Celebrate Margaret Baldridge’s 80th, donate to People’s World!
Margaret Baldridge (center) with other activists at the Poor People's Campaign march and rally in D.C. to get out the vote in the 2022 midterm elections.

BALTIMORE — I flew east from my home in Washington State to attend the birthday party, Dec. 10, of a dear comrade and friend, Margaret Baldridge, who will have turned 80 the day before.

It will be a gala celebration at Baltimore Center Stage, from 7 to 9 p.m., Sat., Dec. 10. We will sip good wine, eat savory food, enjoy great company of friends and comrades. And we will lift our glasses in salute to Margaret. If you want to attend in person or make a contribution, click on this Eventbrite URL link.

Every penny you contribute will go to help sustain People’s World, Margaret’s favorite online working-class news publication.

I will autograph, and give everyone who makes a major contribution, a copy of my books News From Rain Shadow Country and Volumes 1 and 2 of News for the 99%, consisting mostly of articles I wrote for the Worker, Daily World, and People’s World in my 56 years as a journalist, most while living in Baltimore.

I have known and worked closely with Margaret since 1970, soon after my late wife Joyce and I moved to Baltimore with our three children. I can attest to Margaret’s dedication to racial and gender equality, union wage jobs, a livable planet, world peace, and socialism. She is one of the most conscientious organizers I have ever known, always paying strict attention to the nitty-gritty of the class struggle, filling every last seat on a bus to a protest march whether in Washington, D.C., Harrisburg, Pa., Raleigh, N.C., Wall Street, or right here in “Charm City.”

Her birthday comes just at the right time. We will be celebrating our nationwide victory in turning out a record vote in the Nov. 8 midterm elections to save democracy, rights and benefits won over the past century.

She and her late husband Jim were arrested in Baltimore, Christmas 1969, for defacing Pentagon recruitment posters for the Vietnam War. The legendary people’s attorney Harold Buchman got them out of jail. Ever after, they opposed U.S. wars of aggression. Jim was a leader of the Baltimore chapter of Veterans for Peace until the day he died.

Bob Lee, manager of the New Era Bookshop, taught them class struggle politics back in the day. So did George A. Meyers, Joe Henderson, Howie Silverberg, and Jake Green.

When Angela Davis was framed up, Margaret was a leading organizer of the Baltimore Free Angela Davis Committee. After Angela won freedom, Margaret helped organize the Baltimore National Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression.

She and Jim, a hospital worker and member of Local 1199, organized solidarity marches in defense of strikers. Margaret herself was a striker in the month-long teachers’ strike in 1973. She helped fill buses for the Solidarity Day march in Washington, D.C., Sept 19, 1981. She and Jim and comrades traveled down to Southwest Virginia for the Pittston coal miners’ strike.

Margaret helped fill the charter bus that took us out to Frostburg for the dedication of the George A. Meyers Collection at the Frostburg University Library.

She was on the team of Daily World distributors at the Clock House at Bethlehem Steel’s Sparrows Point Mill, at the Key Highway Shipyard where Jim worked, at the GM assembly plant on Bruening Highway—all now closed down. She helped distribute eight bundles of the Daily World every weekend door-to-door in East Baltimore neighborhoods.

She was and still is an unwavering leader of the Maryland Communist Party building the Maryland CP, now with 112 members, active in the fight against the neofascist threat in Maryland.

They are celebrating the election of Maryland’s first African-American Governor, Wes Moore, who defeated Trumpite Republican Dan Cox in a landslide.

Margaret found time to be a loving wife and mother, daughter and sister. She was at Jim’s side like an angel as he battled cancer. She played the piano at a local church for many years.

We celebrate the birth of Margaret Harmon Baldridge, Dec. 9, 1942, a bright morning on planet Earth! Give Margaret a generous present for her lifetime work in the movement! Donate to the online People’s World. It will keep the PW presses rolling for another 100 years!

The festivity on Dec. 10 takes place at Baltimore Center Stage, 700 N. Calvert St., Roche Chapel, 4th floor Baltimore, Md. 21202. See you there, in person or in spirit!


Tim Wheeler
Tim Wheeler

Tim Wheeler has written over 10,000 news reports, exposés, op-eds, and commentaries in his half-century as a journalist for the Worker, Daily World, and People’s World. Tim also served as editor of the People’s Weekly World newspaper.  His book News for the 99% is a selection of his writings over the last 50 years representing a history of the nation and the world from a working-class point of view. After residing in Baltimore for many years, Tim now lives in Sequim, Wash.