Editor’s note: We occasionally explore our archives in search of holiday editorials that still resonate years after they were written. This editorial, from the June 30, 1921, Minneapolis Morning Tribune, first appeared under the headline “Hailing our new citizens.”
Independence day is again to be made in Minneapolis the occasion of an appropriate celebration in honor of those who have become naturalized American citizens within the last year. July 4 is the logical day for such a fete of comradeship. It was on that day 145 years ago that the American colonists declared themselves free of an oppressive royal domination, and set their eyes and hearts upon the establishment of a nation consecrated to liberty, to democracy and to equality under the law. Since that memorable event the American people have grown to be the happiest and most prosperous people on earth. It is a people of many races and traditions, but a people of common purpose and aspiration.
It is surprising that this people has fused so well as it has, considering how poor has been the effort to produce that result. Only within very recent years has there been a really devoted and intelligent attempt to reach out the hand of fellowship and of welcome to those who come within our gates from foreign lands and to help them to an understanding and appreciation of what it means, or what it should mean, to be a citizen of the United States.
Minneapolis has done well in this respect, and it may well be asked if this community has not already gathered much fruit of its friendly interest in our citizenship recruits. Recent popular verdicts at the polls would seem to indicate as much.
True Americanization does not have the alien and the new citizen as its sole objectives. Americans born in this country need that kind of Americanization which signifies a personal, individual, active part in making the country happier and better. Those nations who share in the celebration on Fair Oaks lawn, Stevens Avenue and 23rd Street, on July 4 will benefit equally with the new citizens who are then to be hailed into full fellowship in the body politic.
Whoever treats lightly this event; whoever is indifferent toward it; whoever misses its greater meaning to his flag and to himself — all such are in sore need of a better Americanization.