- The Star-Spangled Banner (text)
- Greetings from the President and the Attorney General
- The Meaning of American Citizenship, By Argyle R. Mackey, Acting Commissioner, Immigration and Naturalization Service: no longer a foreign citizen, but also not "a hyphenated-Amercican."
- The Duties of a Citizen [include: obeying laws, voting, informing oneself about issues on the ballot, paying taxes, jury duty, holding office, serving in the military, etc.]
- Rights and Privileges of a Citizen: basically standard civil and political rights, derived from the Constitution
- Photo of the Declaration of Independence in the National Archives, along with an "Oath of Allegiance"
- The Five Qualities of the Good Citizen
- "America" (My country! 'tis of thee; text)
- Memories of the Occasion (space for "signatures," "messages of congratulation," and "newspaper clippings")
- "cherishes democratic values and bases his actions on them"
- "practices democratic human relationship in the family, school, community, and the larger scenes"
- "recognizes the social problems of the times and has the will and the ability to work toward their solution"
- "is aware of and takes responsibility for meeting basic human needs"
- "possesses and uses knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary in a democratic society"
Today you have become a citizen of the United States of America. You are no longer an Englishman, a Frenchman, an Italian, a Pole. Neither are you a hyphenated-American--a Polish-American, an Italian-American. You are no longer the subject of a government. Henceforth, you are an integral part of this Government--a freeman--a Citizen of the United States of America.This citizenship, which has been solemnly conferred on you, is a thing of the spirit--not of the flesh. When you took the oath of allegiance to the Constitution of the United States you claimed for yourself the God-given unalienable rights which that sacred document sets forth as the natural right of all men.
The stress on popular government must have been empowering. To what extent was it offset in the minds of the newcomer by the equal stress on assimilation and homogenization? A subtly engaging short film, "The Cummington Story" (1945; score by Aaron Copland) shows how standoffish New Englanders and insecure European refugees right here in western Massachusetts overcame cultural barriers to become friends as well as neighbors.
In 1952, Congress changed the name of the holiday honoring new Americans from "I Am an American Day" to "Citizenship Day" and shifted the date from the third Sunday in May to September 17, the anniversary of the adoption of the Constitution. In accordance with President Truman's declaration, the Mayor of Minneapolis held a reception for the newcomers at City Hall.
My father was selected as one of the two new citizens to speak at the ceremony. The name of the other, "Mrs. H.A. Bullis," is somewhat misleading. She was a fellow Polish refugee, the Countess Maria Smorczewska, who was active in the underground during the war, fled to the US in 1947, and married the widowed Harry Amos Bullis, Chairman of the Board of General Mills, in 1948.
It is possible that the booklet welcoming immigrants to American citizenship constituted the "greeting card," for I found it along with the above program. In any event, I do have the flag presented at the naturalization ceremony. My parents each had one, and I recall playing with one as a child.