SEGMENT: IMMIGRATION, CHURCH ACTIVITIES, & RACE-RELATIONS

Marie Burch>UIS Collection B's>UIS Collection B's, Segment 6

SEGMENT: IMMIGRATION, CHURCH ACTIVITIES, & RACE-RELATIONS,

duration 09:11
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CHURCH ACTIVITIES
Mother belonged to a missionary society at the Presbyterian Church in Divernon. They raised funds for a mission in Nome, Alaska. Notes Melvin Gray, a black man, came and played for missionary society.
IMMIGRATION
Eastern European immigrants came to the area & mother got along fine with them, buy many people did not. Speculates that problem was that they did not speak English well. Most came after WWI and WWII. Tells story of caring for displaced couple from Latvia after WWII. The church helped people from "camps" [refugee camps? Concentration camps?] with housing, education, and jobs. An Estonian couple with a boy also stayed with the family for a year. Mother was seamstress. This family then moved to Chicago. Still stays in touch. Story of this Estonian couple coming to visit. Immigrant stated "This country has sure been good to me." This Estonian boy later served in US Army. Notes again how her mother was a "motherly soul" in caring for immigrants.
RACE-RELATIONS
Saw burned houses in Springfield after the 1908 Race riot from the Illinois Central train. Otherwise she just stayed home. Some towns had not welcome signs out to blacks. In 1984, Marie hired a black man to do yard work. Neighbors warned her about how it would look. She said "I wouldn't give a damn!"