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Eugene V. Debs

Eugene Victor Debs was an American socialist, political activist, trade unionist, one of the founding members of the Industrial Workers of the World and five times the candidate of the Socialist Party of America for President of the United States. Through his presidential candidacies as well as his work with labor movements, Debs became one of the best-known socialists living in the United States. Early in his political career, Debs was a member of the Democratic Party, he was elected as a Democrat to the Indiana General Assembly in 1884. After working with several smaller unions, including the Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen, Debs led his union in a major ten-month strike against the CB&Q Railroad in 1888, lost. Debs was instrumental in the founding of the American Railway Union, one of the nation's first industrial unions. After workers at the Pullman Palace Car Company organized a wildcat strike over pay cuts in the summer of 1894, Debs signed many into the ARU, he led a boycott by the ARU against handling trains with Pullman cars in what became the nationwide Pullman Strike, affecting most lines west of Detroit and more than 250,000 workers in 27 states.

Purportedly to keep the mail running, President Grover Cleveland used the United States Army to break the strike. As a leader of the ARU, Debs was convicted of federal charges for defying a court injunction against the strike and served six months in prison. In prison, Debs read various works of socialist theory and emerged six months as a committed adherent of the international socialist movement. Debs was a founding member of the Social Democracy of America, the Social Democratic Party of America and the Socialist Party of America. Debs ran as a Socialist candidate for President of the United States five times, including 1900, 1904, 1908, 1912 and 1920, the last time from a prison cell, he was a candidate for United States Congress from his native state Indiana in 1916. Debs was noted for his oratory, his speech denouncing American participation in World War I led to his second arrest in 1918, he was sentenced to a term of 10 years. President Warren G. Harding commuted his sentence in December 1921.

Debs died in 1926, not long after being admitted to a sanatorium due to cardiovascular problems that developed during his time in prison. Debs was born on November 5, 1855, in Terre Haute, Indiana, to Jean Daniel and Marguerite Mari Bettrich Debs, who immigrated to the United States from Colmar, France, his father, who came from a prosperous family, owned a textile meat market. Debs was named after the French authors Eugène Victor Hugo. Debs attended public school, dropping out of high school at age 14, he took a job with the Vandalia Railroad cleaning grease from the trucks of freight engines for fifty cents a day. He became a painter and car cleaner in the railroad shops. In December 1871, when a drunken locomotive fireman failed to report for work, Debs was pressed into service as a night fireman, he decided to remain a fireman on the run between Terre Haute and Indianapolis, earning more than a dollar a night for the next three and half years. In July 1875, Debs left to work at a wholesale grocery house, where he remained for four years while attending a local business school at night.

Debs joined the Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen in February 1875 and became active in the organization. In 1877 he served as a delegate of the Terre Haute lodge to the organization's national convention. Debs was elected associate editor of the BLF's monthly organ, Firemen's Magazine, in 1878. Two years he was appointed Grand Secretary and Treasurer of the BLF and editor of the magazine in July 1880, he worked as a BLF functionary until January 1893 and as the magazine's editor until September 1894. At the same time, he became a prominent figure in the community, he served two terms as Terre Haute's city clerk from September 1879 to September 1883. In the fall of 1884, he was elected to the Indiana General Assembly as a Democrat, serving for one term. Debs married Kate Metzel on June 9, 1885, their home still stands in Terre Haute, preserved amidst the campus of Indiana State University. The railroad brotherhoods were comparatively conservative organizations, focused on providing fellowship and services rather than on collective bargaining.

Their motto was "Benevolence and Industry". As editor of the official journal of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen, Debs concentrated on improving the Brotherhood's death and disability insurance programs. During the early 1880s, Debs' writing stressed themes of self-upliftment: temperance, hard work, honesty. Debs held the view that "labor and capital are friends" and opposed strikes as a means of settling differences; the Brotherhood had never authorized a strike from its founding in 1873 to 1887, a record which Debs was proud of. Railroad companies cultivated the Brotherhood and granted them perks like free transportation to their conventions for the delegates. Debs invited railroad president Henry C. Lord to write for the magazine. Summarizing Debs's thought in this period, historian David A. Shannon wrote: "Debs's desideratum was one of peace and co-operation between labor and capital, but he expected management to treat labor with respect and social equality". Debs became convinced of the need for a more unified and confrontational approach as railroads were powerful companies in the economy.

One influence was his involvement in the Burlington Railroad Strike of 1888, a defeat for labor that convinced Debs of the necessity of organizing along craft lines. After stepping down as Brotherhood Grand Secretary

Golden Vale

The Golden Vale is an area of rolling pastureland in the civil province of Munster, southwestern Ireland. Covering parts of three counties, Limerick and Cork, it is the best land in Ireland for dairy farming, it has been called the Golden Vein. An early instance is an 1837 book by Jonathan Binns, a British government official, where he refers to the area as'"the golden vale"' and states "The land is of excellent quality, being part of the golden vein of Ireland—a district reaching from Tipperary towards Limerick; the extent of the golden vein is about fourteen miles long, by six or seven wide." Some subsequent writers prefer "vein". The Golden Vale is bordered in the east by the Galtee Mountains, with the Glen of Aherlow as a picturesque abutting valley; the Munster Blackwater valley is the Vale's southern part. Towns in the Golden Vale include Charleville, Mitchelstown and Tipperary. From Tipperary town, Aherlow and Cahir, south to Mitchelstown, Kildorrery and Charleville, this'square' could be considered the best land in Ireland.

