Newspaper Page Text
Eight ;md a half million persons in the
United States over ten years of age can not
read a newspaper, billboard, car card, sign,
booklet or letter in the American language.
Five and a half million of them can not read
anything in any language.
These astounding facts demand the imme
diate consideration of the nation. The war
has remonstrated some of the dangers from
large number of foreign-born persons who
have not been assimilated or Americanized.
It has also brought to light thousands upon
thousands of native-born Americans who can
not read or write.
These illiterates and aliens outnumber all
the people in Nevada, Wyoming, Delaware,
Arizona, Idaho, Mississippi, Vermont, Rhode
Island, North Dakota, Oregon, Maine,
Florida. Connecticut and Washington com
bined. They exceed the total population of
the Dominion of Canada. As voters, their
ballots will outweigh the influence of greater
New York, Philadelphia and Chicago in
Such people must be educated at least
sufficiently to read the Constitution of the
United States and American newspapers and
to know something of what it means to be an
This problem is national. The South leads
in illiterates. The North leads in non-Eng
lish speaking. Seventeen and one-fourth per
cent, of the people of the east south central
states are illiterates, but 15.8 per cent, of
the people in Passaic, New Jersey, can not
read, speak or write English. Sixteen per
cent, of the people of the south Atlantic
States are illiterates and so are 13.2 per cent,
of the people of Lawrence and Fall River,
These civic and economic li seconds" are
beyond all help from printed warnings or
advice in the English language. Their
ignorance and inaccessibility to essential pub
lic information are constant drags upon
The Secretary of the Interior has graphic
ally painted the situation by the nationally
accusatory questions he has asked in his
recent letter to the President:
"What should be said of a world-leading
democracy wherein 10 per cent, of the adult
population cannot read the laws which they
are presumed to know?
What should be said of a democracy which
sends an army to preach democracy wherein
there was drafted out of the first 2,000,000
men a total of 200,000 men who could not
read their orders or understand them when
delivered, or read the letters sent them from
""What should he said of a democracy
which calls upon its citizens to consider the
wisdom of forming a league of nations, of
passing judgment upon a code which will
insure the freedom of the seas, or of sacri
ficing the daily stint of wheat or meat for the
benefit of the Roumanians or the Jugo-Slavs
when 18 per cent, of the coming citizens of
that democracy do not go to school?
"What should be said of a democracy
which permits tens of thousands of its
native-horn children to be taught American
history in a foreign language— the Declara
tion of Independence and Lincoln's Gettys
burg speech in German and other tongues?
What should be said of a democracy
which permits men and women to work in
masses where they seldom or never hear a
word of English spoken?"
A bill before Congress directs the Secre
tary of the Interior through the Bureau of
Education to co-operate with the several
States in the education of the above-men
tioned peoples and in the preparation of
teachers for the work and appropriates
money for the work.
"A State, to secure the money, acts
through its chief school officer and shall not
participate until it has required the instruc-
Tailors and Cleaners. Clothes called for
and delivered. Hats retrimmed and blocked.
H. S. Frazier C. W. Curtest
tion of illiterates and non-English speaking
minors more than 16 years of age, in the
American language, for at least 200 hours
Federal money shall be used only for
salaries or training teachers and no Federal
money shall be used for buildings or equip
ment or for support of religious or private
Each State receives money in proportion
to the number of her illiterates and persons
unable to speak English as compared to the
total number of such persons in the United
The other provisions of the act concern
details of administration.
These 8,500,000 when taught to read will
be an immense new market for every form of
merchandise. They will mean 8.500,000 new
readers of newspapers, periodicals, farm
journals, books in general and advertise
ments of manufactured products. At pres
ent they can't make use of any product of
the printer's labor. They can't read even
a moving picture title or a Victory Loan
The elimination of illiteracy means the
elimination of falsified merchandise and the
reduction of cheating by manufacturers and
retailers who rely upon illiterate groups for
their main support.
Secretary Lane has said:
"It takes a brave and very ambitious man
to lift himself out of such an environment.
Easily he becomes a victim to the shrewd,
predatory padrone or boss. He falls into
debt and becomes mortgaged to ignorance
and squalor for years. His ideal of America
has suffered a change. 'And is this free
dom?' he says to himself, as with tired back
he bends to his work, without hope that the
burden will be lighter tomorrow. He can
not read the signs which warn him of
danger. He cannot read of the opportuni
ties which city and country offer. In his
own land perhaps he is too tired, too hesitant
to learn this strange, difficult tongue. Is it
any wonder if to this dissatisfied stranger
the voice of one who speaks to him in the
language of home has authority and carries
far? And if this voice preaches a discon
tent and violent discontent, as the one sure
path to better days, is it strange that he
should listen? Who are the men who master
this new world? Plainly the ones he knows,
from whom he has suffered. Do these same
men control everything; are there no sweet
places of refuge? He can find no one to
make him see the greater America. The
whole of this continent is to him the cramped
apartment, the dirty street, and the sweat
shop or the factory. To. the sweep of the
great land and its many beckonings his eyes
are closed. And in his isolation and ignor
ance and disappointment there is fruitful
nesting place for all the hurtful microbes
that attack society."
