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1986 Norman Thomas - Eugene V. Debs Dinner

The 1986 Norman Thomas - Eugene V. Debs Dinner was held on Saturday, May 10, at the Ascot Hotel. According to the Dinner Program, Reverend Jim Gorman was the Master of Ceremonies. Andrea Gundersen presented Jacqueline Vaughn with the Debs Award. Carl Shier presented the Debs Award to Michael Harrington, who also made the Dinner Address. Colin McCoy (and part of his group, The Laketown Buskers) provided musical entertainment. While she is not listed on the program, Vicky Starr also spoke.

All photos are by Syd Harris. Most of the lesser quality images were taken from contact sheets.

The 1986 Dinner was Chicago DSA's contribution to a month of activities commemorating the centennial of the "Haymarket Affair", a festival of films, exhibits, concerts, conferences, marches, and rallies. Mayor Harold Washington proclaimed "May, 1986, to be Labor History Month in Chicago, and urge all citizens to be cognizant of the events planned during this month and of the historic significance of the Haymarket Centennial." Images from the calendar of events compiled by the Haymarket Centennial Committee are included below, including messages from Meridel Le Seuer and Mayor Harold Washington.

Dinner Flyer

Program Book Cover

Grip&Grin 1

Michael Harrington (third from right) in a "grip & grin" with unidentified Dinner attendees.

Grip&Grin 2

Congressman Charles Hayes, Jacqueline Vaughn, and Michael Harrington.

Jacqueline B. Vaughn

In a period in which public employees are made the scapegoats for misguided fiscal policies and the public sector is under assault from the highest quarters of this nation, you have vigorously defended the rich tradition of public education.

Educator and labor leader, your unyielding affirmation of the rights of teachers to fair wages and decent working conditions has sustained your union through two tense and difficult strikes to win vital improvements for those whom you represent.

The example you have set as a militant fighter for education in general, and teachers in particular, is an inspiration to all trade unionists who seek to protect and improve the benefits enjoyed by their members.

We honor you for living for others and the Norman Thomas - Eugene V. Debs Award is hereby presented to you on this 10th day of May, 1986.

Jacqueline Vaughn Jacqueline Vaughn

Jacqueline Vaughn responds to the dinner award.

Carl Shier

Carl Shier speaks about the work of Michael Harrington.

Harrington and Shier

Carl Shier (right) presents the dinner award to Michael Harrington.

Michael Harrington

No one speaks as eloquently, writes as compelling, or works as tirelessly as you on behalf of a socialist society.

For decades, you have been the preeminent voice for a more humane and just U.S. social system, exposing the underside of prosperity, documenting the inequities of economic policy, and advocating viable alternative programs.

Equally important, you have unfailingly been in the front ranks of countless battles to remedy injustice, forging links among diverse constituencies, while challenging complacency and cynicism, with your unfailing optimism.

By work and by deed you have been in the forefront of the struggle for justice. For this, the Norman Thomas - Eugene V. Debs Award is presented to you this 10th day of May, 1986.

Michael Harrington
Michael Harrington

Michael Harrington responds to the award and delivers the dinner address.

Colin McCoy

Colin McCoy and friends perform at the dinner.

Speakers Table

A slightly overexposed contact sheet photo of the speakers' table joining in (with Colin McCoy and friends in back) singing "Solidarity Forever". From left to right, Vicky Starr, Carl Shier, Rev. Jim Gorman, Jacqueline Vaughn, Michael Harrington, Andrea Gundersen.

Solidarity Forever

Another "Solidarity Forever" shot.

Haymarket Centennial
Meridel Le Seuer Harold Washington

Haymarket Committee


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