The Tale of Thomas “Red Tom” Hickey

SocialistMassMeeting

Thomas Hickey’s papers aren’t the only records of early 20th-century socialism that we house at the Southwest Collection, nor are they the first we’ve talked about on this blog, but they have proven to be some of the most colorful. Situated among correspondence, financial records, and similar items are several periodicals and posters that we hadn’t yet seen anywhere else.

Thomas Aloysius Hickey was born in Dublin, Ireland in 1869. In the 1890s he emigrated to the U.S., and within a year he had joined the Socialist labor Party, eventually serving as private secretary to none other than notorious International Workers of the World (IWW) founder Eugene V. Debs. Hickey left the east coast after being blacklisted by the bosses, and soon found work in Montana on behalf of its miners. That failed to pan out, too, so he ambled off to Texas in 1904. That’s where, from humble Hallettsville, he arranged speaking engagements on behalf of the Socialist Party all over the state, such as the one promoted in this bill.

johndavisSenate_1916

In 1916 Hickey supported Dallas U.S. senatorial candidate John Davis. Trounced in the election by former Texas governor and Senate incumbent Charles A. Culberson by a margin of 8 to 1, Davis nonetheless fared better than every other socialist who ran for office at the state or federal level in Texas that year. This was small consolation to Hickey, who was about to face still more adversity. In 1911 he had become editor of The Rebel, a weekly newspaper published in Hallettsville. “The great appear great to us only because we are on our knees. Let us arise,” was its slogan, which was adopted by Texas’ Socialist Party. That may have had something to do with the government’s suppression of the paper in 1917 via the Espionage Act.

wilshire

Hickey was one to collect national socialist publications, as well. Wilshire’s was among them, and Hickey’s Papers teem with issues of the periodical. Gaylord Wilshire, after whom the Boulevard in Los Angeles is named, was a nationally prominent socialist. Before being chased from California as an outspoken Red, he began publication of Wilshire’s (previously known as The Challenge, Wilshire’s Monthly Magazine, and Wilshire’s Magazine) in 1900. When he moved to New York, the magazine grew in circulation, eventually evolving into a tabloid newspaper (and, subsequently, discontinuing publication in 1915.) Check out the covers of Wilshire’s above and below: top-notch examples of early 20th century political cartoonery!

wilshires2

 

thesuffragistBasement

Not least among Hickey’s causes was women’s suffrage. In the poster that began this blog, you might have noticed that women were encouraged to attend his lectures. This was by design. Hickey had copies of (and may well have facilitated the distribution of) numerous magazines about women’s enfranchisement. New York’s The Suffragist and Chicago’s The Progressive Woman are just two among several in the Papers.

TheProgressiveWoman

Hickey passed away in 1925, but not before publishing his own Tom Hickey’s Magazine for several years. We have more than a few of those in our holdings, each a fascinating look into an often-forgotten aspect of Texas political thought. Those, as well as all of Hickey’s other papers, are made available to visiting patrons by our excellent Reference Staff.

The Southwest Collection’s 2015 Highlights

2015 is coming to a close, and the SWC is looking back at some of its favorite images of the past year. (Also, because no one is in the archive for the holidays, we shamefully admit to the necessity having to recycle content!) So here they are – the best of 2015!

The year is wrapping up, and so we bring the SWC’s favorite images from 2015!Back in July we noted that archives have nigh innumerable boxes. But when the Ag Movement tractors and I asked our Registrar to come up with a box-related joke, he replied “If they wanted us to use good grammar they should have made it more easier.”He stands by that statement to this day.

For example, back in July we noted that archives have nigh innumerable boxes. But when the Ag Movement tractors and I asked our Registrar to come up with a box-related joke, he replied “If they wanted us to use good grammar they should have made it more easier.” He stands by that statement to this day.

Less silly but equally entertaining is this footage of our Earth as seen through the first color satellite footage ever taken from space! Well, the footage of the earth is real. As a savvy user pointed out, however, the background and its immobile stars probably aren’t…

ranchers feed yard

Every other Wednesday around here is dubbed “Western,” y’all, but sometimes we eschew the rodeos, cowboys, and ranching for a classic Ford Fairlane station wagon.

title shot

In January, we installed an exhibit on Texas Tech’s Dairy Barn, a 90-year-old symbol of the campus, still preserved today just yards away from the Southwest Collection. Here’s a photograph of it today, surrounded by our crowded campus, and then, surrounded by…pretty much nothing!

