Thomas Van Lear (April 26, 1869 – March 4, 1931) was the Socialist Mayor of Minneapolis from January 1, 1917 to January 6, 1919.
Van Lear was born in Maryland in 1869. As a boy he worked in the area's coal mines and, at the age of 18, he joined the Knights of Labor. He later served in the United States Army (including a year during the Spanish–American War) before relocating to Minneapolis to work as a machinist. He soon became active with the International Association of Machinists and other trade and union groups in the city.
Knights of Labor, officially Noble and Holy Order of the Knights of Labor, was an American labor federation active in the late 19th century, especially the 1880s. Its most important leaders were Terence V. Powderly and step-brother Joseph Bath. The Knights promoted the social and cultural uplift of the workingman, rejected socialism and anarchism, demanded the eight-hour day, and promoted the producers ethic of republicanism. In some cases it acted as a labor union, negotiating with employers, but it was never well organized, and after a rapid expansion in the mid-1880s, it suddenly lost its new members and became an operation again.
The United States Army (USA) is the land warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces. It is one of the seven uniformed services of the United States, and is designated as the Army of the United States in the United States Constitution. As the oldest and most senior branch of the U.S. military in order of precedence, the modern U.S. Army has its roots in the Continental Army, which was formed to fight the American Revolutionary War (1775–1783)—before the United States of America was established as a country. After the Revolutionary War, the Congress of the Confederation created the United States Army on 3 June 1784 to replace the disbanded Continental Army. The United States Army considers itself descended from the Continental Army, and dates its institutional inception from the origin of that armed force in 1775.
The Spanish–American War was fought between the United States and Spain in 1898. Hostilities began in the aftermath of the internal explosion of USS Maine in Havana harbor in Cuba, leading to U.S. intervention in the Cuban War of Independence. U.S. acquisition of Spain's Pacific possessions led to its involvement in the Philippine Revolution and ultimately in the Philippine–American War.
Van Lear led two unsuccessful campaigns for the mayoralty before he was elected on November 7, 1916, with over 33,000 votes. Van Lear did not win control of the city council, and Sheriff Otto Langum worked closely with the Minneapolis Citizens' Alliance, an anti-labor coalition of wealthy business magnates. Main planks of the Socialist platform included factory safety inspections, municipal control of utilities, and opposition to law enforcement involvement in repressing strike actions. In office Van Lear welcomed the People's Council of America for Democracy and Peace to Minneapolis and refused to approve an instruction that would effectively ban the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW). The only Socialist mayor in the city's history was defeated for re-election in 1918, amid accusations that he and his supporters secretly desired a German victory in World War I. Van Lear was expelled from the Socialist Party in 1918 and later helped to form a local section of the Non-Partisan League that firmly supported the policies of Democratic President Woodrow Wilson.
Citizens' Alliances were state and local anti-trade union organizations prominent in the United States of America during the first decade of the 20th century. The Citizen's Alliances were closely related to employers' associations but allowed participation of a broad range of sympathetic citizens in addition to those employers apt to be affected by strikes. Originating in the American state of Ohio as the "Modern Order of Bees," the Citizens' Alliance movement spread westwards, playing a particularly important role in labor relations in the states of Colorado and California. Citizens' Alliance groups often worked in tandem with smaller but better financed employers' organizations interested in establishing or maintaining open shop labor conditions, including the Mine Owners' Associations (MOA) or the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM).
The Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), members of which are commonly termed "Wobblies", is an international labor union that was founded in 1905 in Chicago, Illinois, in the United States. The union combines general unionism with industrial unionism, as it is a general union whose members are further organized within the industry of their employment. The philosophy and tactics of the IWW are described as "revolutionary industrial unionism", with ties to both socialist and anarchist labor movements.
World War I, also known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war originating in Europe that lasted from 28 July 1914 to 11 November 1918. Contemporaneously described as "the war to end all wars", it led to the mobilisation of more than 70 million military personnel, including 60 million Europeans, making it one of the largest wars in history. It is also one of the deadliest conflicts in history, with an estimated nine million combatants and seven million civilian deaths as a direct result of the war, while resulting genocides and the 1918 influenza pandemic caused another 50 to 100 million deaths worldwide.
In 1919, Van Lear worked with Herbert Gaston to found the populist Minnesota Daily Star newspaper. The first issue was printed in August 1920. While the paper had some success as a political tool, it had a difficult time attracting advertisers and went bankrupt in 1924.
He died on March 4, 1931. He is interred at Sunset Memorial Park Cemetery in Minneapolis.
The Minnesota Farmer–Labor Party (FL) was a left-wing American political party in Minnesota between 1918 and 1944. Largely dominating Minnesota politics during the Great Depression, it was one of the most successful statewide third party movements in United States history and the longest-lasting affiliate of the national Farmer–Labor movement. At its height in the 1920s and 1930s, party members included three Minnesota Governors, four United States Senators, eight United States Representatives and a majority in the Minnesota legislature.
The first modern Farmer–Labor Party in the United States emerged in Minnesota in 1918. Economic dislocation caused by American entry into World War I put agricultural prices and workers' wages into imbalance with rapidly escalating retail prices during the war years, and farmers and workers sought to make common cause in the political sphere to redress their grievances.
