By Nancy Gentile Ford
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Additional info for Americans All!: Foreign-born Soldiers in World War I
Other major cities including New York; Cleveland; Cedar Rapids, Iowa; Boston; and Omaha, Nebraska, and it grew rapidly to include over , members in nearly branches throughout the United States. 31 The Slav Press Bureau, established by the Bohemian National Alliance and the Slovak League of America, kept the Allied war cause in front of the immigrant public years before the Committee on Public Information began its propaganda campaign. In January, , the Czech Catholic community joined in the call for independence when they uniﬁed into the National League of Czech Catholics.
As they welcomed the leader to Pilsen Park in Chicago. ”47 Most of the recruiting drives clearly combined American patriotism with ethnic pride. In a moving speech, Lieutenant Horvat, a Slovakian clergyman serving in the Legion, told the audience, “There are no diﬀerences in the Czechoslovak Army. Czech and Slovaks stand as equals, and shoulder to shoulder, with one aim—to humble the age-old common enemy. . You in America know what liberty means. ”48 The Chicago Military Committee for the Czechoslovak Army recruited in the Midwest.
Czech and Slovak artists designed buttons, stamps, badges, postcards, posters, and maps, which were sold to raise funds for the ﬁght for independence. ”32 Once the United States declared war, ethnic leaders saw their peoples’ participation in the ﬁghting as a way of demonstrating loyalty to their adopted country and bringing “liberation and independence” to their homeland. An April, , article in Chicago’s Denni Hlasatel summed it up best: “We live in America as free citizens[, and] we enjoy here freedom of speech and of the press.