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In this letter P. J. McBride, the Commissioner of Labor and Industry, responds to Grimm's letter to Governor Arthur Capper, dated November 27, 1917. Grimm had expressed her displeasure with the enforcement of the child labor law in her hometown of Sabetha, which had forced her 10-year old son Theodore to leave his job as a grocery delivery boy. McBride informed her that, because the legislature passed this law, the Governor could not make any exceptions. McBride also emphasized that "play and recreation" were an important element in children's development and that after schoolwork and household chores had been completed, children should have unstructured time to play. McBride refers to the 1917 amendment to the Industrial Welfare Act of 1915; this amendment prohibited work at night or for more than 8 hours daily or 48 hours weekly and required that school superintendents issue work permits to eligible students prior to the student's employment. Also, children could not be employed until they had completed elementary school.
Creator: McBride, P. J.
Date: December 12, 1917
McBride's letter serves as an excellent example of how Progressivism sought to improve the lot of children and to ensure that Kansas children received an education. This letter could be paired with Emma Grimm's original letter, which has also been selected for this standard. Furthermore, for a wider case study of the Sabetha community, students could be assigned all the letters dealing with child labor in Sabetha, including not only Emma Grimm's letter but also letters by Ralph Tennal and Roy Hennigh (plus P. J. McBride's responses and McBride's summary letter to Arthur Capper).
KS:11th:1.4:Child labor laws (2005)
Item Number: 211816
Call Number: Governor's Correspondence, Capper, Box 10, Folder 3
KSHS Identifier: DaRT ID: 211816
Business and Industry - Labor - Child labor
Collections - State Archives - Governor's Records - Capper, Arthur
Curriculum - 11th Grade Standards - Kansas History Standards - 1877-1930 (Kansas_Benchmark 1) - Child labor laws (Indicator 4) - Arguments for enforcement of existing child labor laws
Curriculum - 11th Grade Standards - Kansas History Standards - 1877-1930 (Kansas_Benchmark 1) - Child labor laws (Indicator 4) - Examples of child labor
Date - 1910s - 1917
Government and Politics - Reform and Protest - Progressivism
Government and Politics - State Government - State agencies and programs - Agencies - Labor, Department of
Home and Family - Families - Parents
Objects and Artifacts - Communication Artifacts - Documentary Artifact - Letter
People - Children
People - Women
Places - Cities and towns - Sabetha
Places - Counties - Nemaha
Thematic Time Period - Age of Reform, 1880 - 1917
Type of Material - Unpublished documents - Letters