Monday, July 10, 2006

In Memory of Comrade Frank P. Zeidler

Today is Monday, 10 July 2006.

It is with profound sadness that the Museum of the Bourgeois records the passing of Comrade Frank P. Zeidler, Chairman Emeritus of the Socialist Party USA, and mayor of Milwaukee from 1948 to 1960.

Comrade Zeidler was born in Milwaukee in 1912, and lived there almost his whole life. At the age of 21, after studying various political ideologies, he chose to become a Socialist. In addition to his tenure as mayor, he was a teacher and labor activist.

The accomplishments of Comrade Zeidler’s three terms included establishing the first public television station in Wisconsin, construction of the Milwaukee Arena and nine fire stations, doubling the size of the Central Library and creating branch libraries, rebuilding the city’s infrastructure, and replacing horse-drawn garbage carts with trucks.

Comrade Zeidler’s administration was responsible for building 3,000 units of low-income and veterans housing. He said, “If it is the philosophy of any that the forces of government should not be used to overcome these conditions, which private enterprise did not overcome, that philosophy borders on the immoral.”

Comrade Zeidler was a life-long supporter of civil and human rights.

In an interview, Comrade Zeidler said, "I particularly picked socialism because of several things in its philosophy. One was the brotherhood of people all over the world. Another was its struggle for peace. Another was the equal distribution of economic goods. Another was the idea of cooperation. A fifth was the idea of democratic planning in order to achieve your goals. Those were pretty good ideas."

The Museum of the Bourgeois and your author extend their deepest sympathy to Comrade Zeidler’s wife and children. In the light of his life, and comrades like him, we continue the struggle for justice and peace.

On 10 July in history:

138 BCE – Roman emperor Hadrian dies (b. 76); a magnificent novel by Marguerite Yourcenar (pseudonym of Marguerite Cleenewerck de Crayencour) is The Memoirs of Hadrian

1806 – British painter George Stubbs dies (b. 1706)

1851 - Louis-Jacques-Mandé Daguerre dies (b. 1787); invented Daguerreotype photographic process

1871 – French novelist Marcel Proust born (d. 1922)

1888 – Italian painter Giorgio de Chirico born (d. 1978)

1925 – Trial of John Scopes for teaching evolution begins in Tennessee

1941 – Ragtime composer and performer Jelly Roll Morton dies (b. 1890)

1947 – Singer/songwriter Arlo Guthrie born

1985 – Greenpeace vessel Rainbow Warrior blown up in New Zealand by French DGSE agents; one murdered

1989 – Mel Blanc, voice of Bugs Bunny, Porky Pig, etc. dies (b. 1908)