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Title The Americanization of a Ukrainian Boy, Chapters XIII -XIV [Wasyl Halich Autobiography]
Author Halich, Wasyl
Date 1921-1971
Document Type Personal Account; Newspaper
Reference IHRC861, Supplement 1, Folder 2
Library / Archive Immigration History Research Center Archives, University of Minnesota
Collection Name Halich, Wasyl Papers
Description Wasyl Halich's autobiography on his experiences as a Ukrainian immigrant in the US. Newspaper articles regarding Halich are also included here, as is a copy of the inscription on a plaque dedicated to him at the Immigration History Research Center of the University of Minnesota, given to recognise 'his pioneering research on the Ukrainian communities in the United States'.
Biographical Note / History Wasyl Halich was born on 6 April 1896, in the village of Strilbychi, near the city of Stary Sambir, on the northern slopes of the Carpathian Mountains. He was one of nine children, three boys and six girls. Young Halich did well in school and occasionally his parents mentioned their desire to give him a higher education. The matter was dropped, however, for they could not afford such a luxury. In the autumn of 1912, the sixteen year old Halich arrived in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to join his uncle Andriy Movchko, and to continue his education. Within a few days of his arrival, Halich met with Reverend D. Halenda at a Ukrainian Presbyterian Mission, and became interested in the Evangelical movement. It was in 1915 that Halich told Reverend Halenda about his plans to become a minister, and the latter became interested in his project. Halich’s original plan was to go to Dubuque College, Dubuque, Iowa. However, Bloomfield College in Bloomfield, New Jersey, had a course in Ukrainian language and literature, taught by Reverend Basil Kusiw of Newark, New Jersey, which already had some Ukrainian students. It was there that Halich went in September of 1915, to study for three years. In 1918, he transferred to Dubuque and remained there to finish his high school and college with a B.A. degree, financing his own way through. After his graduation in 1924, Halich secured a teaching position in southern Wisconsin, in the small town of Elkhorn, where he taught high school history and coached football for three years. In 1927, he accepted a position at Central High School in Superior, Wisconsin, where he spent many years. During the summers, Halich attended Iowa University, where he received an M.A. degree in 1929, in history and political science. Continuing his studies at Iowa University, he earned a PhD degree in 1934; his doctoral dissertation was titled “Economic Aspects of Ukrainian Activities in the United States.” In 1935, Wasyl Halich visited his birthplace where his mother and brothers and sisters were still living. He spent nearly a month there, and upon his return to the United States, married Margaret B. Mitchell, a high school English instructor. The last 20 years of his teaching career were spent at Wisconsin State University, Superior, where he attained the rank as professor. His field was Russian and European history. In his spare time, during the years 1930-1966, Halich gave many talks on historical topics in Wisconsin, Upper Michigan and Minnesota. At the suggestion of John Harrison Thornton, his doctoral advisor, Halich pioneered the study of Ukrainians in America and published a book "Ukrainians in the United States in 1937". In addition to his native Ukrainian, Halich studied many languages, including English, Russian, Polish, German, Greek, Latin and French. His articles appeared in the Ukrainian Quarterly, Agricultural History, Western Pennsylvania Historical Magazine, North Dakota History, and in the Almanac and the Jubilee Book of the Ukrainian National Association. Also, his articles on Ukrainian Americans appeared in Svoboda, Ukrainian Weekly and Narodne Slovo. In addition to that, Halich took part in cooperative translations of Michael Hrushevsky’s "History of Ukraine". During his academic career, Wasyl Halich earned listings in 'Who Knows What', 'Who’s Who in Education' and at the time of his retirement, he received the Governor’s Certificate of Meritorious Service and the title Professor Emeritus of History.
Theme(s) Permanent Settlement and Successive Generations; Religion, Ethnic Identity and Community Relations
Country (from) Ukraine
Country (to) United States of America
Places Superior, Wisconsin, Jersey City, New York, North Dakota, United States; Nova Scotia, Canada
Nationality English; American; European; Ukrainian
Keywords marriage, family, family records, biography, education, employment, teacher, history, agriculture, library, Ukrainian National Association, government, community relations, insurance, newspaper, award, philanthropy, literature, religion, Presbyterianism
Additional Information Please note: Some of the metadata for this document has been taken from the Immigration History Research Center Archives catalogue.
Catalogue Link Immigration History Research Center Archives Catalogue
Language English
Document(s) linked to The Americanization of a Ukrainian Boy
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