Thursday, December 13, 2012

Birthday greetings to America’s Fabian Society!

One of the footnotes in the book "Fabian Freeway" isn't quite right. The first footnote of Chapter 15 states the following:
1. Forty Years of Education (New York, League for Industrial Democracy, 1945), p. 56. A telegram to the League on its fortieth anniversary from Mandel V. Halushka, a Chicago schoolteacher, read, "Birthday greetings to America's Fabian Society!"

The corresponding paragraph to this footnote says the following:

In the future as in the past, the continuing leadership of the Socialist movement in the United States resided in America’s Fabian Society, (1) the polite but persistent Intercollegiate Socialist Society, which changed its name but not its nature in 1921.

Mandel Halushka actually wrote this:

"You, Dr. Laidler, have worked with such steadfast devotion and intelligence that all of us who helieve in the cause of freedom and justice in America are deeply in your debt."

Mandel V. Halushka, Teacher, Chicago, III.:

"Birthday greetings to Americans Fabian Society!

"Many organizations with much larger membership and greater financial support have come and gone since September 8, 1905. Few organizations have championed a better cause than the League for Industrial Democracy during these many years."

That comes from the book "Forty years of education, the task ahead (1945)". (Page 56) One whole letter difference means it won't show up in a search engine. This book was written by the League for Industrial Democracy, and as the description makes clear, this is written in a celebratory manner. So the LID was called America's Fabian Society, and they wholly accepted it.

That puts the birth of America's Second Fabian Society at September 12th, 1905 (ISS doc.) (Key Wiki). The first attempt to found a Fabian Society in the US was February 1895.

Who was Mandel V Halushka?

The Tamiment Library at NYU holds the Halushka papers. The abstract is as follows:

Chicago Socialist, compiler of list of Socialist publications, 1900-1950. The papers contain correspondence including letters from socialist notables, material relating to the Young People's Socialist League; a scrapbook of articles by Halushka and others; a scrapbook relating to the Young Circle League; and survey forms and charts relating to Halushka's research on Socialist mayors and Socialist newspapers.

In short, Halushka was deep within the movement, and was a researcher. One more thing. What is the Tamiment Library at NYU? That is where the papers of the Rand School of Social Science ended up after it shut down. Chapter 14 of Fabian Freeway goes into quite a lot of detail about the Rand School. The Rand School story reads just like the story for the Fabian-Founded London School of Economics.

For some, I'm sure this information may seem irrelevant or disconnected. The League for Industrial Democracy had such luminaries involved with it as Stuart Chase, an advisor to FDR. John Dewey, the Father of Modern Education was the LID's president at one time. And the LID's student wing became SDS.

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