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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  • Skandinaven -- September 18, 1872
    [Girls Resent Charges]

    Three industrious shop girls asked Skandinaven to please help them defend the Norwegian girls' reputation in Chicago.

    We may perhaps be mistaken, for that K. L. may be referring to other nationalities in the Amerika of recent date. However, we feel that the Amerika's name should be "Blamerika."

    K. L. states in a translated article in the Amerika that all young girls are crazy about fashionable dresses. The rich girl buys them at $50, but the poor girl cannot afford them, However, she wants to be fashionable, and how can it be done! The answer is that she sells her virtue. He states further that that is why the houses of shame exist.

    Kund Larigelando insinuations we Norwegian girls will not tolerate. We have come to the United States of America, where we get our good, honest pay either as servants or shop girls until we get better positions. But 2it is always enough to keep us dressed respectable, and we do not wish to have our reputation spoiled by a person like L. K. We love our adopted country too much. We have always been respected by the Americans and we intend to remain so. Hence this few lines and thanks to Skandinaven for taking this article.

    Three industrious shop girls asked Skandinaven to please help them defend the Norwegian girls' reputation in Chicago. We may perhaps be mistaken, for that K. L. may be referring to ...

    Norwegian
    I H, I K
  • Skandinaven -- February 25, 1879
    Limitation of Immigration from China (Editorial)

    Some time ago the House Representatives passed a bill, the chief provision of which was to forbid the captain of any ship arriving in the port of a State which restricts immigration to have aboard more than fifteen Chinese immigrants. A few days later this bill was also passed by the Senate, the only amendment being that Chinese diplomatic representatives and persons planning to stay in this country for only a short period of time for educational purposes shall be exempted from the provisions of the bill. The House will probably pass the bill in its amended form, and if so, only the President's signature is required to make it the law of the land.

    The question has been subjected to heated discussion in the American press. The idea of discriminating against any particular race is something new in this country, and some people see in it a manifestation of the "Know-Nothing" 2movement which was so widespread some twenty-five years ago.

    An influential, not numerous, group see in unrestricted Chinese immigration the means of keeping wages at a low level, and undoubtedly, in the opinion of many Americans, this is the all-important factor to consider in regard to the Chinese question.

    Undeniably, it sounds well to proclaim to the world that our country is a refuge and a haven for any race or class under the sun, but when this kind of philantrophic sentiment is tested in the laboratory of practical life, many unforeseen difficulties are encountered.

    The opposition to Chinese immigration is greatest in those localities where the native population comes in closest contact with the Mongols, and its intensity is inversely proportional to the distance.

    The Chinese cling with great tenacity to inherited customs, traditions, and 3prejudices; they do not mingle well with the rest of our population; they even display a certain contempt for everybody not belonging to the slant-eyed race. They are becoming alarmingly numerous on the other side of the Rocky Mountains, and only reluctantly do they comply with our regulations; they worship their own gods, traffic in women and children, and have small regard for marriage and family life.

    Fearing our laws, they do not openly practice the way of living that they really desire, but their stay in this country does not weaken their oriental tendencies, and if they think that they can get away with it, they trade in human lives and commit other nefarious crimes particularly abhorrent to Americans. Experience has taught us that in communities where they have settled in considerable numbers and gained a solid foothold the social order has become disrupted, and the sense of decency blunted, and a general degeneration and lowering of moral standards have ensued. Under such circumstances it is desirable to pass laws preventing too heavy an influx of Chinese.

    4

    To be sure, the great reduction of wages on the Pacific coast caused by Chinese immigration has been very profitable for a few capitalists and industrialists, but it is generally agreed that this immigration as a whole [is evil in its effect], and it is therefore the simple duty of the Congress to enact protective measures.

    Some time ago the House Representatives passed a bill, the chief provision of which was to forbid the captain of any ship arriving in the port of a State which ...

    Norwegian
    I C, I H, III G
  • Skandinaven -- March 18, 1879
    National Savings Banks

    The first piece of legislation introduced by the last Congress is the socalled "Certificate Act." It provides for the establishment of a sort of national savings banks and this "savings system" will probably in the near future include all of the larger cities in the country.

