The Lack of Public Recreation in Our Cities, December 20, 1908 (excerpt)

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THE LACK OF PUBLIC RECREATION IN OUR CITIES.

Jane Addams, who has been contributing several articles to the monthly magazine on the dangers that beset your girls in American cities, writes in Charities and the Commons for December: "Since the soldiers of Cromwell shut up the people's playhouses and destroyed their pleasure fields, the Anglo-Saxon city has turned over the provision for public creation to the most evil-minded and the most unscrupulous members of the community. We see thousands of girls walking up and down the streets on a  pleasant evening with no chance to catch a sight of pleasure even in such an unsatisfactory manner as looking through a lighted window, save as these lurid places provide it. Apparently the modern cities sees in these girls only two possibilities, both of them commercial; first, a chance to utilize by day their new and tender labor power in its factories and shops, and then another chance in the evening to extract from them their petty wages, by pandering to their love of pleasure.