America was a
land of wealth for some, but the
excesses of capitalism and hard times for farmers and workers
gave rise to reform movements in the late 19th and early 20th
centuries. Utopians, Socialists, and Communists were among those
offering different economic models. In Nebraska, Socialists and
Communists found a foothold.
Socialist Party Office in Spalding,
It was Flag
Day 1934 in Loup City and several hundred people gathered
on the courthouse square. Some were there to support local women
chicken processors in their struggle for better wages and working
conditions. There were others who assembled to keep an eye on
Among the outsiders was Ella
Reeve "Mother" Bloor, a major figure in the American
Suddenly, someone in the crowd
yelled "Hey Rube!" (a rallying cry in the rough and
tumble world of the circus when a carnie got into a fight with
a local). A free-for-all
erupted. Even though many of the rioters were armed with
clubs, rocks, and homemade blackjacks, only one person was seriously
Following World War II the Cold War inflamed
the fear of Communists in America. In 1952 Joseph
McCarthy came to Lincoln to deliver a major national anti-Communist
speech over radio. The photograph is of McCarthy in Lincoln on
August 24, 1951.
Hass was born and schooled in Lincoln. He worked as a waiter,
cook, railroad brakeman, engine-wiper, and newspaper reporter.
In 1928 Hass came into contact with the Socialist Labor Party.
By 1932 he was a National Organizer and became editor of the
Weekly People, the official party paper in 1938. He was
re-elected to this office in 1940 and served as editor until
1968, when he resigned. A year later he also resigned from the
Socialist Party. Hass was the author of many pamphlets on Socialism
and of a history of the Socialist Labor Party and the Internationalists.
Hass was the Socialist's nominee for the
President of the United States in 1952, 1956, 1960, and 1964.
In 1956 and 1960, he received over 46,000 votes. He also ran
on the Socialist Labor Party ticket for governor and U.S. senator
in New York, mayor of New York City, and U.S. senator in Oregon.