CGSI Annual Meeting - Oct 2004

Two presentations were given during the October 2004 CGSI Annual Meeting.

In the first presentation, Bob Paulson told us about his twenty-year search for his German-Bohemian roots in Western Bohemia including his interesting experiences behind the Iron Curtain. Robert Paulson, is the founder and research committee chair of the German-Bohemian Heritage Society (GBHS). You can read Bob’s entire presentation is on his Web Page

In addition, Bob showed part of a video entitled “Unser Schones Heimatland, Our Beautiful Homeland”. It is a travelogue showing many of the villages from which German-Bohemians emigrated and came to Minnesota.

The second presentation by Daniel Necas was entitled “Publish and survive: The first half-century of publication efforts within the Czech/Bohemian American community, 1852 through WWI”. Daniel Necas is the assistant curator for Archival Operations at the Immigration History Research Center, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis.

Daniel talked about how 19th century immigrants from Bohemia and Moravia, who came to America with one of the lowest rates of illiteracy, soon established periodicals and later book publishing venues to serve their reading and other literary needs. By exploring the vast production of Czech American printed materials that circulated in the latter half of the 19th century in the Czech American community, we learned their perspective on readership and how the books and periodicals may have impacted their lives and their communities.

Some of the earliest Czech and Slovak publications in the U.S. were;

  • Milwaukee Flugblatter published 1852-1854. The 1st Czech Newspaper published in the U.S. It was published in German.
  • Constitution of By-Laws of CSPS 1854. It was published in St. Louis, MO and it was the oldest publication in America.
  • Slowan Amerikansky (American Slav) started in 1860 in Racine, WI.
  • Narodni Noviny (National News) started in St. Louis, MO in 1860.
  • Slavie (Slavicdom) in Racine, WI. This resulted from a merger of the Slowan Amerikansky and the Narodni Noviny.
  • Sokol Americky (American Sokol) 1879-present Chicago, IL. This is the longest continous Czech/Slovak Newspaper in America
  • Hospodar (Farmer) Omaha, NE 1891-
  • VUDCE KU ZDRAVI (Health Guide)
  • MUZ S MRTUYM SRDCEM A man with a Dead Heart by M. Jokai in Czech
  • Bordy Nkari (Boarding House Dwellers) This book was rewritten by J Psenka as a theatre play in 1908.
  • Ceska Zena (Czech Woman) St. Louis, MO 1908

Note that between 1860 and 1890 there were more Czech periodicals published in the U.S. that in Bohemia.

For a listing of Czech and Slovak publications see the web site of the Immigration History Research Center.

Pictures from the 2004 Annual meeting.

               Bob Paulson making his presentation

               Daniel Necas making his presentation

 Dave Pavelka reporting on the 2005 “Back to the Homeland” Conference

          Gene Aksamit conducting the Annual Meeting

   John Kracha reporting on the 2005 Winter Symposium

Suzette Steppe taking minutes during the Annual Meeting