Jewish people faced discrimination in the United States—even in New York City, where Jews are a significant part of the population. “No Jews need apply” appeard in New York City newspaper advertisements since at least 1861.
“No Irish need apply” was a similar discrimination.
23 July 1861, New York (NY) Herald, pg. 6, col. 2 classified ad:
A GERMAN GIRL WISHES A SITUATION IN A private family as nurse and to do general housework. No Jews need apply.
5 March 1862, New York (NY) Times, pg. 6, col. 3 classified ad:
AS COOK AND LAUNDRESS. (...) No Jews need apply.
Old Fulton NY Post Cards
3 February 1864, Chicago (IL) Daily Tribune, pg. 4, col. 7 ad:
WANTED—A young man as a salesman in a dry goods store. Good references required. Must speak German. No Jew need apply
17 August 1867, Brooklyn (NY) Daily Eagle, pg. 3, col. 5 classified ad:
BOARD—A FEW YOUNG MEN CAN BE accommodated with furnished rooms, with or without board; no Jews need apply; central locality. No. 23 Myrtle ave., three doors from Adams st.
22 October 1869, The Jewish Messenger (New York, NY), “No Jews Need Apply,” pg. 4, col. 2:
We clip the above fro, the Herald of the 13th, as a curiosity. We would very much like to see the person who states, no Jew need apply. Has she committed any crime in Germany, and fears she that some Jews, who have immigrated from thence, may discover her and perhaps expose her? Something of that kind must have induced her to decline their application. There must be something queer about this advertiser. We would like to find out the facts.
22 November 1872, The Jewish Messenger (New York, NY), “Jews Need Not Apply,” pg. 4, col. 3:
WE clip these two sprightly advertisement from the columns of a daily paper.
6 August 1879, Argus and Patriot (Montpelier, VT), pg. 4, col. 8:
“No Jewish need apply” is now the motto at Coney Island, Manhattan Beach and in view of this fact the question arises if Sara Bernhardt, who is of Jewish origin, will be permitted to patronze the hotel at that place on her arrival at America?
5 August 1897, The Sun (New York, NY), pg. 7, col. 5:
EAST SIDE LANDMARKS SOLD.
Tweed’s Former Headquarters, Thieves’ Alley and Kerosene Row to Go.
The auction sale of houses on the east side, where the new parks are to be, was closed yesterday afternoon after a very hard day’s work. Yesterday’s sale was of the buildings in the district bounded by East Broadway and Hester, Essex, Canal, Jefferson, Division, Suffolk, and Norfolk streets.
The house at 5 Norfolk street,, once a well-known resort for crooks, and still called Thieves’ Alley, went for almost nothing. Another house sold was a tenement at 14 Hester street. It was built by John Sutcliffe, and when it was finished he put up a sign which bore this legend:
NO JEWS OR IRISH NEED APPLY.
This cause trouble on many occasions on the choice of tenants.
The Battle with the Slum
By Jacob A. Riis
New York, NY: The Macmillan Company
To return to the East Side where the light was let in. Bone Alley brought thirty-seven dollars under the auctioneer’s hammer. Thieves’ Alley, in the other park down at Rutgers Square, where hte police clubbed the Jewish cloakmakers a few years ago for the offence of gathering to assert their right to “being men, live the life of men,” as some one who knew summed up the labor movement, brought only seven dollars, and the old Helvetia House, where Boss Tweed and gang met at night to plan their plundering raids on the city’s treasury, was knocked down for five. Kerosene Row, on the same block, did not bring enough to have bought kindling wood with which to start one of the (Pg. 286—ed.) numerous fires that gave it its bad name. It was in Thieves’ Alley that the owner in the days long gone by hung out the sign, “No Jews need apply.” I stood and watched the opening of the first municipal playground upon the site of the old alley, and in the thousands that thronged street and tenements from curb to roof with thunder of applause, there were not twoscore who could have found lodging with the old Jew-baiter. He had to go with his alley, before the better day could bring light and hope to the Tenth Ward.
7 June 1907, San Francisco (CA) Chronicle, pg. 10, col. 3 classified ad:
SITUATION by a first-class French cook; competent in all branches; good baker; references. Call or address 2105 Pine st., afternoon. No Jewish people need apply.
12 May 1910, The Jewish Herald (Houston, TX), pg. 3, col. 1:
Many of the hotels and summer resorts openy display such bigoted sentiments as “No Jews need apply.”
7 April 1922, Jewish Daily News (New York, NY), pg. 16, cl. 4:
“NO JEWS NEED APPLY”
DR WISE TREAT OF THE DISCRIMINATIONS PRACTICED AGAINST JEWS IN THE BUSINESS AND SOCIAL WORLDS
By Dr. Stephen S. Wise
9 November 1926, San Francisco (CA) Chronicle, pg. 21, col. 7 classified ad:
GIRL wishes position in refined home; good, plain cook and downstairs work; Frnech, AMerican born; no Jewish people need apply; city ref.