OKLAHOMBI JOSEPH

OKLAHOMBI JOSEPH
FIRST WORLD WAR

 

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They are not street protests or boycott operations that led the United States to grant U.S. citizenship to Indians : the sense of national embarrassment caused by the act of heroism of one man during the First World War.

Joseph Oklahombi , Choctaw North Dakota , was one of many Indian to have volunteered to go to war .

Before 1924 , the Indians had the opportunity to become citizens under certain conditions , for example if they had served honorably in the armed forces or if they sold the piece of land that had been granted to a reserve.

In 1917 , somewhere in France , Oklahombi crosses barriers of barbed wire, slipped between the German lines and neutralized a machine gun nest . Then he captured alone 171 enemy soldiers. For this action and other feats of arms , France awarded him its most prestigious military medal , but as Oklahombi had not yet been discharged , it was still not considered a U.S. citizen. When the fact was known , the United States found themselves extremely embarrassed.

This is why a handful of politicians from the East Coast did lobbying over the next seven years for the accession of Indian citizenship. In 1924 , the time finally rang, and a law was passed by the Congress and the Senate . The Billings Gazette, June 2, 1924 - the day when President Coolidge initialed the Indian Citizenship Act - did not even mention the fact . The headlines were entirely devoted to the trial of two son of Chicago millionaire who confessed to murdering a 13 year old boy . Neither this nor any number then numbers the following week did not mention the law that granted citizenship to non- citizens `` All Indians born within the territorial limits of the United States . ``
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