Page 245. " since they migrated to the New World "

The "New World" was discovered by Europeans in 1492, when Christopher Columbus stumbled on the continent of America whilst trying to find a Western route to India.

He was followed by many migrants from all over Europe and, later, the rest of the world, looking for a new life of opportunity in America.

Listen on Spotify:  From the New World by Antonín Dvořák

 

Page 248. " Jem dug into his pocket and extracted a Tootsie Roll "
Tootsie Rolls
Creative Commons AttributionTootsie Rolls - Credit: Ani-Bee

Tootsie Rolls are one of the best-selling candies in the world. They were invented by Leo Hirshfield, an Austrian immigrant to the United States, in 1896. He wanted a "chocolate" candy that would not melt easily in the heat, and would be an alternative to traditional chocolates. The candy is named after the nickname of his daughter, Clara "Tootsie" Hirshfield.

More than 62 million Tootsie Rolls are made daily.

Page 249. " What about the Chinese, and the Cajuns down yonder in Baldwin County? "

Chinese immigration to the U.S. began in the 19th century. They worked as laborers on the railroad and as miners, but their time in the U.S. was marred by racial discrimination. Even though U.S. industries were eager to employ this new and cheap labor, the ordinary white public were alarmed by what they called the "yellow peril."

Political and labor groups rallied against what they believed to be an "inferior race". Even church leaders argued that their land was "for whites only". The public reaction was so extreme that in 1882 the United States Congress passed the Chinese Exclusion Act, which prohibited immigration from China for the next ten years, as well as a law prohibiting Chinese men from marrying white women.

It was only in the 1940s, when the US and China became allies in the Second World War, that Chinese Americans won fairer treatment.