Norman Thomas Egged Out


The great American dissenter and socialist Norman Thomas was a largely reviled figure in American politics, despite being six-time presidential nominee of the Socialist Party. Although the Socialist Party declined, Thomas himself remained a forceful crusader for social and economic justice, supporting workers’ strikes, fighting the Ku Klux Klan, police brutality, fascists and corruption, and founding the Keep America Out of War Committee.

Often banned from public platforms, Thomas was at various times egged, teargassed, and even kidnapped and deported when he tried to speak. However, no public outcry was as fierce as the one he received in Jersey city on June 4th 1938. Banners read, “The Working People of Our City Are Contented–Reds keep out.” He had barely uttered a dozen words when a mob of 200-people plus 30-man band stormed the gathering. Eggs and vegetables were tossed at Thomas. As several eggs hit Thomas simultaneously, freelance photographer Ralph Morgan took this picture–which has since been sold to many newspapers and photo syndicates.   

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