Big Naturalization Ceremony at WRHS on Dec 18, 2014

by , under Immigration, Naturalization, WRHS

There’s been quite a bit of discussion about immigration in the news lately, what with President Obama extending the opportunity to stay in America at least for awhile to some 5 million immigrants who are here without proper documentation.

In this context, it’s comforting to know that immigrants with proper documentation are becoming citizens on a regular basis. For example, the next big naturalization ceremony for the Cleveland area is scheduled for Western Reserve Historical Society,, at at 10 am on Thursday, December 18.

Last year, also in December, Judge Solomon Oliver Jr, chief judge of the Northern District of Ohio, swore into American citizenship 119 immigrants from many countries around the world. A short video showing highlights of the proceedings last year is here:

And here is a bit of background information on how area naturalization ceremonies are performed today from the Court website:

Naturalization Ceremonies

The United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio has retained exclusive jurisdiction to conduct naturalization ceremonies for applicants seeking citizenship. The ceremonies are presided over by a United States District Judge and are held in the Cleveland and Toledo courthouses. In Cleveland, the ceremonies are generally scheduled for the 1st and 3rd Friday of each month. In Toledo, the ceremonies are held once per month, generally on the last Friday of each month. Applicants seeking citizenship will receive their ceremony date and time from the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service.


Have you ever witnessed a ceremony such as this?  IMHO, it is quite moving. It serves to remind me that my grandfather Evert Huskonen became a citizen in 1938, after living in this country since he immigrated from Finland in 1902. He was able to speak English well enough to pass the test that was required even then.
Today, immigrants must study 100 Civics questions and be ready to answer up to ten selected questions at random by an official from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services ( The test is the final step to qualify for American citizenship. A candidate passes the examination if he or she can correctly answer six of the ten questions asked by the immigration examiner.
Be forewarned that parking will be at a premium for this event due to the large numbers of new citizens and their families that will attend.  They all arrive early to make sure that they are on time.
I’m planning on attending again this year. Maybe I’ll see you there.
BTW, last year’s ceremony took place in the WRHS Museum Rotunda, right next to where the Euclid Beach Carousel display was being assembnled. That exhibit is now completed (

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