(this is in color)
He became a fixture first on the streets of Washington, D.C. (in the
early 1970s), and then in NYC. I first heard of him and his placards
in an Alex Beam column in the 1990s in which Beam mentioned him (not
by name), and Beam said "Poor Man. He was merely ahead of his time."
He then mocked the current mens' rights movement. I then stumbled
today on a 1980 book of photos, "Street People,"by Janet Beller, with
him on the cover! (According to what was inside, IIRC, he started
taking to the streets when he lost his job and his wife left him. She
said she'd take him back when he got a good job - and lost his
placards. He wouldn't divorce her because of his religion.)
Does anyone know more about him?
He is on topic to this newsgroup, having died in Pasadena, California
in May of 1981, according to the Social Security Index on
ancestry.com. According to two newspaper articles I found online
(newspaperarchive.com, a pay site) he was born in Erie, Pa. on 2
December 1925 and served in the US Army Air Corps during World War
II. He was an industrial engineer for General Electric in Erie for
over twenty years, and lived in the nearby town of Harbor Creek with
his wife and three kids until he got into a pay dispute with GE and
evidently was fired. He started picketing the plant and paraded around
for seventeen months with his signs. His wife was understandably
upset, and told him to leave. So Harry became the president (and
probably sole member) of the National Association of Dissatisfied
Husbands and spent pretty much the rest of his days living in homeless
shelters, SRO hotels, YMCAs and on the street subsisting on sales
(forty bucks a week if he had a good week) of his leaflets and other
publications extolling "Husband Lib" ("It's not men's lib, it's
Husband Lib. The Bachelors are not oppressed yet").
When the First Women's Bank of New York opened in Manhattan in 1975,
there was Harry, signs and pamphlets in hand, camped outside the
building voicing his displeasure--"A woman's place is in the home, not
in the bank," he said. "There would be less muggings in the street if
women were at home to teach kids manners." He was still in NYC at the
time of the Democratic National Convention in June of 1976, but the
article noted that he was packing up his signs and papers and heading
home to Erie. When asked if he was going to Kansas City to instruct
the Republicans, Britton replied that he didn't think so. I haven't
found anything else on that site after that date, so maybe his wife
took him back.
Sounds like a true American character.