Edward William Bok > The Americanization of Edward Bok > Page 356



Edward William Bok (1863–1930). The Americanization of Edward Bok. 1921.

Page 356

The newspapers joined in the cry; women’s organizations insisted upon action from local municipal bodies.

Finally, the civic spirit in Cleveland, Ohio, forced the passage of a city ordinance prohibiting the sale or use of fireworks on the Fourth. The following year when Cleveland reported no casualties as compared to an ugly list for the previous. Fourth, a distinct impression was made upon other cities. Gradually, other municipalities took action, and year by year the list of Fourth of July casualties grew perceptibly shorter. New York City was now induced to join the list of prohibitive cities, by a personal appeal made to its mayor by Bok, and on the succeeding Fourth of July the city authorities, on behalf of the people of New York City, conferred a gold medal upon Edward Bok for his services in connection with the birth of the new Fourth in that city.

There still remains much to be done in cities as yet unawakened; but a comparison of the list of casualties of 1920 with that of 1905 proves the growth in enlightened public sentiment in fifteen years to have been steadily increasing. It is an instance not of Bok taking the initiative—that had already been taken—but of throwing the whole force of the magazine with those working in the field to help. It is the American woman who is primarily responsible for the safe and sane Fourth, so far as it already exists in this country to-day, and it is the American woman who can make it universal.

Mrs. Pennypacker, as president of The Federation of Women’s Clubs, now brought to Bok’s attention the conditions under which the average rural school-teacher lived; the suffering often entailed on her in having to



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