Jacob A. Riis (18491914). The Battle with the Slum. 1902.
a janitor with a club there. But a brass band now? There were a few professional shivers at that, but our experience with the one we set playing in the park on Sunday, years ago, came to the rescue. When it had played its last piece to end and there burst forth as with one voice from the mighty throng, Praise God from whom all blessings flow! some doubts were set at rest for all time. They were never sensible, but after that they were silly.
So the janitor was bidden bring out his key. Electric lights were strung. We will save the money somewhere else, said Mayor Low. The experiment was made with five schools, all on the crowded East Side.
I was at dinner with friends at the University Settlement, directly across from which, on the other corner, is one of the great new schools, No. 20, I think. We had got to the salad when through the open window there came a yell of exultation and triumph that made me fairly jump in my chair. Below in the street a mighty mob of children and mothers had been for half an hour besieging the door of the schoolhouse. The yell signalized the opening of it by the policeman in charge. Up the stairs surged the multitude. We could see them racing, climbing, toiling, according to their years, for the goal above where the band was tuning up. One little fellow with a trousers leg and a half,