IWW Yearbook: 1918

This is a chronological database of campaigns, strikes, and IWW related events as recorded in the pages of New Solidarity, the weekly IWW newspaper.

Research and database by Arianne Hermida

Solidarity, one of two English language newspapers representing the IWW, had been suspended in 1917 as federal authorities moved against the organization. The General Executive Board then issued Defense News Bulletin in an attempt to meet government postal delivery criteria. With the war ending in late 1918, the IWW closed the Bulletin and launched New Solidarity, later reclaiming the old name Solidarity.

The database below covers only the final two months of 1918 when arrests and trials of Wobblies for sedition or criminal syndicalism continued to dominate the news.

Dates are either the reported date of the incident or the date the article appeared in the newspaper. 

Date Article title Place State Description
11/16/1918 True to His Class Urbana IL IWW member jailed in the raids of the Butler county oil fields died of influenza and pneumonia while incarcerated.
11/16/1918 Construction Workers' Bulletin Sioux City IA All IWW members arrested two weeks prior released.
11/16/1918 Lumber Workers' Bulletin Wallace ID IWW member convicted of criminal syndicalism and sentenced to one year in prison and a $500 fine.
11/16/1918 Lumber Workers' Bulletin Moscow ID IWW member convicted of criminal syndicalism and sentenced to between six months and ten years in prison. His appeal for pardon was denied.
10/25/1918 Lumber Workers' Bulletin Spokane WA IWW members charged with conspiracy pled not guilty.
11/16/1918 Lumber Workers' Bulletin Boise ID 20 IWW members in L.W.I.U. No. 500 held in jail.
11/16/1918 Defense Situation Omaha NE 24 IWW members put on trial in cruel conditions, a number without shoes, socks, or underwear.
11/16/1918 Defense Situation Wichita KS 7 IWW members held in jail in poor conditions.
11/16/1918 Defense Situation Sacramento CA 4 of the 54 IWW members on trial died of influenza.
11/16/1918 Defense Situation Leadville CO 2 IWW members arrested upon entering town.
11/24/1918 None Chicago IL Memorial for Joe Hill scheduled for 11/24.
11/23/1918 Lumber Workers' Bulletin Sault Ste. Marie Ontario L.W.I.U. No. 500 delegate J.J. Wilson convicted of owning literature in Finnish, an enemy language, and being in the IWW. He was sentenced to 3 years in prison.
11/08/1918 Fellow Worker Equi on Trial Portland OR Defended by E. E. Heckbert and George Vanderveer, female IWW member suffering from the Spanish influenza went on trial for violation of the Espionage Act.
11/23/1918 Seattle I.W.W.s Are Released Seattle WA The 50 IWW members held in violation of the Espionage Act released after the United States Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a Seattle grand jury conviction and declared the unconstitutionality of the prosecution.
11/23/1918 None San Francisco CA The Supreme Court dismissed the appeal of Tom Mooney, the IWW member sentenced to death for his role in a bomb plot.
11/23/1918 The Leadville Colorado Cases Leadville CO 4 IWW members arrested. 1 dismissed, 3 charged with "advocating, teaching, and aiming at destruction of property."
11/30/1918 None San Francisco CA Governor Stephens commuted Mooney's death sentence to life in prison.
11/30/1918 Law in Tulsa Tulsa OK M.M.W.I.U. No. 800 delegate jailed for ten months without charge.
11/17/1918 Springfield Mass Meeting Springfield MA Four hundred attended a mass meeting with speeches under the auspices of the local Jewish and Russian branches. 
12/08/1918 None Chicago IL Mass meeting announced for the release of Tom Mooney.
Construction Workers' Industrial Union Omaha NE 20 workers charged in the "Omaha indictments."
12/09/1918 None Omaha NE 3 Wobblies released from jail.
12/09/1918 None Sacramento CA The cases of 3 Wobblies dismissed.
12/14/1918 Omaha Are Released Omaha NE All but 2 of the Wobblies arrested over a year prior released on bonds.
12/14/1918 Sacramento Men Are on Trial Sacramento CA 24 Wobblies on trial for unspecified charges.
12/21/1918 Difference in Court Actions AZ The 25 indicted officials for deporting over 1000 workers from Bisbee in 1917 released without trial.
12/21/1918 Difference in Court Actions Chicago IL 93 IWW members sentenced to, collectively, 807 years in the Leavenworth penitentiary.
12/21/1918 None Seattle WA 5 IWW members released from immigration detention after being held for over a year.
12/21/1918 Partial History of Cases to Date Various Various This article lists hundreds of IWW members arrested. The charges were largely of criminal syndicalism, espionage, or related crimes. The sentences ranged from ten days to ten years.
12/14/1918 Deportation and Tar McMurray WA IWW member tarred and feathered by a mob of twenty vigilantes. Additionally, 10 were deported.
12/20/1918 Newsboys in Seattle Jail Seattle WA Newsboy arrested for selling the Seattle Defense Bulletin, prompting others to begin selling the paper and leading to the arrest of 9 others.
11/21/1918 Keep You in Jail Chicago IL IWW member arrested, released, and rearrested for carrying radical literature. Case investigator told the defendant, "…we will keep you in jail till you get over [foreign ideas]."
12/28/1918 Silent Defense Various CA This article lists numerous raids leading to the arrest of over 20 California Wobblies.
12/28/1918 Other Victims Various KS The article lists 34 IWW members held in Kansas jails at the time of publication.