William J. Adelman
More than a century ago in Chicago,
the State of Illinois executed the workers it blamed for the
Haymarket police riot. At the hanging, August Spies prophesied
from the scaffold: "The day will come when our silence will
be more powerful than the voices you are throttling today."
William Adelman, your life's work has
been to make this prophecy come to pass.
In a country where today workers' voices
are often muted, you have enabled unions and workers to tell
In a body politic that trades favors
as if they were currency, you have been unstintingly generous
and helpful to the workers' cause.
As an educator, historian and writer,
your inspiration has ensured that this nation's rich working
class history - most especially Chicago's - has been kept alive
and will be passed on to future generations.
You have chronicled the daily lives,
the culture and the mighty battles of workers in Pullman, at
packing houses, at Haymarket, at Republic Steel, at Hull House.
These are stories from which generations have learned the lessons
of survival, struggle and solidarity.
Through your wonderfully vivid lectures,
writings, films, slides and presentations, our history comes
alive through your work and is told by you forthrightly and with
For your devotion to the cause of workers,
the Debs - Thomas - Harrington Dinner Committee hereby presents
to you its annual ward on this 8th day of May, 1998.