Special Collections Highlights Debs Collection (September 28)

Special Collections staffer, Dennis Vetrovec, and visitor, Cathy McGuire

On Saturday September 28, the Debs Foundation sponsored numerous events leading up to the Debs Award Dinner. This included special Saturday access to Special Collections’ Debs Collection.  Special Collections staffer Dennis Vetrovec chose many unique items from the Collection to display and staffed the open hours from 1pm – 4pm. Based on the reaction of the many people who took advantage of this opportunity, he chose well. People from all around the U.S. (California, North Dakota, Illinois, etc.) spent time poring over materials that included:

  • Photographs
  • Editorial Cartoons
  • Records from the National Archives, including court cases
  • Postcards
  • Correspondence
  • Proceedings of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen
  • Magazine of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen (Debs was a contributor and editor)
  • Manuscript of BLF membership written by Debs in part
  • Journals contemporary with the creation of the Debs Foundation
  • Leftist newspapers like the Appeal to Reason and clippings

middle: Michelle Morahn, Kate Debs researcher and Debs Foundation Secretary

In addition, two cases focused on Seymour Stedman, Debs’ lawyer and running mate, and David Karsner, Debs’ contemporary biographer.

Debs Collection materials displayed in the Cordell Dictionary Room

“Fight for $15” featured at Debs Foundation event (September 28)

Neal Bisno at the podium; Foundation President Noel Beasley and Betty Douglas at the table

On Saturday September 28, the Debs Foundation sponsored numerous events leading up to the Debs Award Dinner. One event was held in the Library Events Area: the Debs Award winner, Mary Kay Edwards, International President of the Service Employees International Union {SEIU}, was scheduled to speak about the “Fight for $15” movement (to raise minimum wage to $15). Unfortunately due to illness, she was unable to travel to Terre Haute. In her place, speakers from the movement presented information, a short video, and hosted a q/a session: Betty Douglas, a 61-year-old mother of three and McDonald’s employee and now activist and Neal Bisno, Executive Vice-President of the SEIU, along with Debs Foundation President Noel Beasley

Neal Bisno at the podium
Audience attending “Fight for $15”; Foundation President, Noel Beasley at the podium
Audience watching video on “Fight for $15”

October 20: “At the River I Stand” with William “Bill” Lucy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Film is available to ISU community within the Films on Demand database. Blogger’s note: this is a powerful film about a difficult time in American history. It is both historical and timely.  I urge you to take the time to watch it!

Description: This documentary unravels the complex historical forces that turned a strike by Memphis sanitation workers into a national conflagration, ultimately leading to the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Reconstructing two eventful months in the spring of 1968, the film brings into sharp relief issues that have become only more urgent with time: the connection between economic and civil rights, debates over strategies for change, and the fight for dignity for all working people. Stirring historical footage shows the community mobilizing behind the strikers, and retired sanitation workers recall their fear about going up against “the white power structure” when they struck for higher wages and union recognition.

Read about Bill Lucy

Following the photos you’ll find a bibliography of ISU Library resources.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audience applauds after Mr. Lucy finishes speaking and answering questions.

Bibliography to accompany Program: