesterday afternoon, the purpose of which was to elect a committee for the collection of contributions to the rebuilding ...

    Bohemian
    III H
  • Svornost -- February 06, 1882
    Bohemian Operatic Star

    The past fourteen days, we had, in Chicago, the Bohemian Operatic Star, Miss Kalasova, of Prague. Miss Kalasova is a distinguished soloist with the "Mapleson Opera Company", otherwise known as "Her Majesty's Opera Company".

    The distinguished artist honored the "Tel. Jed. Sokol" (Gymnastic Union Sokols) amateurs by attending their masque ball on Feb. 4th.

    The past fourteen days, we had, in Chicago, the Bohemian Operatic Star, Miss Kalasova, of Prague. Miss Kalasova is a distinguished soloist with the "Mapleson Opera Company", otherwise known as ...

    Bohemian
    III H, II B 3
  • 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 -- May 28, 1885
    The Theater Ship.

    During the whole of last year there was a movement among the Bohemian citizens of Chicago to arrange a general excursion to the old country; the originators of this idea worked hard, until they realized their undertaking when the time came to start the journey, numerous Bohemians arrived in Chicago from all western states, Nebraska, Kansas, Wisconsin, Iowa, Missouri; and so forth, to join the excursion which is starting from Chicago. The management of the excursion was in the hands of Mr. Tomas Kral and Mr. Frant Cemus of Chicago. The participants gathered together yesterday at 6 P.M. at the corner of 19th and Morgan Sts. accompanied by eight local Bohemian societies. The members of the excursion, numbering 200-250 people, marched in a gay procession to the Grand Trunk Depot, there to board a train for New York. A few short farewell speeches were delivered.

    The main destination of the excursion is the Bohemian capital, Prague, and the visiting of the new national theater there, erected and opened for the public last year.

    2

    This theater, Narodni Divadlo, will have gala performances, arranged especially in honor of the guests from the United States.

    It is understood, that the members of the excursion will visit their families abroad and their birthplaces.

    During the whole of last year there was a movement among the Bohemian citizens of Chicago to arrange a general excursion to the old country; the originators of this idea ...

    Bohemian
    III H, II A 3 d 1
  • Chicagoer Arbeiter Zeitung -- September 13, 1887
    Disgrace for the Bohemians

    The Bohemian Sokolists, (for whom we can not use the German term turners, out of regard for our German Turn brotherhood), have returned from the trip to their native land. In their possession is a valuable garnet brought from Prague and intended as a gift to Mrs. Cleveland as a token of their most humble respect. The garnet, which is in the safe-keeping of Adolph Kostner, will be sent to Mrs. Cleveland this week, unless the Bohemian Turners decide to dispose of the precious stone in some other way.

    The Bohemian Sokolists, (for whom we can not use the German term turners, out of regard for our German Turn brotherhood), have returned from the trip to their native land. ...

    Bohemian
    III H, II B 3, I C
  • Svornost -- April 08, 1890
    Bohemians and the World's Fair

    The election of the Board of Directors for the World's Fair of 1892 has been completed. The ranks of Directors have been filled with the rich people who subscribed the most; even at that, it was expected that some Bohemian would be elected to the Board of Directors, but this did not happen, but in spite of this we do not see any reason why we should be antagonistic to the affair.

    It is well-known that at a meeting, such as was held at Battery "D" any names that do not sound American are not given much consideration. To bring honor to the name of Bohemian we would suggest to Chicago Bohemians another and, we think a better method, if we wish to provide for a wider currency of the Bohemian name at the World's Fair. Let there be organized among Chicago Bohemians a Committee whose purpose it will be to arrange for a Bohemian Section in the Fair. At all previous fairs the work of Bohemians has been shown in the Austrian Section and this can be avoided this time.

    The Directors of the Fair would give consideration to a Bohemian Fair Committee and our committee could then advise our country-men across the sea.

    2

    Bohemia can take pride in its' manufactures which are unequaled by any other nation. The needlework of our country-women is much admired throughout the world. Chicago Bohemians should provide for a Bohemian Section at the Fair, entirely separate from the Austrian Section. In that way they will serve Bohemian industry as well as the Bohemian name.

    The election of the Board of Directors for the World's Fair of 1892 has been completed. The ranks of Directors have been filled with the rich people who subscribed the ...

    Bohemian
    II B 1 c 3, III A, III H, I C