Tuesday, January 29, 2013

January 29: School Prohibited German to be Taught

On this date in History ..... 1918:

The Indianapolis Public Schools voted to ban the teaching of German in public schools. 
This was a common reaction going on around the country in response to the German factor in WWI, even though German-American communities “were among the oldest and most widespread ethnic groups in the state.” It became illegal for German newspapers to continue to print or to disburse anything German thru the mail.

It was during this time period that those of German descent and anything German began to “Americanize” themselves, changing names, such as the small town in eastern Indiana (near my hometown) changing its name from “East Germantown” to “Pershing”, the name of the great WWI General. For many MANY years, the city went by both names, as shown by this city limits sign.

Footnote:  In my own personal history, I can see how the spelling of my family name evolved over the generations.  In a local cemetery, I can see the original family who immigrated to the U.S. in the 1840s spelled our last name as "Toschlage".   Later, I can find it on tombstones spelled "Toschlag".  It since evolved to the current spelling as "Toschlog".

No comments:

Post a Comment