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1998 Debs - Thomas - Harrington Dinner

The 1998 Dinner was held at the Holiday Inn Mart Plaza. The Master of Ceremonies was Leon Despres. Kathy Devine presented the award to William Adelman. Carl Shier presented the award to Marilyn Sneiderman.

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


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 their stories.

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 great dignity.

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.


Marilyn Sneiderman



From your early days in the labor movement as a rank-and-file member of AFSCME, you have been first and foremost an activist.

Throughout your work, you have consistently applied the lessons you learned in those early years: the need to activate members, the need to build coalitions and the need to organize.

You successfully applied that knowledge as a Community Action Coordinator for AFSCME, as a trainer at the George Meany Center, and as the Director of Education at the Teamsters.

Your outstanding work was recognized by AFL-CIO President John Sweeny, who appointed you as Director of Field Mobilization, the largest AFL-CIO Department.

You have been an important force in fostering greater activism in the new labor movement.

For your work in advancing workers' interests, the Debs - Thomas - Harrington Dinner Committee hereby presents to you its annual award on this 8th day of May, 1998.

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