Search America's historic newspaper pages from 1789-1949 or use the U.S. Newspaper Directory to find information about American newspapers published between 1690-present. Chronicling America is sponsored jointly by the
National Endowment for the Humanities and the Library of Congress. external link Learn more
Image provided by: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library, Urbana, IL
Newspaper Page Text
The first, pretty dress I can ever
remember her having' was when- I
was' eighteen, aindgreedy as girls
are at that age I borrowed the dress
for a special occasion and ruined it
in the rain.
Yet mother never let me see fyer
disappointment;-she told me it might
just as easily have happened if she
had worn it jand I mustn't think
about it. """" '
And girls, I'know my .'mother isn't
unlike your own. That js the mean
. ing of the word "mother"; self-sacrifice.
It is becauseof that meanjng
that "mother" is the most" "sacred
word in any language. '
The "one in a million" gitthat
goes astray would resent as bitterly
as I do any reflection on her mother.
I once asked a girl who was treading
the wrong" road why she didn't go
home to her mother, and she re
plied: "For Cod's' sake, don't talk
of my mother she's the only good
thing I haye to-remember."
When a boygoes wrong no one
blames it on his' .mother: They say
he was led astray by some wicked
girl. The boys themselves will tell
you the same story. "1 met a girl;
etc." And they will often tell you
something worse that their mother
and sisters are the only women ab
solutely to be trusted.
It takes the combined gall of a
Bunch of fake reformers to tell us
that our mothers are the cause of
any weakness we may show. Yet,
since poverty is the causeof physical
and moral deterioration, what of
Philadelphia's pet daughter of mil
lions who not so long ago eloped with
a hotel waiter and was discovered,
living in a room with him in Chi
cago? And what of the high society de
butantes in Philadelphia who attend
' ed that pajama ball which lasted all
night and into the next day?
I spent most of my life in Philadel
phia, arid, frankly, it. is a joke. It
glories in its reputation of sleepiness
it winks when New York or Chi-
triesHo be funny at the expense
of that same reputation for drdwsi-ness-r-for
Philadelphia is "aware that
vice thrives best where it is least
expected. t '
And if the. lid were ever lifted off
the sainted city, the stench of the
charnel. house would rise to the
heavens. A man, if he lives in a cer
tain part of the town, doe's not have
to b into the tenderloin district or
rent a room in a shady hotel. He
cantake a girl from the streets" right
up into his own room, and do it
Chicago has been and is brazen in
her iniquity. Philadelphia hasn't even
the decency,, of brazenness. A
stranger to 'the town, if he doesn't
"know," hangs-arouhd a hotel and
yawns.7 The man who is on to the
ropes will fell you' there is more sport
in Philadelphia than, in any city in
the country if you know where to
go for it.
And that vice commission had to
work secretly. Chicago has aroused
the country with its exposure of
starvation wages, but if ever Phila
delphia were forced to come out in
the open'with her minimum wage she
could'never live the disgrace down.
The average wage on which men
support themselves and families in
that CityNof Brotherly Love is $15 a
week. And while rents are cheaper,
the cost of food is greater. Their
meats are brought in from the West
and cost from 2 to 4 cents a' pound
more than here.
Girls work in s.tores for $2 a week.
They work in "industrial mills 'from
7 to 6 six days a week for the
same amount on a piece-work sys
tem. They clerk- in offices for $3 a
week, and the terrible thing about
Philadelphia is that its people haven't
the courage" to rebel.
Of course, Chicago's rich manufac
turers have made much of the finding
of the "Philadelphia commission.
They like that report on the same
basis that one fooj dog barking at
his shadow in the moonlight enjoys.