April 9, 1906 (Monday)
IMMIGRATION MATTERS: An editorial in the Atlanta Constitution got me going a bit. It's titled "Immigration as a Problem." To set the stage, the writer quotes from the London Daily Mail, which calls the population movement from Europe to the U.S. a "human Niagara." In 1904, the inflow averaged more than 2,000 a DAY. The main point of the editorial, I gather, is that the writer deplores the fact that immigrants remain in colonies within the large cities. My thinking has changed about the immigration problem. I have read a collection of the stories told by regular people, some of whom were immigrants. The pieces were originally published in The Independent newspaper, I think. Now, Hamilton Holt has gathered them in a book that has either just been published or is coming out sometime in 1906. I just can't for the life of me remember the title of the book; it's kind of long. But I do remember something from one story about a Lithuanian who ended up working in the Chicago stock yards. I'll never forget what he said: "My brother's eyes were always dull and sleepy. Men like him stay in Lithuania." Since then, I've looked for the sparkle in the eyes of some immigrants. It's there. And it's good. I hope that lamp remains lit -- both the one in the hand of the Statue of Liberty and the one in the eyes of the people on board the ships.
A TRUE SIGN OF SPRING (COUGH, HACK, GAG, SPEW): Smokers in Atlanta are looking forward to a big event this week. Sometime soon, the Georgia Railway and electric company is about to reinstate the "smoking privilege" in its trolley cars. That means smokers won't have to stand on the rear platform of the car, smoking away as the trolley moved. The company's General Manager T.K. Glenn says he expects that this week -- thanks to the warm weather -- the company will post the notices that permit people to light up in the cars. The move is linked to the onset of warm weather. At the same time, the company will open the windows and doors of the cars, and there are plenty of windows.
FEW ARE CALLED, NONE ARE CHOSEN: A black man in Alabama, whose name has not been released, found out his name had been drawn for service in a grand jury in Montgomery County. He found out that he had not been summoned to duty, but he wanted to serve. He spotted his name in the paper on April 6, as being part of the jury, so he hustled to get to Monroeville. It wasn't that easy. He had to swim across a river to get there. He was not chosen and was told the judge would release him from his responsibility if he so desired. The man declined and said he wanted to serve. Someone, evidently, took him outside and whipped him. The Atlanta Constitution says he was "whitecapped." He showed up the next day and showed his bruises to Judge Lackland and told him what happened. He immediately called a grand jury and instructed them to indict the people responsible for the beating. Some praise the judge for taking a stand. But here's the last paragraph of the article: "However, the feeling is high, and in some parts of the county, the negroes have been ordered to move out and not allow night to catch them there."