Today, in 1888, Heywood Broun was born. Broun was an incredibly interesting person; WWI foreign correspondent, rabble-rousing reporter and columnist who wrote about racism and social injustice and a member of the Algonquin Round Table. In 1930 Broun ran for Congress (unsuccessfully) on the Socialist ticket (he was later expelled for speaking at a Communist rally). His wife, Ruth Hale, was America’s first widely-read female critic who made headlines for her refusal to adopt her husband’s last name, and served as first president of the feminist Lucy Stone League, of which Broun was also a member.
In 1933 Heywood Broun wrote about forming a union for newspaper reporters. That now-famous column, declared loudly and proudly Broun’s intent and simultaneously launched the Newspaper Guild in dozens of cities across the United States. Once the organization was up and running, Broun served as our union’s first president. He died in December of 1939.