Monday, October 12, 2015


JFK+50:  Volume 5, No. 1741


New York City (JFK+50) A century ago today, October 12, 1915, former President Theodore Roosevelt lambasted "hyphenated Americanism" in a speech before the Knights of Columbus* held at Carnegie Hall here in New York City.

TR, never known to mince words, said...

"There is no room in this country for hyphenated Americanism."

The former president went on to say that he was not making reference to naturalized Americans but those who in using the hyphen before American who placed emphasis on whatever foreign nation in which they were born.

TR continued...

"Americanism is a matter of the spirit and of the soul.  Our allegiance must be purely to the United States.  We must...condemn any man who holds any other allegiance, but if he is heartily and singly loyal to this Republic, then no matter where he was born, he is just as good an American as anyone else."

Roosevelt stated examples of men who served the United States in the Revolution and Civil War whose ancestors were French, Dutch, German, Scottish and Irish and the fact that men in his own presidential cabinet were of English, French, German, Irish and Dutch descent.

*The Knights of Columbus was founded in New Haven, Connecticut in 1882 by Irish-American Catholic priest Father Michael J. McGivney.  Originally intended to aid low-income immigrant Catholics, the organization moved on to provide charitable services as well as promotion of Catholic education.


"Theodore Roosevelt's 'Unhyphenated America' speech," by Christopher Harris, Unhyphenated America, May 5, 2014,

Theodore Roosevelt (1915)
Library of Congress Photo