OCR Interpretation


The day book. (Chicago, Ill.) 1911-1917, March 11, 1914, LAST EDITION, Image 2

Image and text provided by University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library, Urbana, IL

Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045487/1914-03-11/ed-2/seq-2/

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clerks, bailiffs ana policemen stood
suddenly very still. She came forward
with hesitating steps and downcast
eyes, as a little girl comes for a scold
ing. Judge Hopkins leaned over.
"What's the case, officer?" he asked.
There was a note of sympathy in
the officer's voice as he answered.
,lWe got her in a raid at 3029 Ver
non avenue," he said shortly-. "It's a
joint"
An involuntary shudder passed
over the girl at the word "joint." She
turned away.
The judge beckoned to the girl.
And his tone was very tender when
he spoke to her.
For once the old question usually
put to the defendant, "Well, what
have you got to say for yourself," was
forgotten. There was a deeper inter
est in this case. 'How did you came
to be in this sort of a position," the
judge asked. "Tell me something
about yourself."
. There was a short struggle to keep
back the telltale tears in her eyes.
"The way I got into this position may
sound like a very weak way to you,"
she said, "but I worked in a laundry.
And I yras forced' to work long and
hard for $6 a week. I couldn't live on
$6 a week. I tried hard to do it de
cently. I failed. And I'm before you
now."
It was a stinging charge to make
against the low wage system. The
judge was silent Then he turned to
Reker.
v "Well, Mr. Prosecutor, what do you
want to do with her?" he asked.
But Reker was thinking hard. And
when he spoke he was no longer "Mr.
Prosecutor." He was a man who had
seen the unjust manner in which life
and society had handled the girl be
fore him.
"There will be no prosecution in
this case," he said finally. The his
torian Buckle in his "History of Civil
ization" says crime increases or de
creases in proportion to the ratio of
increase in the price of food. No sane
man will steal if he can get his living
in an easier way. If this girl chooses
the easiest way because she can't live
on $6 a week then the crime is not
her's, but society's, because she has
been robbed of a chance.
"I am reading Buckle myself late
ly," said Judge Hopkins, "and the
more I sit in this court and listen to
the cases which are brought in here
the more I believe what he says."
The girl was turned over to the
adult probation office. Society will
be given a chance to give, this girl
enough to live decently on without
"going to the bad" again to supply
the difference.
This was only one of many cases of
laundry girls, according to Reker.
They are becoming so frequent that
the laundry trust is up in arms lest
the fire of criticism be leveled at them
as it was at the department stores
during tb.e O'Hara investigation. But
they haven't seemed to realize that
one way to curb this criticism is to
pay the, girls living wages.
Laundry owners are now fighting
hard to keep the girls from organ
izing. But in spite of this the Laun
dry Workers' Union is making great
gains.
"The girls who work in laundries
are up against a hard proposition,"
said John FJtzpatrick, president of
the Chicago Federation of 'Labor.
"The average Chinese laundry owner
is a better employer than the mem
bers of the laundry trust, who force
the girls to slave for miserable wages.
But the girls are beginning to see a
light and I predict that before long
they will be all organized and they'll
demand and get- living wages."
o o
Major Funkhouser must defend
censorship of movies before council
committee. Hearing Friday.
Society women demand abolition
of wine rooms.
Harold Earl Juul, son of State Sen
ator Juul and pitcher for Brooklyn
Federals, married Miss Hilda John
son, 2736 N.- Potomac av.

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