a newspaper man adjusts his pen

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Museum to honor a Socialist

A small Pennsylvania town is set to have the first museum in the Keystone State dedicated to the Socialist movement of a bygone era.

The Charleroi Area Historical Society will convert the intact Goaziou print shop in the borough into a museum chronically the family’s ties a movement that was popular among laborers during the early 20th century.

Louis Goaziou, a French immigrant, opened the shop as a means to promote his Socialist propaganda in a newspaper, The Union of Workers. It appealed to coal and steel workers who wanted to unionize in southwestern Pennsylvania.

Goaziou, a leader in the Franco-American Socialist movement, engaged many high-profile members of the party to speak in Charleroi, including Eugene V. Debs, who ran for president on the party's ticket in 1912.

The society came into some money through an inheritance, and used it to purchase the 807 Fallowfield Ave. building from a descendant of the Goaziou family.

“To us it’s a part of our history, a unique part that has an international renown to it,” Nikki Sheppick, the society’s board secretary, told the Observer-Reporter Thursday.

The society hopes to have the museum open to the public in May.

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