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1941. 8 Apr The passing of Urbain Joseph Ledoux (b. August 13, 1874 in Ste Hélène de Bagot, Quebec). He was buried in Saint Joseph's Cemetery Biddeford, Maine.
  • He is believed to be the third French-Canadian to become a Bahá'í outside of Canada. [OCBB94]
  • He gave an address to the National Convention at the Hotel McAlpine on the 28th of April, 1919 entitled The Oneness of the World of Humanity. [SoW Vol 10 May 17, 1919 No 4 p58] "This talk 'sounded so French-Canadian' that later francophone believers could still be moved to tears in reading its text." [OCBB94]
  • He received widespread publicity for his opening of bread lines in New York (The Stepping Stone) in 1919, and for “auctions” of the jobless to employers in New York and Boston during the Depression of 1921. He was received by President Warren Harding shortly after arriving in Washington, D.C. in September 1921. Ledoux spent a little over three months in Washington, D.C. 1921-22 campaigning for a public works program funded by a tax on companies that made excessive war profits during World War I. His tactics included setting up a hotel housing the unemployed on Pennsylvania Avenue, an auction of the jobless, speaking before the unemployment conference, calling for the arrest of international arms conference delegates. He walked around the city carrying a white umbrella, a lighted lantern and a Bible or a copy of the Sermon on the Mount saying he was like Diogenes searching for an honest man.
  • Urbain Ledoux is shown in Boston in 1921 auctioning off an unemployed man. He conducted these auctions in New York and Boston in order to garner publicity for the plight of the unemployed and to find work for the jobless. He called himself “Mr. Zero” because he said he didn’t want any publicity for himself.
  • “Mr. Zero” returned to Washington in 1932 with the Bonus Expeditionary Force, leading an unauthorized march on the White House July 16, 1932 that resulted in his arrest along with two others. The march frightened President Herbert Hoover who set in motion the eviction of the bonus marchers from the city — a move that backfired on Hoover and helped to cement his reputation as someone uncaring about the plight of the nation’s unemployed. Photos. [Wikipedia]
  • Find a grave.
  • His obituary in the New York Times April 10th 1941.
  • He is reported to have "rescued" 85 year-old Sarah Farmer in Portsmouth where she was being held in a sanatorium against her will. [Boston Post 4 August 1916]
  • See a story from Ephemeral New York.
  • There is a short description of Urbain LeDoux in He Loved and Served: The Story of Curtis Kelsey p 33-34.
  • New York; United States Urbain Ledoux (Mr. Zero); In Memoriam; Births and deaths; Social and economic development; Bread lines; Charity and relief work
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