In 1739, Walter Harris suggested the "Golden" name was a corruption of Gowlin, former name of a village now called Golden, from Irish: An Gabhailín "little fork ". The golden vale of Ivowen: between Slievenamon and Suir Eoghan Ó Néill 2001 ISBN 978-0-906602-91-1 The book of the Galtees and the Golden Vein: a border history of Tipperary, Limerick & Cork Paul J. Flynn, 1926

Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra

The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra is an American orchestra based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The orchestra's home is Heinz Hall, located in Pittsburgh's Cultural District; the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra is an American orchestra based in Pennsylvania. The orchestra's home is Heinz Hall for the Performing Arts, located in Pittsburgh's downtown Cultural District, its current music director is Austrian Manfred Honeck, who joined the orchestra in 2008, its current president and CEO is Melia Tourangeau. The Pittsburgh Symphony presents classical, education, community engagement and special concerts throughout the year at Heinz Hall and in the community; the Pittsburgh Symphony has a history of touring both domestically and internationally since 1900. The orchestra counts more than 36 international tours, including 20 to Europe, eight trips to the Far East and two to South America; the Pittsburgh Symphony was the first American orchestra to perform at the Vatican in January 2004 for the late Pope John Paul II, as part of the Pontiff's Silver Jubilee celebration.

The orchestra was founded by the Pittsburgh Arts Society with conductor Frederic Archer in 1895, who brought with him a number of musicians from the Boston Symphony Orchestra, led the PSO in its first concert the following year. In 1898, a man steeped in popular music was chosen to lead the Orchestra. Victor Herbert had composed a number of comic operas, he was born in Ireland, but educated in Germany. A flamboyant conductor, he inspired audiences alike with his boundless enthusiasm. In its second season under Victor Herbert, the Orchestra received an invitation to perform two concerts at Carnegie Hall in New York City. Andrew Carnegie financed the trip; the Orchestra traveled at a more frequent rate under his tenure, performing in Boston, Washington, D. C. and Canada. Under Herbert's direction, the Pittsburgh Orchestra played as part of the Pan-American Exposition at the 1901 World's Fair in Buffalo, New York. Besides directing, Herbert had composed an original work for the Exhibition titled "Panamericana: Morceau Characteristique" for the Orchestra to perform.

He ended his appointment with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra in 1904 when he left to take a higher paid position in New York. When Herbert left the orchestra in 1904, the Symphony Society chose as his successor a man who could not have been more different. Austrian conductor Emil Paur avoided theatrics. Trained as a violinist, he had served as conductor of both the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the New York Philharmonic as well as guest conductor throughout Europe and held the Pittsburgh Orchestra to the same exacting standards. Paur's programs emphasized the classical repertoire and included a heavy dose of Johannes Brahms, whose music was considered too challenging for most audiences at that time. Additionally, Paur clashed with many of the Orchestra's musicians when he prohibited them from accepting outside performing engagements and continued to hire European musicians. Paur remained at the head of the Orchestra until it disbanded in 1910; the orchestra attracted a number of prominent guest conductors during these early years, including Edward Elgar and Richard Strauss.

Despite lavish praise from critics and a growing national reputation, hard times lay ahead for the Orchestra. The Panic of 1907 had an immediate impact on the ability and the resolve of the wealthy to support cultural organizations throughout the country; the city of Pittsburgh proved to be no exception. To make matters worse, Paur's practice of hiring European musicians damaged relations with local musicians to the point where half of the orchestra's members refused to renew their contracts for the 1908–09 season. Subscriptions declined in the wake of the controversy. By 1910, the Orchestra's future was in immediate jeopardy; the original guarantors had conceived of the orchestra as a self-sustaining institution. In reality, they spent more than $1 million to subsidize the organization in its first 15 years. A new approach was needed and a plan was developed to raise an endowment; when insufficient funds were forthcoming, the orchestra canceled its upcoming season. No one suspected. In the interim, concert promoter May Beegle founded the Pittsburgh Orchestra Association to bring other musical performers to the city.

It took 16 years, but on May 2, 1926, the dream of a new Pittsburgh Orchestra became reality. The players took part in 14 unpaid rehearsals and contributed $25 each to sponsor a free public concert of the new Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra under the direction of concertmaster and associate conductor, Elias Breeskin. Following the newly restructured Orchestra's successful debut, the Symphony Society organized a Sunday concert series that began on April 24, 1927. Sunday was chosen because most of the players were under contract with theater orchestras during the week; the following Monday, nine board members were arrested for violating the Pennsylvania Blue Laws, which forbade secular music-making on the Sabbath. The publicity didn't hurt the Pittsburgh Symphony; the board's fight to keep the series alive whetted the public's appetite for symphony concerts. In 1930, Antonio Modarelli assumed his post as the music director of the Orchestra, he had spent the previous eight years in Berlin composing and conducting, was the only American composer to be elected to the prestigious "Society of German Composers."

A German newspaper described his conducting as "forceful, modern music" and he was invited to conduct in Moscow. He was music director until 1937, but he never quite won the whole-hearted acceptance of Pittsburgh audi