John Louis Engdahl was an American socialist journalist and newspaper editor. One of the leading journalists of the Socialist Party of America, Engdahl joined the Communist movement in 1921 and continued to employ his talents in that organization as the first editor of The Daily Worker. Engdahl was also a key leader of the International Red Aid (MOPR) organization based in Moscow, where he died while on official business in 1932.
William Francis "Bill" Dunne (1887–1953) was an American Marxist political activist and trade unionist. He is best remembered as the editor of the radical Butte Bulletin around the turn of the 1920s and as an editor of the daily newspaper of the Communist Party USA from the middle-1920s through the 1930s. Dunne was founding member of the Communist Labor Party of America, but was removed from the national leadership of the party in 1934 and expelled in 1946 on charges of factionalism.
Michael Henry Wall was a Massachusetts politician who served as a member, and President of the City Council, and as the 46th Mayor of Lynn, Massachusetts.
The Socialist Party of Minnesota was the state affiliate of the Springfield faction of the Social Democratic Party of America, the Socialist Party of America, and finally the Socialist Party USA in the U.S. state of Minnesota.
Wallace George Nye was the 25th mayor of Minneapolis, Minnesota from 1913 to 1917.
Clarence A. "Charlie" Hathaway (1892–1963) was an activist in the Minnesota trade union movement and a prominent leader of the Communist Party of the United States from the 1920s through the early 1940s. He is best remembered as the party's leading organizer of the Federated Farmer-Labor Party in 1923 and 1924, as the editor of The Daily Worker (1933–1940), and as a longtime member of the Communist Party's governing Central Committee.
The American Alliance for Labor and Democracy was an American political organization established in September 1917 through the initiative of the American Federation of Labor and making use of the resources of the United States government's Committee on Public Information. The group was dedicated to building support among American workers for that nation's participation in World War I in Europe. Following the victory of the Entente powers over the empires of Germany and Austria-Hungary the organization lost its raison d'être. It was finally terminated in November 1919 due to a lack of funding.
The People's Council of America for Democracy and the Terms of Peace, commonly known as the "People's Council," was an American pacifist political organization established in New York City in May 1917. Organized in opposition to the decision of the Woodrow Wilson administration's decision to enter World War I, the People's Council attempted to mobilize American workers and intellectuals against the war effort through publication of literature and the conduct of mass meetings and public demonstrations. The organization's dissident views made it a target of federal, state, and local authorities, who disrupted its meetings and arrested a number of its leading participants under provisions of the Espionage Act. The People's Council was succeeded in 1919 by a new group based in the same New York City headquarters, the People's Freedom Union.
Thomas John "Tommy" Morgan, Jr. was an English-born American labor leader and socialist political activist. Morgan is best remembered as one of the pioneer English-speaking Socialists in the city of Chicago and a frequent candidate for public office of the Socialist Party of America. Morgan was also one of the founders and leading figures of the United Labor Party, an Illinois political party which elected 7 of its members to the Illinois State Assembly and another to the Illinois State Senate in the election of 1886. He was married to Elizabeth Chambers Morgan.
Anna Agnes Maley (1872–1918) was an American school teacher, journalist, newspaper editor, and political activist. One of a small number of top female leaders of the Socialist Party of America during the years prior to World War I, Maley is best remembered as the first woman to run for Governor of Washington state in 1912.
Eric G. Hoyer was an American interior designer and politician who served as mayor of Minneapolis from 1948 to 1957.
William Ross Knudsen was an American socialist political activist and trade union organizer. Knudsen was an organizer for the International Association of Machinists and the leader of two major strikes conducted by that organization. He was also the 1923 candidate for Mayor of San Francisco of the Socialist Labor Party of America.
The America First Association of Minnesota (AFA) was a patriotic propaganda organization established in the state of Minnesota in November 1917 with a view to assisting the efforts of the United States of America in World War I. The organization was based in the city of St. Paul and was constituted on a county-by-county basis throughout the state. The AFA was one of the leading non-partisan political organizations in that state during wartime.
J. Edward Meyers was an insurance salesman, philanthropist and the 27th mayor of Minneapolis. Meyers was born in Dayton, Ohio and moved to Minneapolis to attend the University of Minnesota Law School. After a brief period in Duluth, Minnesota, he returned to Minneapolis in 1888 and began a career in the insurance business with Aetna. In 1918, Meyers ran for mayor on a patriotic platform supporting America's soldiers in World War I dubbed the "Loyalty Party." He defeated socialist incumbent Thomas Van Lear and served for a single term, working particularly hard to ensure returning military veterans were able to find housing and jobs. He did not run for re-election but later became involved in the city's board of education and board of estimate.
Gaa Paa! was a Norwegian-language newspaper, important for its role in promoting socialism to a Scandinavian immigrant audience in the United States in the early 20th century. It was established at Girard, Kansas in November 1903, and moved to Minneapolis, Minnesota the following year.
The 2017 Minneapolis mayoral election was held on November 7, 2017, to elect the Mayor of Minneapolis. This was the third mayoral election in the city's history to use ranked-choice voting. Municipal elections in Minnesota are nonpartisan, although candidates were able to identify with a political party on the ballot.
This is a list of newspapers and magazines in the United States owned by, or editorially supportive of, the Socialist Party of America.
Wallace G. Nye
| Mayor of Minneapolis |
January 1, 1917 – January 6, 1919
| Succeeded by|
J. E. Meyers