In his young working days, the man who would found the American Socialist Party took a somewhat more conservative approach to the needs of the working class.
With the passing of 2007, Indianapolis completes its year-long commemoration of native son Kurt Vonnegut. When the irreverent author passed away in April, the city had already unveiled plans to christen 2007 “The Year of Kurt Vonnegut.” Ironically, the author had once joked that he would be remembered in his hometown only by virtue of his familial relation to a longtime Indianapolis hardware store chain.
Eugene Victor Debs was a lifelong resident of Terre Haute. Having dropped out of school at an early age, Debs first worked on the railroad as a fireman. The bonds that he forged with his fellow workers shaped his lifelong philosophy, expressed in one of Debs’ famous court speeches — “While there is a lower class, I am in it. While there is a criminal element, I am of it. While there is a soul in prison, I am not free.”