Thursday, July 23, 2009
Today in Awesome (for Chris)
Victor Berger was the first socialist US senator. He served a term for Wisconsin in the teens.
After the passage of the alien and sedition acts in 1917 and 1918 (allowing for censorship, control of the mail, and deportation), Berger was arrested for contending that the roots of the Great War were economic, and not, as president Wilson insisted, "to make the world safe for democracy".
With criminal charges pending, in 1918, Berger was elected to the House of Representatives. The House refused to seat him, and the conservative governor of Wisconsin called for an (illegal) special election. The special election took place AND BERGER WON as a write-in candidate.