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Eugene Debs leaving White House, 12/26/21

Eugene Debs leaving White House, 12/26/21

 
 
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Five times the Socialist Party of America's candidate for the President of the United States, Eugene Victor Debs (November 5, 1855 – October 20, 1926) was an American socialist, political activist, trade unionist, one of the founding members of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW). Debs was born on November 5, 1855, in Terre Haute, Indiana, to Jean Daniel and Marguerite Mari Bettrich Debs, who immigrated to the United States from Colmar, Alsace, France. His father, who came from a prosperous family, owned a textile mill and meat market. Early in his political career, Debs was a member of the Democratic Party. After he led what became the nationwide Pullman Strike, Debs was convicted of federal charges for defying a court injunction against the strike and served six months in prison. In prison, Debs read various works of socialist theory and emerged six months later as a committed adherent of the international socialist movement. Debs was a founding member of the Social Democracy of America (1897), the Social Democratic Party of America (1898) and the Socialist Party of America (1901). Debs ran as a Socialist candidate for President of the United States five times, including 1900 (earning 0.6% of the popular vote), 1904 (3.0%), 1908 (2.8%), 1912 (6.0%) and 1920 (3.4%), the last time from a prison cell. He was also a candidate for United States Congress from his native state Indiana in 1916. Debs was noted by many to be a charismatic speaker who sometimes called on the vocabulary of Christianity and much of the oratorical style of evangelism, even though he was generally disdainful of organized religion. Debs's speech denouncing American participation in World War I led to his second arrest in 1918. He was convicted under the Sedition Act of 1918 and sentenced to a term of 10 years. President Warren G. Harding commuted his sentence in December 1921. Debs died in 1926, due to cardiovascular problems that developed during his time in prison. There are at least two beers named after Debs, namely Debs' Red Ale and Eugene.

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