Rotten Egg?

Mob in Jersey City

On 4 June, 1938, a mob of over 200 people attack Norman Thomas at a Socialist rally in Jersey City, as a fusillade of eggs struck the speaker, this photo was snapped and appeared in newspapers across this country.

Thomas was a frequent candidate on the Socialist ticket, running for Governor of New York in 1924, for Mayor of New York in 1925, for New York State Senate in 1926, for Alderman in 1927 and for Mayor of New York again in 1929. In 1934, he ran for the US Senate in New York and polled almost 200,000 votes, then the second best result for a Socialist candidate in New York state elections.

He also spoke across the country on a variety of issues, from pacifism to birth control. Thomas was one of the few public figures to oppose President Franklin Roosevelt’s internment of Japanese Americans following the attack on Pearl Harbor. Thomas accused the ACLU of “dereliction of duty” when the organization supported the internment.

Thomas said of his own activism, “I am not the champion of lost causes, but the champion of causes not yet won.”