Socialist Convention and Eugene V. Debs Picnic photograph   Save
Charles E. Ruthenberg Collection
Description: Group portrait of Socialist Party members gathered for the Socialist Convention and Eugene V. Debs Picnic held in Canton, Ohio, on June 16, 1918. On this visit to Canton in conjunction with the state's Socialist Party convention, in the midst of World War I, Debs gave a speech in the city's Nimisila Park criticizing the war and its capitalist aims. He described how wealthy American businessmen were profiting from the war while the working class suffered, and encouraged listeners to resist the military draft. Two weeks after his impassioned speech, the U.S. government charged him with violating the Espionage Act, which prohibited Americans from interfering with military service or otherwise obstructing the United States' war effort. Debs was found guilty and sentenced to ten years in prison, although President Warren G. Harding commuted his sentence on December 25, 1921. During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Debs was a leading advocate for socialism in the United States of America, and ran as the party's candidate for president in five elections. View on Ohio Memory.
Image ID: AL05167
Subjects: Debs, Eugene V. (Eugene Victor), 1855-1926; Socialist Party of the United States of America--History; Socialism; Political culture--Ohio--History;
Places: Canton (Ohio); Stark County (Ohio)