Today’s post comes from Rebecca Brenner, an intern in the History Office at the National Archives in Washington, D.C.
Fifty years ago on October 3, 1965, at the base of the Statue of Liberty, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Immigration Act of 1965 into law.
The act was an important milestone in American immigration history. It was a significant improvement from the National Origins Act of 1924, which barred Asian immigrants, limited Latin American immigrants, and established rigid immigration quotas for European countries.
These quotas, established in an era of post–World War I isolationism and xenophobia, lasted from 1924 through 1965:
- Armenia: 124
- Australia: 121
- Austria: 785
- Belgium: 512
- Czechoslovakia: 3,073
- Estonia: 124
- France: 3,954
- Germany: 51,227
- Great Britain and Northern Ireland: 34,007
- Hungary: 473
- Irish Free State: 28,567
- Italy: 3,845
- Latvia: 142
- Lithuania: 344
- Netherlands: 1,648
- Norway: 6,453
- Poland: 5,962
- Russia: 2,248
- Sweden: 9,561
- Switzerland: 2,081
- Yugoslavia: 671
Aliens needed to apply for spots on the quota in their country of birth, regardless of where they and their family lived. Some quota waiting lists were a dozen years long, while others were not filled.
The Immigration Act of 1965 abolished this quota system and eliminated the formally racial character of immigration to the United States.
The act aimed … [ Read all ]
Posted by Jessie Kratz on September 17, 2015, under - The 1960s, News and Events, U.S. House, U.S. Senate.
Tags: exhibits, featured exhibits, immigration, Lyndon B. Johnson, naturalization, naturalization ceremony
September 17 marks the annual celebration known as Constitution Day and Citizenship Day.
On the morning of June 18, 2014, in the Rotunda of the National Archives Building First Lady Michelle Obama congratulated a room full of 35 new American citizens and their families. Her speech marked the culmination of a process that individuals have taken part in since the founding of this nation—becoming naturalized citizens of the United States of America.
Naturalization is the process by which a non-citizen acquires citizenship. Over the course of U.S. history, the process of naturalization has been subject to differing degrees of pomp and circumstance.
In 1940, Congress passed a resolution authorizing the President to issue an annual proclamation designating the third Sunday in May as “I Am An American Day.” Many towns and cities celebrated the new holiday with special ceremonies recognizing newly naturalized citizens.
In 1952, Congress re-named the holiday and moved it to September 17, but its purpose remained the same. Now called “Citizenship Day,” it commemorated the signing of the Constitution on September 17, 1787, and recognized “all who, by coming of age or by … [ Read all ]
Bill of Rights Day is on December 15. The National Archives will celebrate on Friday with a naturalization ceremony. Today’s post comes from Jessie Kratz, the Historian of the National Archives.
On September 28, 1789, Speaker of the House Frederick Muhlenberg and Vice President John Adams signed the enrolled copy of the first proposed amendments to the new Constitution—the document later known as the Bill of Rights.
The final, signed copy contained the 12 constitutional amendments that Congress proposed to the states. Shortly after it was signed, clerks created 13 additional copies, which President George Washington sent to the 11 existing states and to Rhode Island and North Carolina—which had not yet adopted the Constitution.
The enrolled version of the amendments—the one signed on September 28, 1789—remained in New York until it was sent to Philadelphia when the seat of government moved there. In 1800 it came to the new capital of Washington, DC, and was only removed briefly during the War of 1812 when the British burned the capital.
The Department of State, previously responsible for safeguarding the Federal Government’s official records, kept the enrolled copy of the Bill of Rights until 1938, when they transferred it to the National Archives in 1938 along with other State Department records. The National Archives displayed the enrolled copy of the Bill of Rights several times until … [ Read all ]
Few individuals had a more, ah, peculiar relationship with their mother than Norman Bates in the movie Psycho, which premiered 50 years ago today in New York City. The movie was a one-of-a-kind in terms of suspense and shock, but it was just another in an illustrious career of one man: Alfred Hitchcock.
The Englishman was first lawfully admitted for permanent residence in 1939 and petitioned for US citizenship at the ripe age of 55, information that is preserved in the documents of the National Archives.
The writer and director is often lauded as one of the greatest filmmakers of all time, having produced over 50 feature films in a career spanning over half a century. Of his films, many have left an indelible mark on his adopted home country: whether it’s making us look over our shoulders in hotel showers or dodging planes in the Midwest.
All in all, Sir Alfred led a career that any mother would be proud of, save perhaps one.
What’s your favorite Hitchcock movie moment?… [ Read all ]
Posted by Rob Crotty on June 16, 2010, under Rare Videos.
Tags: Alfred hitchcock, american history, favorite movies, immigration, mother, NARA, national archives, National archives and records administration, naturalization, odd history, Pieces of History, prologue blog, Prologue magazine, psycho, random history, Sir Alfred, suspense, the birds, weird US history