What’s in a Name?

I just finishing reading Heather Cox Richardson’s To Make Men Free (2014), a history of the Republican Party that goes in “seemingly endless circles,” whose policies “in the first decade of the new century” yet again have led to “the abandonment by the party of its founding principles, the precipitation of an economic crash, and a transfer of power to the Democrats.”

In chapter four, Richardson brings up Leon Czolgosz, the anarchist who assassinated President William McKinley in early September 1901, opening the door for Vice-President Theodore Roosevelt to move into the White House. Czolgosz, she explains, is pronounced “Cho-goss.” (Other people, online, say it sounds more like “Chol-gosh.”)

Interestingly, the Wikipedia says that when Leon’s father emigrated to the U.S., most likely in the 1860s, from what is now Belarus, his last name was Zholhus. He ‘Americanized’ it to Czolgosz.

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