'The Great Mother of America': the story of a Ukrainian woman who has become the pride of the United States
On June 4, 1876, a girl named Sofia was born in Kiev, who was no different from others. However, already at the beginning of the twentieth century the whole world was talking about it, and the Americans gratefully called it “America's Great Mother”. And today in the center of Manhattan there is a memorial with a commemorative inscription to this great Ukrainian woman.
Her story told the publicationUkrainian interest".
Sophia's maiden name is Simon. Six years after the birth, the family of a little Ukrainian woman emigrated to Pennsylvania. In Rivne, where they lived before, her father Shmuel Simon had a jewelry workshop, but in the United States, a family with six children could barely make ends meet.
Fate was not very favorable to them - soon the only breadwinner died. Children had to grow up early. Sophia worked in a store whose owner invited her to get married. Anselm Loeb was older than her and had a fortune. For some time, being married, Sofia worked as a primary school teacher. However, the couple did not have special feelings - and they parted.
The woman received a journalistic education, worked as a reporter New york evening world - a popular newspaper at that time. She studied the humanities with particular zeal and was interested in art. She wrote poems, stories and articles on social topics. Moreover, she raised the painful topics of widows, orphans and children left without parental care. One of the first to conduct information campaigns in the United States. In particular, she offered to allocate money to widows for the maintenance of children under six so that they would not have to give them to orphanages.
In the end, Lobe proved to the authorities that the state should take upon itself this concern. Loeb's credo in the fight for orphans' lives: "Not charity, but a chance for every child." Friends said that she did not have children of her own, but she devoted seven years of her life to the struggle for the rights of other people's babies.
Each of her publications found feedback and support from the American audience. No one was surprised when Lobe was nominated for the presidency of the child welfare committee. Her first success - instead of $ 100, she managed to get an incredible amount from the state budget - $ 000.
At the same time, she worked as a volunteer on the committee - receiving nothing but public support. Her main income was articles, which she sent out to various publishing houses.
In 1925, the First International Congress on the Welfare of Children in Geneva adopted a resolution of Mrs. Loub, confirming the right of children to live in a family, and not just at orphanages. A vivid report of a journalist about blind children in the States was unanimously accepted by the League of Nations.
Gradually, Loeb became a prominent public figure, her opinion was considered. Sophie secured a pension in forty-two states in the United States that was paid to widows; successfully implemented several more social projects with the newly established Foundation of Widows Women and the famous Jewish activist Hannah Bachmann-Einstein.
In addition, she agreed to act as a mediator between the authorities of New York and the city's taxi drivers in the fight and for their rights. Her personal achievements also include publicity around the refusal to patron Heksher in the construction of a playground in Central Park. Sophie, raising the public, helped in the implementation of this idea, despite the authorities' argument to ban the construction of a site in the historic center of New York.
The memorial fountain after her death in 1929 (a five-sided fountain with spring water depicting characters from “Alice in Wonderland” by Lewis Carroll) was erected at this place in honor of Sophie Lobe “for tireless work in favor of children”.
Not so long ago, the site was completely reconstructed. By the way, the author of the fountain was the famous sculptor Frederick George Richard Roth - the one who was the first in New York to honor the dog Balto, who saved the whole city from the diphtheria epidemic in 1925 by running for serum. This plot is described in several books and forms the basis of the cartoon of the same name by Simon Wells (1995).
Sophie Irene Loub today is among the prominent American women who took part in the social and political reforms of the early twentieth century.
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