Wednesday, April 16, 2003

Ohio Moments

Massillon's J.S. Coxey led first march on D.C.


On April 16, 1854, Jacob S. Coxey - who would gain fame as the leader of "Coxey's Army," a group of unemployed men who in 1894 staged the first citizens' march on Washington - was born in Selinsgrove, Pa.

Coxey was a wealthy Ohio businessman and Populist party member who grew concerned over the plight of the unemployed during a major depression that started with the Panic of 1893. Many families went hungry, and unemployed men roamed the country begging for jobs and food. Coxey advocated a national system of public roads to be financed by the federal government, arguing that the plan would reduce unemployment. When Congress refused to pass such a bill, Coxey said, "We will send a petition to Washington with boots on."

In 1894, he led an "army" of 100 unemployed men, who left Massillon, Ohio, for Washington on Easter Sunday. They were met by cheering crowds in many cities along the way. By the time the marchers arrived in Washington on May 1, they numbered 500.

When Coxey tried to speak at the U.S. Capitol, police arrested him for walking on the grass. His army of unemployed men dispersed.

Coxey was elected mayor of Massillon in 1931 and was selected as the Farmer-Labor Party's presidential candidate the following year. He received 7,309 votes and was defeated by Franklin D. Roosevelt. He later claimed that Roosevelt's New Deal was based on his ideas of public works, proposed in the late 19th century. Coxey died in 1951.

Rebecca Goodman

E-mail or call (513) 768-8361.

Family, neighbors mourn a soldier
Gold star banners for duo
Counseling, hot lines, Web sites
Keeping in touch
Soldier hit by shrapnel

$400,000 gone from campaign
Faith brings joyfulness amid the tragedies of life
Luken may veto spending
Fire that killed 5 was no accident
'Summer' breezes into town
Hey, driving here isn't so bad
French Lick dares to breathe
Views clash in court on gun law
Evendale council rescinds 'blight' label for Reading Road corridor
Council to address use of Cleves fields
Tax Day filers form lively line on deadline
Tristate A.M. Report

SMITH AMOS: In harm's way?
BRONSON: Thank you
KORTE: City Hall
HOWARD: Some Good News

Middletown mayor put on leave at county job
Warren changes overseer
Hamilton Township police vote 7-1 to join Fraternal Order of Police
Liberty cuts list for top job to six
Putter's owner vows to fix parking jam
Obituary: Jack Groh, businessman

Money's pouring in for Voinovich second term
Ohio Moments

Water center to give residents price break
Place to eat? Buttermilk Pike
Senator his old self after surgery
Churchill alters policy on wagering
Lucas fund raising lags 3 in GOP
Ex-Dayton cop given home incarceration
Transportation building a waste, Lunsford says
'Palace' to spread peace through meditation
Candidate pitches higher cigarette tax