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Dr. Norman Thomas, Who is to Speak at Union Monday Evening, Facetiously Refuses to Submit Photograph-Delivers Word Picture of Self


Dr. Norman Thomas, clergyman and editor, who will represent the Socialists at the four-party symposium at the Union Monday evening; was recently asked by the Liberal Club for his picture. Instead of the picture, he submitted the following autobiographical sketch;

"I have no picture and you would get a smaller crowd if you had one. If you want an autobiography, briefly here it is: In spite of being a Socialist I am of respectable American ancestry. I was born in Marion, Ohio, and while still young worked for Senator Harding. I have since recovered. I am a graduate of Princeton University, but hasten to acquit that estimable university or its at that time President, Woodrow Wilson, of any part in making me a Socialist. I however learned there to love The New Freedom and unfortunately could not turn off my affection at the psychological moment.

Editor of "World Tomorrow"

"I am also a graduate of Union Theological Semmary, and a Presbyterian clergyman. I was at one time associate pastor of the Brick Presbyterian Church in New York City and afterwards was head of the American Parish Among Immigrants of the Presbyterian Church of New York.. I hasten to acquit any of these agencies for deliberate participation in my downfall. I am now editor of the 'World Tomorrow,' lecturer in the Rand School, Stump speaker, soap boxer and temporarily paroled in my own custody by the Mount Vernon police court. Mount Vernon does not refer to Washington's birthplace but to the city of that name which an unconstitutional ordinance against free speech. As I have learned today that a higher court declared the ordinance unconstitutional I hope by the time I see an audience of Harvard students to be entirely free of any taint of crime.

Active in Civil Liberties Work

"I have been active in the American Civil Liberties Union and its predecessor, the National Civil Liberties Bureau, and in consequence I flatter myself that the government has an unusually complete set of reports of my speeches. For further information you might consult the Department of Justice. That the speeches must have been rather poor is proven by the fact that I have never been indicted.

"When I come to Harvard I shall not talk in the least like this latter, which was provoked by your asking me for picture which I have not got. "NORMAN THOMAS.

"P. S. So far as I can judge from newspaper pictures it does not much matter whose you label. Only please choose some one who has no whiskers. I don't wear any. Also I'd rather that the one you select should not be baldheaded. I am not quite baldheaded, but near enough to be sensitive. Also especially since I became a Socialist I am carefully about not wearing red neckties. I don't wear clerical collars or soft collars, and, sartorially, the dearest ambition of my life is to look like an Arrow Collar advertisement. Lately, however, I am looking longingly at the young men who advertise the House of Kuppenheimer."

Besides Dr. Thomas, Swinburne Hale '05, Senator Hitchcock and Congressman Walsh will speak. Dean L. B. R. Briggs '75 will act as chairman at the meeting.

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