    All the old savings banks together have not provided the security and convenience offered by this new system and if during the next few years all of them should close their doors, the public would still be able to make the proper disposition of its savings.

    The first piece of legislation introduced by the last Congress is the socalled "Certificate Act." It provides for the establishment of a sort of national savings banks and this "savings ...

    Norwegian
    I H
  • Skandinaven -- April 01, 1879
    The Democratic Program

    The Democratic members of both Houses of Congress recently held a joint meeting to discuss the policies to be followed during the current session. The men had no trouble coming to an agreement. Evidently these former defenders of the Rebels are nearly out of their wits with joy over having gained control of both Houses. They have adopted a revolutionary program with the characteristic boldness with which the Charlestonians once trained their guns on Fort Sumter.

    The nature of their policy may be summed up in a nutshell, as follows: Abolition of all protection against election fraud. This is the gist of the program, and the ultimate purpose of the following five paragraphs:

    1) Abolition of the jurymen's oath.

    2) Annulment of the law providing for military assistance in case of election violence.

    2

    3) Annulment of the clause in the election law authorizing deputy marshals to do police duty at the polls.

    4) Abolition of the office of supervising marshal.

    5) Changing of all the present rules governing the supervision of elections, so that supervising and deputy marshals are reduced to the role of onlookers at the polls without any authority to uphold law and order.

    This program embodies the present Democratic ideals and the issue on which the fight centers in Congress.

    It is almost a certainty that the Democrats will not appropriate sufficient funds for the normal functions of the Government, unless the President can be persuaded to sign the bills necessary for the execution of their own special program.

    Since this is highly improbable, we may see the present Congress adjourn 3leaving important legislation unattended. In that case the President will again have to call an extra session.

    It is rumored that the "green-back" [Republican] members of the House are annoyed by the unwise tactics of their Democratic colleagues, and that they may prevail upon the latter to change their plans. It is hardly probable that the Revolutionists can maintain their obstinacy throughout the summer, but whatever happens, it is the simple duty of the Republicans to do everything in their power to protect the sanctity of the ballot box.

    The Democratic members of both Houses of Congress recently held a joint meeting to discuss the policies to be followed during the current session. The men had no trouble coming ...

    Norwegian
    I H
  • Skandinaven -- April 22, 1879
    Compulsory Schooling in Illinois

    In the face of certain ignorant howlers who assert that compulsory schooling is tyranny and a violation of personal liberty, the House of Representatives of the Illinois Legislature has, with 87 to 48 votes, adopted the resolution proposed by Representative Moses Wentworth, making school attendance compulsory in Illinois.

    According to this bill, parents and guardians of a child between 8 and 14 years of age, are compelled to send it to a public or private school for at least twelve weeks a year. An exception is made if the distance from the child's home to the nearest school is more than 1 1/2 miles.

    No person or business firm is permitted to keep a child under 14 years of age working during the school term, and furthermore, it is unlawful to employ such a child for more than fourteen weeks a year. The fine for violation of this latter regulation is from $20 to $50, which is to be collected 2by the president or some other member of the school commission, and the fine goes to the treasury of the district schools. If the school commission is notified that a child is unable to procure the necessary text books, it can requisition such books and charge them to the treasury.

    Parents and guardians who fail to send children to school are fined from to $5 to $10, which fine also goes to the treasury of the school district.

    These are the chief provisions of the bill. The proposed term, twelve weeks a year for six years, seventy-two weeks in all, is of course much too short, but in a case of this kind it must certainly be said that something is better than nothing, and we sincerely hope that the Senate will also have the courage to vote for this bill.

    In the face of certain ignorant howlers who assert that compulsory schooling is tyranny and a violation of personal liberty, the House of Representatives of the Illinois Legislature has, with ...

    Norwegian
    I A 1 a, I H
  • Skandinaven -- January 03, 1883
    Elevators

    We have mentioned time and time again the danger of elevators or hoisting apparatus used in our hotels and downtown buildings. These contraptions are for lazy people who do not want to walk up a couple of flights of stairs.

