On this date was born the greatest American political candidate who never won an election.

He ran for President 5 times, once taking six percent of the vote nationally (almost exactly 100 years ago that happened).  He was sentenced to 10 years of prison for speaking against World War I.  As he said in that speech:

“Your Honor,years ago I recognized my kinship with all living beings, and I made up my mind that I was not one bit better than the meanest on earth. I said then, and I say now, that while there is a lower class, I am in it, and while there is a criminal element I am of it, and while there is a soul in prison, I am not free.”

He ran for office while in prison.  Again, he never held office, but he and the movement behind him brought to national political discourse the framework for reforms which would eventually be implemented, and for which many of us now take for granted.

A little bit of his history.  I don’t know why they’re using the Entertainer as a theme song.