American troops of the 28th Infantry Division march down the Champs Elysees, Paris, in the Victory Parade. August 29, 1944. Poinsett. (Army) NARA FILE #: 111-SC-193197 WAR & CONFLICT BOOK #: 1059

Two things:

1.  I LOVE clichés.  I do NOT like the definition:  A phrase or opinion that is over used and betrays a lack of original thought.  Psh.  What does the dictionary know?  

2.  I made too much food last night.  Way too much food.  We'll be eating this stuff all week.  

When Mark and I sat down to supper, I betrayed my lack of original thought when I said, "I made enough of this to feed Cox's Army!"  Mark nodded as he stuffed a bite in his mouth.  I then asked, "Who was Cox, anyway?  And just how big WAS his army?"  

Mark shrugged, swallowed, and said, "I don't know, but I bet you feel a blog post coming on."  

Yup.  He was right.

But, since I'm in scale back mode on the length of time I put into bogging, I decided to plead with you readers:  

Will someone please look up Cox and tell us:

1.  Who the heck he was.

2.  When he lived.

3.  In what country he resided.

4.  How big his army was.

5.  How come we refer to Cox's Army when we've made way too much food.  

6.  Any other interesting factoid you might have found in your research.  

Thank you.  I mean, REALLY!   I need to know about this man, about this cliché.  Not knowing is like a brain worm for me.  It rattles around in my brain begging me to procrastinate by futzing around on the internet instead of thinking up 100 more possible scenes for my nano-novel.  You'll be doing a great service.  


Father James Renshaw Cox (1886 – 1951) was an American Roman Catholic priest from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA known for his pro-labor activism. He was a candidate for President of the United States in 1932, and also the organizer of an unprecedented protest march on Washington, DC.

Cox was born in 1886 in the Lawrenceville neighborhood of Pittsburgh, growing up in an unparalleled period of industrial expansion. He began as a cab driver and steelworker, working his way through Duquesne University. He next entered Saint Vincent Seminary in Latrobe, Pennsylvania and was ordained in 1911. From 1917 to 1919 he served in World War I as chaplain at Mongoson, France.

After the war he enrolled in the University of Pittsburgh, earning a master of economics degree, and he was appointed pastor in 1923 at Old St. Patrick's Church in the Strip District. During the Great Depression he organized a food-relief program and helped the homeless and unemployed find shelter

Cox's Army
In January 1932 Cox led a march of 25,000 unemployed Pennsylvanians, dubbed "Cox's Army", on Washington, D.C, the largest demonstration to date in the nation's capital. He hoped the action would stir Congress to start a public works program and to increase the inheritance tax tax to 70%.[1] Even Pennsylvania's Republican governor Gifford Pinchot backed Cox's march. Pinchot hoped Cox would back his own hopes to wrest away the Republican nomination for president away from Hoover. Cox had other plans.

Herbert Hoover was sufficiently embarrassed by the march that a full-scale investigation was launched against Cox. The Republican National Committee wanted to know how Cox was able to purchase enough gasoline to get the marchers to Washington, suggesting the Vatican, or Democratic supporters of Al Smith funded the operation. It turned out that Andrew Mellon had quietly ordered his Gulf Oil gas stations to dispense free gas to the marchers. This proved to be the pretext for Hoover to remove Mellon from his post as Secretary of the Treasury.

After the presidential election of 1932 Cox continued his relief work and was a member of the Pennsylvania Commission for the Unemployed. In the mid-thirties Roosevelt appointed him to the state recovery board of the National Recovery Administration. James Cox became known as Pittsburgh's "Pastor of the Poor". Cox was also a mentor to Father Charles Owen Rice, who would inherit his mantle as Pittsburgh's labor priest for the rest of the twentieth century.

Cox died at age 65 in Pittsburgh on March 20, 1951; he is interred in Calvary Cemetery in the city's Hazelwood neighborhood

October 19, 2010 at 8:36 AM  

I found another perspective in a Time Magazine article, but it's too long(more than 4096 chars) to's a link....,9171,742927,00.html

October 19, 2010 at 8:51 AM  

...and another from the Pittsburg Post-Gazette, January 1932. It's a scanned copy of the paper including a picture....,2018128

October 19, 2010 at 8:56 AM  

Hahaha I loved this post and I love the comments as well! I feel like I have learned something today, and that is always a good thing!

October 19, 2010 at 12:11 PM  

I've learned something, too.
I was oblivious to Cox's Army.

Maybe I need to read more.

Thanks for the knowledge.

(I like how you give your blogreaders assignments!)

October 19, 2010 at 1:48 PM  

Steve!!!! Wow!!! I had a feeling of all my readers, YOU would be the one to do the research, but I never expected all of this great info -- PLUS a photo.
You made my day.

Be sure to read sown through the comments -- they're for YOU, my friend!

Again, WOW -- thanks!!!


October 19, 2010 at 2:06 PM  


I know!!! Amazing info. I am guessing that the cliche came from the fact that these 25,000 men were not only in need, but hungry. That's a lot of mouths to feed. Guess I didn't make enough food after all. LOL!

Glad you enjoyed this post as much as I did.


October 19, 2010 at 2:09 PM  


I certainly don't have much time to kill for the next several weeks, so I was hoping someone would take the challenge. BTW, I did NOT expect you to have time. At least not until the wedding is over and everything slows back down. But then I guess there'll E's new baby, and your mom...on and on it goes for the "sandwich generation."

Be good to yourself, Lady!


October 19, 2010 at 2:11 PM  

I think your presumption about the source of the clishe is probably correct, given this excerpt from the Time article....

When the eight-mile-long parade started over the mountains to Harrisburg next morning it was accompanied by a car full of medical supplies donated by the people of Huntingdon. Nobody paid and nobody tried to collect the 10¢ toll at the Clarks Ferry bridge (over the Susquehanna River). From time to time wheezy motors gave out. Once the bread trucks were hours behind time, but somehow they kept on going. Troopers patrolling the march discreetly looked the other way when they saw a 1931 automobile license in the line. Governor Pinchot had ordered the stringent State law relaxed for the occasion.

That was not all the Governor did. When the army got to Harrisburg he made them a speech, told them he sympathized with their demonstration, fed them all, provided shelter for the night. Father Cox's red truck rolled up to the outskirts of Washington in a torrential rain at 10:15 p. m. Pulling his black weeds about him, he picked his way into a drug store, ate a sandwich, drank a glass of milk, telephoned Washington's chief of police that they were there. That night some of his men slept in the District National Guard Armory. The rest bedded down wet and without supper in blankets and gunny sacks in the trucks, which parked at the base of Capitol Hill. Father Cox & staff sought the shelter of the Continental Hotel.

Next morning rolling kitchens rolled out from Ft. Myer. The U. S. Army was host at a breakfast of apples, coffee, doughnuts—all they could eat. And after washing at filling stations and under fire hydrants, the marchers were gently gotten in line by a few policemen. Patrolling up and down the ranks, a loudspeaker on the roof of a car gave the orders: "Attention! Fall in line, men; eight abreast and ready to move. Act like gentlemen!" Waving soiled little U. S. flags, led by Father Cox and one E. R. Franc of Pittsburgh dressed as "Uncle Sam," the quiet procession moved off behind their band.

October 19, 2010 at 7:42 PM  

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