Enough powder is being consumed on the other side of the water without wasting any here on a Fourth of July celebration. Thanks to the spread of the Safe and Sane Fourth idea the past few years, the old-fashioned celebration with the indiscriminate use of fire-crackers and other explosives entailing scores of deaths and hundreds of injuries is rapidly becoming a thing of the past. The country is now prepared to go a step further and make the birthday of the nation the occasion to instruct the immigrant in the principles of liberty and democracy for which America stands. Some of the European nations have the idea that this country is a vast conglomerate of people from all corners of the earth and that we lack, therefore, national ideals, national unity, national loyalty.
Dr. Sidney L. Gulick proposes that the most fitting celebration of the Fourth of July as the Nation’s Birthday is to make it also the Citizen’s Birthday, that on this day citizenship be given to aliens, and that those born in this country be formally admitted to citizenship on the Fourth nearest their twenty-first birthday. Properly carried out, this would call for processions, orations welcoming to citizenship, responses and oaths of allegiance to the Stars and Stripes in every community. In a modified form more than fifty cities have planned to carry out this idea.
They will call the day Americanization Day, and will make it an occasion of welcome to all those within their gates who have come from other lands with different ideals of liberty. America opens its doors of opportunity to the peoples of all nations. Is it too much to ask that those who enjoy the benefits that America offers should drop the hyphen and give undivided loyalty to the land of their adoption?
Source: Frank Leslies Weekly, July 1, 1915