Lubbockhistorichomes - need to chop up - 1988 for tumblr4

While every other Wednesday is “Western Wednesday” around here, all the remaining Wednesdays are “Map Day!” One of our most popular maps this year was, curiously, this 1988 map of historic homes and buildings in Lubbock, Texas, produced by the Lubbock Heritage Society and some of their partners.

keep on streakin

We see many bizarre advertisements in our newspaper collections, but few are like the one we found in the spring of 1974: an obsession with streaking in Texas Tech University’s University Daily. No one knows how it started. Some say that streaking had been popular on campus for years already. Others claim that Ray Stevens’ hit, “The Streak,” which debuted in March 1974, was responsible. All we know for sure is that by the time the campus got good and warm, t-shirts featuring the logo above were widely available.

3.l-54.80 female and baby in rebozo beside removable plank door- near village of Wawatzerare

Finally, we have an image from one of our favorite blogs this year. It described our photograph collection of the Tarahumara, a people of the Sierra Madre Mountains of Chihuahua, Mexico, who’ve weathered centuries of attention by Spanish, French, and Mexican governments. They still hold on to many of their original cultural traditions. In the village of Wawatzerare, for example, this woman still carries her baby in a rebozo. This shot was snagged by Father Luis Verplancken, a Jesuit who served in Chihuahua for decades, and who created all of these photographs.

So there you have it: a taste of our favorite images of the year. Keep an eye out for next year’s stuff. It’s bound to be as good (or even better!)

Mad Trends 2: Even Madder

mustache 2 17 70

We love poring through old issues of Texas Tech’s student newspaper, The Toreador (or the University Daily, depending on the vintage.) We already told you a bit about this obsession not long ago, particularly about our love for vintage advertisements (not to mention the TTU student body’s obsession with streaking.) Truly the 1970s held a wealth of advertisory entertainment, and we’ve come across a few more to keep you entertained. Incidentally, these can all be found in an exhibit currently on display at the Southwest Collection. Come on by and check that out, too!

As for the mustache ad above…there’s very little to say about this ad that it doesn’t say for itself, so let’s move on.

ktxt ad 4.29.74

KTXT is TTU’s college radio station, and has been since the 1950s when it was known as KTTC on AM radio, and later KTXT at 91.9 FM. It’s now 88.1, and continues to “stick things in your ear,” primarily music and student talk radio.

town draw 4.9.76

Town Draw seems like a fairly innocuous local bar, given this ad. Just look at the cheerful cartoon folk strolling its wood floors, blissfully unaware of how hard they’re violating copyright. And that wasn’t the only lawbreaking that went down at the Town Draw. In one interview (which we sadly haven’t been able to track down in the archive again before posting this,) a musician who long-since left Lubbock, Texas, claimed that “everyone (he) knew had a story about that they almost got killed there.” It is remembered fondly by some of the bands played there, however, so it couldn’t have been all that bad…

red streaker 2.28.74

We told the tale a while back of streaking’s tremendous popularity on the TTU campus in 1974. Some of the more diplomatic among the University Daily’s staff used this trend to defuse a growing controversy in 1974 over the first female Masked Rider (TTU’s black-clad horseman (or woman) who races the sidelines of every home game.) Why not discard the horse entirely, they proposed, and have someone streak the field before every game? A handy ballot was provided, and while we’re not sure what the precise tally was, the fact is the Masked Rider still rides today.

gene roddenberry 3.1.76

In March 1976 some Red Raiders were getting excited about a TV show that had ended its run 7 years before: Star Trek. Its creator, Gene Roddenberry, was about to visit the Student Union Building (still called the University Center, or “UC,” at that time – hence the logo.) By all accounts, the room was packed.

jaws brittany 9.2.75

Yum-yum. Yum-yum. Yum-yum, yum-yum, yum-yum, yum-yum. That’s our attempt at a hamburger-y Jaws theme. It is not only a lesser copyright infringement than The Brittany’s September 1975 advertisement, it might also be a less-groan-worthy pun than “treat your jaws.” It might be…

So come on by the ol’ Southwest Collection/Special Collections Library and check out this exhibit (or any of its very fine neighbors.) And if you need to see some other newspapers, or just get some research done in general, our always-on-point Reference Staff would be happy to get you all set up.