American Citizenship Day

Image by John Hain


“Remember, remember always, that all of us, you and I especially, are descended from immigrants and revolutionists.”

—  Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882 – 1945)
American politician & lawyer
32nd president of the United States

“Nearly all Americans have ancestors who braved the oceans – liberty-loving risk takers in search of an ideal – the largest voluntary migrations in recorded history… Immigration is not just a link to America’s past; it’s also a bridge to America’s future.”

—  George H.W. Bush (1924 – 2018)
American politician, diplomat, & businessman
41st president of the United States

Photo by Ana Toledo

March 2nd is the day each year on which we commemorate the day that Puerto Ricans born after April 25, 1898, were granted U.S. citizenship in 1917. President Woodrow Wilson signed the Jones-Shafroth Act on March 2nd.

Puerto Ricans had been Spanish nationals until the Spanish-American War in 1898. Spain ceded the island to the U.S. under the Treaty of Paris.

Photo by Fabian Fauth

This day also serves as a reminder to all of us to appreciate the value of our citizenship. Among other rights, citizenship entitles people to vote in Federal elections. It generally provides priority when petitioning to bring family members permanently to this country.

Most of us live so readily with freedom, that we may give it little thought. Those working hard to come to this country know we would be foolish to take our freedom for granted.

“You who have been born in America, I wish I could make you understand what it is like [to] not be an American – [to] not have been an American all your life — and then, suddenly, with the words of a man in flowing robes to be one, for that moment and forever after. One moment you belong with your fathers to a million dead yesterdays — the next you belong with America to a million unborn tomorrows.”

— George Magar Mardikian (1903 – 1977)
Armenian-born American restauranteur, chef, author, and philanthropist

“I received a letter just before I left office from a man. I don’t know why he chose to write it, but I’m glad he did. He wrote that you can go to live in France, but you can’t become a Frenchman. You can go to live in Germany or Italy, but you can’t become a German, an Italian. He went through Turkey, Greece, Japan and other countries. But he said anyone, from any corner of the world, can come to live in the United States and become an American.”

— Ronald Reagan (1911 – 2004)
American politician & actor
40th president of the United States

About Cathy Burnham Martin

Author of 20+ books, and counting! A professional voice-over artist, dedicated foodie, and lifelong corporate communications geek, Cathy Burnham Martin has enjoyed a highly eclectic career, ranging from the arts and journalism to finance, telecommunications, and publishing. Along with her husband, Ron Martin, she has passions for entertaining, gardening, volunteering, active and visual arts, GREAT food, and traveling. Cathy often says, "I believe that we all should live with as much contagious enthusiasm as possible... Whether we're with friends or family, taking people along for the ride is more than half the fun."
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