From every humanitarian and business
viewpoint, it is of the utmost importance to
nil with messages, educational or commercial,
that these eight and a half millions be taught
at least sufficiently to read a poster or a
"I thought you said the vest you sold me
last week would not shrink," cried the in
dignant customer as he stalked wrathfully
into the haberdasher's shop.
"Quite right, sir," said the clerk. "If it
should shrink all you have to do is to hand
it back to us and we will give you a new
That's just what T meant to do," snapped
the customer, "but I was caught in the rain
last night and now I can't get the beastly
Private Pigley's people were good to him,
but after receiving a pocket service book, a
pocket Bible, a pocket album, a pocket
French dictionary and a pocket edition of
the poets he thought it time to say some
thing. So he sent his mother a postcard. It
"Please send no more pocket editions un
til I get some pocket additions."
A lady decided to give a Christmas party,
and purchased a hat stand which she ad
mired. While showing her purchase to a
visitor her little boy came in and forgot to
remove his hat. Thinking to teach him a
lesson, she said:
"Tommy, what did I buy that hat stand
"For four and sixpence," answered
Tommy, promptly, "but you said that I was
not to tell any one.
The teacher had spent twenty minutes im
pressing on her pupils the correct pronun
ciation of the word "vase."
The following morning she wanted to find
out if the children remembered, so she turned
to one little boy suddenly and demanded:
"What do you see on the mantelpiece at
"Father's feet, miss!" came the prompt
fflSarcastic Cabby (to stout old lady who has
just paid the minimum fare, with no tip)—
"Excuse me. madam, would you mind walk
ing the other way and not passing the
Cabby—"Because if 'c sees wot 'c's been
carrying for a shilling 'ell 'aye a fit."
Teased into it Boole had accompanied
his wife on an excursion to the realms of
bargains, and in the enormous building,
with its many departments, had become
separated from his better half.
For an hour at least he remained loung
ing impatiently at the junction of many
ways, where lifts, stairs, and passageways
met, and then, tired and angry, he ap
proached a shopwalker.
"Sir," he said to the frock coated and
suave attendant, in tones of righteous in
dignation, "I've lost my wife!"
Back came the reply with stunning
"Third floor and over the bridge for the
But Boole waited on.
"Yus," said Bill, "it were superstition
that made me marry my missus."
"How's that?" inquires his friend.
"Why, it were a toss up 'twixt her and
Mary Jane. One day I was walkin' along,
thinkin 1 wich of 'em I'd have, when I saw
a cigar lying on the ground, so I picked
it up, and blessed if it didn't say on it,
Hav-anna. So I had her."
Doctor—"Good morning, Mrs. Brown.
Did you take your husband's temperature
as I told you to?"
Mrs. Brown—"Yes, doctor, I borrowed
a barometer off a neighbor and put it on
his chest and it said, 'Very dry,' so I gives
him a pint o' beer and he's gone off to
Embalmer and Funeral Director
1216-18 Jackson Street
Office, Beacon 103; Res., Main 5610
IN THE SUPERIOR COURT OP THE STATE OP
Washington, for King County.
Robert W. Jeffery, Plaintiff, vs. Myrtle E. Jeffery,
Defendant.—No. 135467 —Summons for Publica-
The State of Washington to the said Myrtle E.
You are hereby summoned to appear within sixty
(60) days from and after the date of the first publ*
cation of this summons, to-wit: within sixty (60)
days after May 17, 1919, and defend the above en
titled action in the above entitled Court, and an
swer the complaint of the plaintiff, and serve a
copy of your answer upon the undersigned attor
neys for plaintiff at their office and post office ad
dress below designated, and in case of your failure
so to do, judgment will be rendered against you
according to the demands of the plaintiff's com
plaint, which has been filed in the office of the
Clerk of said Court.
The object of this action is to obtain a decree
of divorce dissolving the bonds of matrimony now
existing between plaintiff and defendant on the
grounds of abandonment.
MORRIS & SHIPLEY,
Attorneys for Plaintiff.
Office and Post Office Address:
55 Haller Building,
Seattle, King County, Washington.
Date of first publication May 17. 1919.