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Photo of the Week, 36: "Give us your poor, your tired, your huddled masses longing to be free..."

On Saturday, May 25, 1940 in Bloomington, a group of 20 immigrants became U.S. citizens after a naturalization examination and swearing in ceremony. They are seen here in the courtroom of the old McLean County Courthouse (now the McLean County Museum of History) before Circuit Judge William C. Radliff.

An article in The Pantagraph provided the names of all 20 new citizens, though they were not identified in relation to the photograph. There were twelve individuals from Germany, including Otto Wilhelm Albert Thees; Remmer Heinderich Cramer; Emma Thees; Otto Albert Stockle; Alfred and Kathryn Schuster; Gertrud Anna Minnie Reithmaier; and John Scherer.

The German contingent also included four nuns who were in all likelihood here to work at St. Joseph's Hospital (OSF St. Joseph Medical Center) on Bloomington's west side: Franziska Sibler (Sister Mary Solana); Anna Krenzer (Sister Mary Consolata); Philomena Jestadt (Sister Mary Gervesia); and Anna Will (Sister Mary Narcissa).

There were also three individuals from Canada (Murtle Lula Dorothy Hardin, Elma Viola Kelly and Claire Renwick Beach); two from Romania (Jacob Simon Petry and Katherine Caldwell); and one each from Sweden (Judith Maria Hildegarde Thees); Italy (Isidoro Lercara); and England (Lily Blanche Weatherley).

Bill Kemp

Bill Kemp

Bill Kemp is the Librarian at the McLean County Museum of History