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1970 Norman Thomas - Eugene V. Debs Dinner

The 1970 Dinner confirmed the new title for these events, adding Norman Thomas' name. It was held on Sunday, April 12 at the Midland Hotel. The speakers were to have been Michael Harrington and David Selden, addressing "Labor, Liberals and the Left". But David Selden was unable to attend as he was in jail, defending the Newark (New Jersey) Teachers Union's right to strike. This came up less than a month prior to the Dinner, and the event was turned into a solidarity rally for the right of public employees to strike. The "toastmaster" of the 1970 Dinner was Tom Kahn. Kahn later went on to serve as an aide to AFL-CIO President George Meany.

The Young People's Socialist League took advantage of the occasion to have a Midwest conference at the University of Chicago. One of the more memorable sessions was a rather heated debate between Penn Kemble and Peter Novak on foreign policy.

Thanks to Ken Okamoto for research assistance.


1970 Flyer


David Selden letter


New America


Midwest YPSL Conference


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