"Marc" Marcantonio in D.C.
Vito Anthony “Marc” Marcantonio joined the American Labor Party, a left-wing party based in New York in 1937 and was elected to Congress for six terms from 1939-51 from his seat in East Harlem. His district contained many immigrants of Puerto Rican and Italian heritage and he spoke both languages fluently.

Marcantonio was an ally of the U.S. Communist Party and fought vigorously for civil rights and labor rights in the 1930s, 40s and 50s. In the Washington, D.C. area, he was a regular speaker at civil rights events, including the effort to desegregate the operator ranks of the Washington, D.C. Capital Transit system.

He was a strong ally of the Progressive Party effort to win the presidency in 1948, backing Henry Wallace in a four-way race against Democrat Harry Truman, Republican Thomas Dewey and States Rights candidate Strom Thurmond.

As one of the most left-wing members ever to serve in Congress, he was never popular with his colleagues. After his vote to oppose U.S. entry into the Korean War, they painted a target on his back.

As the U.S. red scare widened, Marcantonio’s congressional district was changed through re-districting and the Republican, Democratic and Liberal parties united behind Democrat James Donovan to defeat him in the 1950 election 57%-43%.

Marcantonio remained active and was running for Congress on the Good Neighbor Party ticket in 1954 when he died of a heart attack.
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