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ship, he should see that a person of standing in the community is appointed to head this important committee, a person who can command the respect of every member of the committee, one who understands the significance of ceremonies and knows how to obtain cooperation in putting on a fitting program. Well-planned
. citizenship programs, in which there is an active participation by representatives of the community not only during the court ceremony but also before and after, can go far toward blending the new citizen into the community and making him a part of America.
fact, it dates back to the Mediterranean world of 1900 years ago. The dignity of personality, the brotherhood of man, social and moral responsibility, freedom of speech, the right to be heard, and other basic principles came from the lips and lives of men who lived in the days of the Caesars.
Only recently, however, has there been widespread effort in this country to emphasize the significance of American citizenship in a manner somewhat similar to the procedure when a father brought his son to the Forum for induction into Roman citizenship.
The origin of the idea of community recognition ceremonies is not known. Here and there community celebrations were held to honor the new citizens from other countries who had achieved citizenship through naturalization and also the youth of our land who had reached the age of maturity—both groups entitled to take their
— places of responsibility in the civic and political life of the Nation and of the localities where they lived.
As early as 1915 welcomes and public receptions were tendered especially to the newly naturalized citizens. In the years that followed, emphasis continued to be placed upon the reception into the civic life of the Nation of naturalized citizens rather than of new voters.
At the time of World War I, the General Federation of Women's Clubs initiated a program of citizenship designed to make July 4th a Citizenship Day. Their publications during that period carried valuable suggestions regarding such observance. However, the
program did not develop on a national scale, although it had the endorsement of President Wilson and was carried on for several
years. Many organizations and groups contributed to the development of the idea of giving special recognition to the importance of citizen