Thursday, March 10, 2016

Another Reason to Celebrate St. Patrick's Day

Herbert Hoover gained his greatest achievements
as a humanitarian - his efforts touched many including
Eric Sonneman who arrived in the USA as an immigrant on
St. Patrick's Day, March 17, 1939.
In the fall of 2014, I wrote of Herbert Hoover and his humanitarian work and his  Iowa Connection in a blog post at Iowaconnections.com.  In researching information for that blog post I came across information about an immigrant, Eric Sonneman, who had benefited from Hoover's relief efforts.  In e-correspondence with his daughter Toby Sonneman, the author of a fascinating history of the lemon, Lemon: A Global History, I was directed to an essay about her father and St. Patrick's day that appeared in The Scroll: Tablet Magazine on the News.  It seems Eric Sonneman's arrival in the United States as a Jewish immigrant from Germany, coincided with St. Patrick's day
1939. 

 Sonneman family's favorite holiday.  Besides leprechauns, four-leafed clovers, and pots of gold under the rainbow I think Eric Sonneman had the right idea.  St. Patrick's day is a very good day to welcome immigrants to America.  On this coming St. Patrick's day, and all the days that follow, please do something to welcome a new arrival in the United States.  A simple hello, a plate of warm cookies, a hour or two tutoring in a local center, ... do whatever you can to make someone else feel welcome and treasured in our abundant land of opportunity.

His daughter, Toby,  is a writer and has written anecdotes involving her father.  In this specific essay Toby Sonneman shares her father's (and the family's) reason that St. Patrick's day is the family's favorite holiday.

Write and let us know what YOU did to welcome a new immigrant to the USA.  And if you have a favorite holiday we'd like to hear about that too.

 Resources:

McElmeel, Sharron (1 September 2014).  Herbert Hoover - Native Iowan: A President from IOWA.  Iowa History: Bits and Pieces.  (WEB) http://iowahistory.blogspot.com/2014/09/herbert-hoover-native-iowan.html

Soneman, Toby.  (2014) www.tobysonneman.com.

Sonneman, Toby.  (14 March 2014).  Why St. Patrick's Day Is My Jewish Family's Favorite Holiday.  The Scroll: Tablet Magazine on the News.  (WEB) http://www.tabletmag.com/scroll/166071/why-st-patricks-day-is-my-jewish-familys-favorite-holiday
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