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Volume 14 2, No. 3, 1997 Americanization in Our Schools for the Deaf Elmer D. Read Instructor, Western Pennsylvania Institution, Edgewood Park, Pennsylvania Students Assembled in the Lyceum, Pennslvania School for the Deaf. Gallaudet University Archives. On every side of us nowadays we hear the expression, Americanization , which is calling more and more for a national spirit peculiar to our western temperament and liberty. Originally every one of us, except the aboriginal Indians, has come from some foreign blood. Our birthright as Americans may vary from one generation to a dozen generations back. Most of us have been like Ruth, who forsook her land, her people, and even her religion to follow Naomi to the land of her adoption. The uppermost thought in our minds to-day is, "What is to be the destiny of our nation, America, which was cradled in great hardships before it could gain its present ideals of life?" The night before he passed on to the Great Beyond, Colonel Theodore Roosevelt sent this thrilling message to the American Defense Society: "One flag, the American flag; one language, the language of the Declaration of Independence ; one loyalty, loyalty to the American people. There must be no sagging back in the fight for Americanism ." These burning words demand that we carry on; that we stand on only one platform—"stalwart, straight-out, thorough-going Americanism." As the units of a nation think, so is that nation. We need to see to it that the public sentiment is so instilled, cultivated, and directed individually that there will be no question as to our American national spirit and ideals . A magazine recently made the statement that one-half the population of the United States are the direct descendants of Anglo-Saxon ancestry. So then, the traditions of the Magna Charta, the Pilgrim Fathers, the Glorious Revolution of 1688, the Revolutionary War, the Spanish War, the recent world war against autocracy shall Reprinted from Read, E. D. 1921. Americanization in our schools for the deaf. American Annals of the Deaf, 66(2), 131-146. Volume 142, No. 3, 1997 American Annals of the Deaf Americanization in Our Schools for the Deaf be as beacon lights of liberty and fraternity and national godliness. As we celebrated last year, both in England and America, the great historic event of the sailing of the Pilgrims to America, let us not forget what those early fathers stood for. They came to find a place where they might enjoy their own ideas of church worship, but they set up a very definite standard to maintain their theories. They organized a civil government which was the seed of our present form of democracy. They established the principles of public education and higher education which have been the bulwark of our American civilization . We may to a certain extent mold the minds of the adult half of our population and create a certain standard of life, but in the long run we must depend on the more plastic thought of young America. We must work to form and reform the next generation that it may be better than our own. The whole world, every nation, is going through the travail of reconstruction . We cannot stand still. Some nations are retrograding. Waves of crime and intense selfishness, a striving for unearned riches and power, are sweeping over every land, our own as well. The child to-day is the man of tomorrow . We must hold up the standards of education and culture, or we shall pay the cost for long years to come. The course of education is the steering wheel of the whole course of future government, business affairs. and social happiness. There is a movement to standardize the course of instruction in physical culture, mental culture, and training in useful trades that is very timely. Without a sound foundation of training in strong physique, intelligence, and healthy moral fiber combined, our boys and girls will go on handicapped and inefficient. These general principles are just as applicable to the deaf and the blind as to those with all their senses. It is like the story told by an educator who overheard two Irishwomen talking. As one...


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