History Talk: Dr. Stephen Barton on Berkeley Mayor J. Stitt Wilson – Social Crusader and Socialist

December 20, 2013

Contact: Jef Findley
Berkeley Public Library

Berkeley, December 20, 2013—J. Stitt Wilson (1868 – 1942) made national news when he was elected Mayor of Berkeley in April 1911 becoming the first Socialist Mayor in America. Learn more about this fascinating figure from Stephen Barton, Ph. D., on Saturday,  January 11, 2014 from 2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. in the 3rd Floor Community Meeting Room at the Berkeley Public Library at 2090 Kittredge Street.

A former minister who preached the Social Gospel, his two years as Mayor were only a small part in a life dedicated to creating a cooperative society in which “every person in the world can attain to the highest development of his being”. From 1902 to 1942, Wilson and his family were an integral part of the early 20th century “Berkeley bohemia”, a creative mix of intellectuals, artists, writers, spiritual seekers and activists who supported left-wing politics, women’s rights, conservation and alternative medicine.

Stephen Barton, Ph.D. is the author of articles on the history of progressive urban movements, including the tenant movement in New York City, the neighborhood movement in San Francisco and movements for rent control and affordable housing in Berkeley. He has also written numerous articles on issues of social and economic justice and affordable housing. He is at work on a biography of Berkeley Mayor J. Stitt Wilson and wrote a forthcoming article on Wilson’s socialist feminism.  For more information about this event call 510-982-6148

The free program is sponsored by the Friends of the Berkeley Public Library. www.berkeleylibraryfriends.org

The Central Library is open Monday, noon-8 p.m., Tuesday, 10 a.m.-8 p.m., Wednesday through Saturday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., and Sunday afternoons from 1 p.m.-5 p.m. For more info please call 510-981-6195 or visit www.berkeleypubliclibrary.org.

Wheelchair accessible. To request a sign language interpreter or other accommodations for this event, please call (510) 981-6195 (voice) or (510) 548-1240 (TTY); at least five working days will help ensure availability. Please refrain from wearing scented products to public programs.