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Quick Takes: Whither the Democratic Socialists of America?

by Ralph Seliger   BACK IN 1982, I witnessed the merger of the Democratic Socialist Organizing Committee (DSOC — usually pronounced “dee-sock”) with the New American Movement to form the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA). Nearly ten years before, DSOC had split from the Social Democrats USA (SD), itself the main remnant of the old […]

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April 5: The Radical Marries the Millionaire

Labor activist and Yiddish journalist Rose Pastor (Wieslander), who became a founding member of the Communist Party in the U.S. in 1919, and James Graham Stokes, an Episcopalian millionaire involved in the settlement house movement, announced their wedding engagement on this date in 1905, which stoked (no pun intended) a media frenzy in which she […]

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August 1: Morris Hillquit

Socialist leader, orator, and lawyer Morris Hillquit (Hillkowitz) was born in Riga, Latvia on this date in 1869. He moved with his family to New York at 17 and became a shirtmaker, although he never advanced beyond entry-level work. At 18 he joined the Socialist Labor Party of America and became involved in the internal […]

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September 4: The Great Tailors' Strike

Twelve thousand New York tailors went out on strike on this date in 1894 to protest the sweatshop system that exploited their labor for half a year and then gave them no work off for the other half. According to The Outlook (September 15, 1894), a New York magazine, their demands were “for a ten […]

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July 5: Rabbi Judah Magnes

Rabbi Judah Leon Magnes, a founder of the American Jewish Committee, a pacifist leader during World War I, and the first chancellor of the Hebrew University, was born in San Francisco on this date in 1877. Magnes was a major voice of Reform Judaism in the 20th century and the main organizer of the New […]

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