    Every so often we hear of an elevator falling three or four stories to the basement of a building, usually resulting in death and destruction.

    Recently there have been many accidents, some of them fatal to a number of people, and many of our countrymen have [been crippled or lost their lives]. What can be done about this situation. Rigid inspection, fines for owners of buildings where such accidents occur because of negligence or the removal of these death boxes.

    We have mentioned time and time again the danger of elevators or hoisting apparatus used in our hotels and downtown buildings. These contraptions are for lazy people who do not ...

    Norwegian
    I H
  • Skandinaven -- January 22, 1883
    The Railroads

    A twenty-five year old brakeman, Albert Johnson, was crippled for life because of the "link one pin coupling" in use on all railroad cars. The link and pin coupling should be replaced by the new improved coupling that assures the brakemen of much more safety than the old style.

    The railroads should be forced by law to install all the new equipment possible to promote safety.

    In 1882 hundreds of workers were killed because the railroads believed that human life was cheaper than up-to-date equipment.

    Our State Legislature should pass laws to protect the workers.

    A twenty-five year old brakeman, Albert Johnson, was crippled for life because of the "link one pin coupling" in use on all railroad cars. The link and pin coupling should ...

    Norwegian
    I H, I D 1 a
  • Skandinaven -- March 27, 1883
    Indians

    A band of twenty seven Indians attacked the towns of Winchester, Arizona. After some fighting the Indians retreated.

    Just outside the town two Scandinavians were scalped, and several were wounded inside the town.

    This marauding by Indians has occurred quite often lately. The government must begin to protect these towns throughout the West. Our government is as usual slow in doing things.

    A band of twenty seven Indians attacked the towns of Winchester, Arizona. After some fighting the Indians retreated. Just outside the town two Scandinavians were scalped, and several were wounded ...

    Norwegian
    I H
  • Skandinaven -- May 01, 1883
    Fire Traps

    In 1837 there were about one thousand houses in Chicago,[of which approximately twenty were brick and the remainder were wooden shacks].

    In the great fire of 1871, most of the houses built before 1838 were destroyed.

    But today we find a row of old buildings on the west side of State Street, between 9th and 12th streets. This row of buildings bears the name, "Rotten Row." It is a menace to the town; a fire starting there would spread and might cause a conflagration as bad as the one in 1871.

    It is high time that our city wrecked these houses; they are nearly all houses of prostitution, where unsuspecting men are robbed and murdered.

    Mr. Mayor, get rid of this "eyesore."

    In 1837 there were about one thousand houses in Chicago,[of which approximately twenty were brick and the remainder were wooden shacks]. In the great fire of 1871, most of the ...

    Norwegian
    I H, I M
  • Skandinaven -- February 05, 1884
    Temperance

    The conditions here in Chicago, as well as throughout the United States, are terrible when it comes to liquor and vice.

    Much was disclosed at the National Prohibition Convention held in New York. The Temperance movement is gaining headway throughout the Nation, and will be a great factor in the next election. Every day, here in Chicago, one can see drunken men and women, and often children staggering down the street.

    In Chicago, there are too many saloons. We feel that one saloon per thousand inhabitants is more than enough, and even less would be still better. In a town which is growing as fast as Chicago there should be better control along these lines. Saloons should close at midnight, and not be permitted to remain open all night, neither should minors be allowed on the premises. We believe that imprisonment and not fines should be the 2punishment for violation of these laws.

    The houses of prostitution which flourish near saloons, and cater especially to drunks should be closed. Opium dens which have sprung up like mushrooms all over the city also flourish near saloons and brothels.

    Ninety per cent of the murders in Chicago have been committed by persons while drunk. It is the duty of the State to abolish, or at least regulate this vicious trade. This, of course, can only be done if we elect Prohibition party candidates. We should bear this in mind at our next election.

    The recent National Prohibition Convention is the foundation for a broader party, the Prohibition and Home Protection party.

    The conditions here in Chicago, as well as throughout the United States, are terrible when it comes to liquor and vice. Much was disclosed at the National Prohibition Convention held ...

    Norwegian
    I B 1, I B 2, I F 2, I F 3, I H