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The SS Quanza and European War Refugees

Finding a Sequence

All documents and text associated with this activity are printed below, followed by a worksheet for student responses.

Introduction

In 1940, with events in Europe escalating, Americans debated the merits of expanding immigration for refugees hoping to come to the United States. Legislation passed in 1924 set quotas on the number of immigrants coming from other countries. In 1939, the ship St. Louis was refused landing in both Cuba and the United States, sending all the passengers back to Europe where 254 lost their lives.

In September 1940, another ship, the Quanza, attempted to bring refugees to safety. In this activity you will explore policies that influenced U.S. Government decisions about refugees, the roles of private citizens and the refugees themselves in influencing policy, and the result of these efforts.

Carefully analyze each document below (click on the orange "new window" icon on each image to view details and more information). Then place the documents in chronological order. For the Alien Registration Act of 1940, pay special attention to the second paragraph of Title III, Sec. 30. You will need to use what you learned by analyzing each document to answer the questions under "When You're Done."


Name:
Class:

Worksheet

The SS Quanza and European War Refugees

Finding a Sequence

Examine the documents in this activity. Put the corresponding document numbers in order using the list below. Write your conclusion response in the space provided.

1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8



1

Activity Element

Telegram from Passengers on the Ship Quanza to President Franklin Roosevelt

Page 1



2

Activity Element

Memorandum for the Secretary of State from F.D.R.

Page 1



3

Activity Element

Letter from E. C. Powell to the Secretary of State Regarding Strengthening Immigration Laws

Page 1



4

Activity Element

Letter from Breckenridge Long to FDR

Page 1



5

Activity Element

Alien Registration Act of 1940

Page 5



6

Activity Element

Letter from the State Department to Attorney E. C. Powell Regarding Temporary Admission of Quanza Passengers

Page 1



7

Activity Element

Telegram from Women Passengers on the Ship Quanza to Eleanor Roosevelt

Page 1



8

Activity Element

Telegram from Resident of Alexandria, Virginia, to Eleanor Roosevelt to Prevent Quanza from Returning to Europe

Page 1



Conclusion

The SS Quanza and European War Refugees

Finding a Sequence

As a result of your careful study of these documents, answer the following questions:

  1. What were the perspectives on the refugee crisis from the Executive and Legislative branches?
  2. Within the Executive Branch, were there any differences between the President and members of his cabinet? What were they?
  3. What role did private citizens play in the crisis?


Your Response




Document


Telegram from Passengers on the Ship Quanza to President Franklin Roosevelt

Page 1



Document


Telegram from Women Passengers on the Ship Quanza to Eleanor Roosevelt

Page 1



Document


Letter from the State Department to Attorney E. C. Powell Regarding Temporary Admission of Quanza Passengers

Page 1



Document


Letter from E. C. Powell to the Secretary of State Regarding Strengthening Immigration Laws

Page 1



Document


Alien Registration Act of 1940

Page 1



Alien Registration Act of 1940

Page 2



Alien Registration Act of 1940

Page 3



Alien Registration Act of 1940

Page 4



Alien Registration Act of 1940

Page 5



Alien Registration Act of 1940

Page 6



Alien Registration Act of 1940

Page 7



Alien Registration Act of 1940

Page 8



Alien Registration Act of 1940

Page 9



Document


Letter from Breckenridge Long to FDR

Page 1



Letter from Breckenridge Long to FDR

Page 2



Letter from Breckenridge Long to FDR

Page 3



Letter from Breckenridge Long to FDR

Page 4



Letter from Breckenridge Long to FDR

Page 5



Letter from Breckenridge Long to FDR

Page 6



Letter from Breckenridge Long to FDR

Page 7



Letter from Breckenridge Long to FDR

Page 8



Letter from Breckenridge Long to FDR

Page 9



Document


Telegram from Resident of Alexandria, Virginia, to Eleanor Roosevelt to Prevent Quanza from Returning to Europe

Page 1



Document


Memorandum for the Secretary of State from FDR

Page 1