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happy birthday, eugene

November 5, 2012

Partially thanks to the popularity of Alan Moore’s V for Vendetta, most people think of Guy Fawkes on November 5th, a member of the Gunpowder Plot of 1605 who was arrested while guarding explosives placed beneath the House of Lords. But today is also the birthday of Eugene V. Debs, one of the greatest Americans to ever have lived, in my opinion. He was a champion of the working class if there ever was one. Happy Birthday, comrade.

“Your Honor, years ago I recognized my kinship with all living beings, and I made up my mind that I was not one bit better than the meanest on earth. I said then, and I say now, that while there is a lower class, I am in it, and while there is a criminal element I am of it, and while there is a soul in prison, I am not free” (Eugene V. Debs, upon being convicted of violating the Sedition Act for giving the speech read above by the Incredible Hulk).

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One Comment
  1. A few more interesting facts about Nov. 5th: On this day in 1605, Guy Fawkes, a member of the Gunpowder Plot, was arrested while guarding explosives placed beneath the House of Lords, eventually inspiring an award winning graphic novel and OK movie. On this day in 1872, Susan B. Anthony, voted in the presidential election and was arrested for it two weeks later. (She unsuccessfully argued in court that the recently adopted Fourteenth Amendment gave women the right to vote in federal elections and was fined $100, a fine which she refused to pay.) On this day in 1912, women won the right to vote in Oregon, eight year before the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment (which was initially drafted by Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton in 1878) guaranteed that right to all women in the US. On this day in 1916, 300 IWW members sailing from Seattle to Everett, WA, to support local workers on strike were confronted at the docks by 200 citizen deputies, resulting in a shootout that became known as the Everett Massacre, the bloodiest battle in Pacific Northwest labour history.

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