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For 38 of the 50 years from 1910 to 1960, Milwaukee was governed by one of three Socialist mayors.  From its dramatic “sweeps” of the April and November, 1910 elections until Frank Zeidler’s retirement in 1960, the Socialist movement transformed Milwaukee from a corrupt backwater, into a city that consistently won nation-wide recognition for clean and progressive municipal government.

Click here to see a poster written by Rick Kisséll on “Milwaukee’s Socialist Heritage” that was on display in the Central Public Library in the fall of 2011.  That poster is also on permanent display at Turners’ Hall downtown and at Whitnall High School.

Milwaukee’s first socialist City Treasurer was Charles B. Whitnall, elected in the socialist sweep of April 1910.  Whitnall later became the architect of what became the public park system of Milwaukee County.  Milwaukee’s second socialist City Treasurer was John Mudroch, elected in 1936.

Click here to read Martin Luther King's June 1965 article in Pageant magazine titled "The Bravest Man I Ever Met." It's about Norman Thomas, a longtime leader of the Socialist Party.