Coxey's Army

   Jacob Sechler Coxey (1854-1951), the wealthy owner of a quarry in Massillon, Ohio, had bills introduced in Congress to stimulate employment. The year following the Panic of 1893, a time when many people were unemployed, Coxey wanted Congress to enact bills for road building and public construction to put the unemployed to work. To publicize his ideas, he arranged for a march on Washington that would dramatize the need for congressional action and exert pressure on congressmen to vote for the bills.
   Coxey began his march with a band of unemployed workers from Massillon on Easter Sunday, 1894. About 100 marchers and a six-piece band began the trek. The group swelled to about 500, but not the 100,000 that Coxey had expected. In any event, upon reaching the capital, about 50 marchers were clubbed by the police, and Coxey, who sought to read a speech that he had prepared, was denied the privilege. He was arrested for carrying a banner and walking on the Capitol lawn and was sentenced to twenty days. That was the grand finale of this makeshift army that was given the name Coxey's army. The bills died in committee.
   Coxey was obsessed with a desire to hold public office. Although a perennial candidate, he was elected only once, as mayor of Massillon, 1931-1933. But his ideas were similar to those adopted by the New Deal under President Roosevelt, and on May 1, 1944, on the Capitol steps, Coxey achieved his long-delayed goal: He delivered his speech. And this time without interference.
   People sometimes call a motley, ragtag group "Coxey's Army." The name is particularly evocative when a bunch of kids with bats slung over their shoulders, with torn pants, with their caps turned backywards, are seen marching off to the baseball field.
   Coxey, who lived for ninety-seven years, had at one time become so fascinated with monetary problems that he wrote several books on the subject and named one of his sons Legal Tender.

Dictionary of eponyms. . 2013.

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  • Coxey's Army — Not to be confused with Cox s Army, a 1932 protest march to Washington, D.C. Coxey s Army marchers leaving their camp. Coxey s Army was a protest march by unemployed workers from the United States, led by the populist Jacob Coxey. They marched on …   Wikipedia

  • Coxey's Army — Group of unemployed men who marched to Washington, D.C., in the depression year of 1894. Jacob S. Coxey (1854–1951), a businessman, led the group, which hoped to persuade Congress to authorize public works programs to provide jobs. It left Ohio… …   Universalium

  • army — /ahr mee/, n., pl. armies. 1. the military forces of a nation, exclusive of the navy and in some countries the air force. 2. (in large military land forces) a unit consisting typically of two or more corps and a headquarters. 3. a large body of… …   Universalium

  • Coxey — /kok see/, n. Jacob Sechler /sech leuhr/, 1854 1951, U.S. political reformer: led a group of unemployed marchers (Coxey s army) in 1894 from Ohio to Washington, D.C., to petition Congress for legislation to create jobs and relieve poverty. * * * …   Universalium

  • coxey — noun see coxy II * * * /kok see/, n. Jacob Sechler /sech leuhr/, 1854 1951, U.S. political reformer: led a group of unemployed marchers (Coxey s army) in 1894 from Ohio to Washington, D.C., to petition Congress for legislation to create jobs and… …   Useful english dictionary

  • Jacob S. Coxey Sr. — Infobox Politician name = Jacob S. Coxey Sr. width = height = caption = birth date = birth date|1854|4|16|mf=y birth place = Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania residence = death date = death date and age|1951|5|18|1854|4|16|mf=y death place = Massillon,… …   Wikipedia

  • Kelly's Army — is the western contingent of Coxey s Industrial Army of the Unemployed, better known as Coxey s Army, which marched on Washington DC in 1894 to agitate for jobs as the United States languished in its worst economic depression to that time …   Wikipedia

  • Massillon, Ohio — City of Massillon   City   Lincoln Way in downtown Massillon in 2006 …   Wikipedia

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  • Grover Cleveland — 22nd and 24th President of the United States …   Wikipedia

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