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Illinois town to honor founder of the Socialist Party of America

WOODSTOCK, Ill. (AP) – A northern Illinois city is planning to recognize a civil rights activist with a $1,500 plaque on its courthouse despite concerns that it’ll turn off donors.

The Northwest Herald reports the plaque will be in memory of Eugene V. Debs, who founded the Socialist Party of America, was a five-time presidential candidate and served as president of the American Railway Union. Debs was jailed for six months in Woodstock after disobeying a court order that tried to stop him from leading a railway worker strike.

Woodstock’s tax increment financing fund will pay for the plaque.

The nonprofit Friends of the Old Courthouse opposes the idea, saying it’ll make it difficult to raise funds for historic buildings. Board member Julie Miller says she’s concerned the marker is too politically charged.
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Information from: The Northwest Herald, http://www.nwherald.com