Wisconsin History Day By Day

Related Web Sites:
Milwaukee Sewer Socialism

Victor Berger and the Milwaukee Socialists

Victor Berger Reelected to Congress

Read More About It:

"The Family Letters of Victor and Meta Berger" edited by Michael Stevens

"A Milwaukee Woman's Life on the Left" by Meta Berger

"History of the Social-Democratic Party of Milwaukee" by Robert Hemming

"The Sewer Socialists: A History of the Socialist Party of Wisconsin, 1897-1940" by Elmer Beck

Interesting Fact:

Berger was indicted by the U.S. government for violating the Espionage Act in 1918, but still won re-election but was denied his seat by the House of Representatives.

Study Questions:

  • What made Berger a controversial politician?
  • What issues did the socialist party promote?
  • Why was Berger denied his seat in Congress?



    U.S. historical events that occurred on November 8:

    1932: Franklin Roosevelt defeats incumbent Herbert Hoover in the presidential election
    1960: John F. Kennedy is elected president, defeating Richard Nixon.


    November 8, 1910: Victor Berger, Milwaukee, was elected as the first socialist Congressman. Berger served from 1910 to 1912 and from 1923 to 1929. The controversial politician was elected to Congress two other times but was denied his seat by the House. Berger immigrated to Milwaukee in 1881 from Austria. He shaped the Milwaukee Socialist Party and helped it gain control of the city and county government.

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