Newspaper article warning of German spies; recruitment trolley.
Newspaper article warning of German spies (left); recruitment trolley.

When America declared war against Germany on April 6, 1917, Ted was just 13 years old. Almost overnight Ted’s family, proud German-Americans were shunned by friends and neighbors. Hatred and discrimination against German-Americans were witnessed all over Springfield and books in German were removed from the library.

The discrimination Ted encountered as a teen in all likelihood had a deep influence on his children’s books in later years. Many who have studied Seuss carefully feel that it is probably most evident in The Sneetches and Other Stories (1961) where a group of Sneetches, who have stars on their bellies, discriminate against Sneetches that don’t have stars on their belly.

The Sneetches book cover

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