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1988 Norman Thomas - Eugene V. Debs Dinner

The 30th Annual Norman Thomas - Eugene V. Debs Dinner was held on May 7, 1988, at the Congress Hotel in Chicago. The Master of Ceremonies was DSA National Field Organizer Shakoor Aljuwani. Vice-Mayor David Orr gave a tribute to the late Mayor Harold Washington. Carl Shier presented the award to Saul Mendelson, but Joe Jacobs was still recovering from cancer surgery and was unable to attend. I've been unable to find a record of who presented the award and who accepted it on his behalf. Deborah Meier was the featured speaker.
1988 program book cover

Copies of this program book are available upon request. We would appreciate a $1 contribution per copy to cover costs. Send to:

Chicago DSA
1608 N. Milwaukee, Room 403
Chicago, IL 60647

Joseph M. "Joe" Jacobs

You rightfully deserve the title presented to you by the Illinois Labor History Society as the Dean of Labor Lawyers. For 57 years you have been involved in many landmark cases in the establishment and growth of U.S. labor law. You have pioneered in fighting unrestrained employer aggression prior to and after the passing of the National Labor Relations Act. You have represented sharecroppers, sit-down strikers, union organizing committees, and unions all over the country.

In Chicago, you have made your contribution throughout the years to the Chicago Teachers Union in many, many bargaining sessions. You have championed collective bargaining for public employees. At the 1986 American Federations of Teachers union convention, Mayor Harold Washington issued a proclamation declaring July 6, 1986, Joseph M. Jacobs Day!
You are counsel for the Upholsterers Division of the United Steelworkers of America union and participated in the merger arrangements of the two unions. You and your firm are also counsel for many other unions.

Your activities are greatly appreciated as Chairperson of the Board of Directors of the Illinois Labor History Society, Honorary Fellow of the Truman Library, and Vice-President of the Eugene V. Debs Foundation in Terre Haute, Indiana.

The Norman Thomas - Eugene V. Debs Award is presented to you in Chicago on this seventh day of May, 1988, for your years of dedication in carying on the struggle for economic and social justice in the important field of U.S. labor law.

Saul Mendelson

You joined the Socialist movement at the age of 18. You chaired the Socialist Club at the University of Chicago. You taught and inspired students at DuSable High School. You fought in the civil rights struggles with the NAACP, with CORE, and with the Negro American Labor Council. You have held fast to your belief in democratic socialism.

You fought for collective bargaining for public employees and were the vice-president of the Chicago Teachers Union High School Division when the first collective bargaining contract was achieved. You became a professor at Loop College (now Harold Washington College) and were its union chair from 1969 to 1986 in the Cook County College Local. Five of the times your union was forced to strike, you were your chapter's strike committee chair.

You have been active in reform politics for years, as chair of the state IVI-IPO, and presently as chair of the Southside IVI-IPO. You have served on the national board of the Americans for Democratic Action since 1966. You participated as an area coordinator in all stages of the 1983 and 1987 mayoral victories of Harold Washington, and in Charles Hayes' Congressional campaigns. This year's Democratic Party Convention will be your third, and you go to Atlanta as a Second Congressional District delegate for Jesse Jackson.

You were one of the founders of this Dinner when it was known as the Debs Dinner and you served as its treasurer for ten years. On this seventh day of May, 1988, the Norman Thomas - Eugene V. Debs Award is given to you for living an active, dedicated life in pursuit of the ideas and ideals of these two great socialists.

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