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McHenry County Historical Society to host discussion on Eugene V. Debs in Union

Free speech fight in McHenry County during World War I to be subject of program

UNION – A fight for civil liberties in McHenry County during World War I will be the subject of a program Tuesday.

The McHenry County Historical Society, Woodstock Celebrates Inc. and the Illinois Labor History Society will co-host a program about Eugene V. Debs and his fight for free speech.

Debs was a socialist leader and president of the American Railway Union. He was imprisoned at the McHenry County Jail in Woodstock for six months after disobeying a court order that tried to stop him from leading a railway worker strike.

“Debs was a part of Woodstock’s history, and his fight for free speech still echoes throughout America and the world,” Woodstock Celebrates program chairwoman Kathleen Spaltro said. “It’s important not to lose this connection to history, especially when Debs’ right to protest is very much in tune with current concerns.”

The program will be at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the McHenry County Historical Society and Museum, 6422 Main St., Union.

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