Browse Site Content

 

Below are descriptions and links to the more than 300 articles, films, slideshows, map and document collections in the Pacific Northwest Labor and Civil rights Projects.

Civil Rights categories:

African American issues
Asian American issues
Jewish issues
Latino issues
Urban Indian issues
Women's issues

 

Labor categories:

Timber Workers
Farm Workers
Cannery Workers
Longshore Workers
Maritime Workers
Shipyard Workers
Aerospace Workers
Construction Workers
Labor Culture, Labor Arts
Labor Newspapers
1919 Seattle General Strike
1934 Longshore Strike
Unemployed and Hoovervilles
Public Works and Workers
Industrial Workers of the World
Communist Party
Socialists/Anarchists
Washington Commonwealth Federation
Black Panther Party
Red Scares and Anti-Labor Action
Ku Klux Klan

 

Other categories:

Anti-war Movements
Harry Bridges
Great Depression in Washington State
Upton Sinclair's End Poverty in California Campaign

 

AFRICAN AMERICAN CIVIL RIGHTS introduction


Film: A "The End of Old Days" by Shaun Scott

This 13 minute video explores a century of African American community building and civil rights activism in Seattle. It was created for the Seattle Civil Rights and Labor History Project by Shaun Scott. It can be viewed online in several formats

Racial Restrictive Covenants: Enforcing Neighborhood Segregation in Seattle by Catherine Silva

Until 1968, racial restrictive covenants prevented certain racial minorities from purchasing homes in specific King County neighborhoods, segregating Seattle and shaping its racial demography. This essay details the history of racial restrictive covenants in different King County neighborhoods, charting both the legal and social enforcement of racial covenants and the struggles to prohibit them.


Coon Chicken Inn: North Seattle's Beacon of Bigotry by Catherine Roth

The Coon Chicken Inn was a popular roadside restaurant in Seattle from 1930-1949. The restaurant's name and logo, which derived from racist caricatures of African Americans, was a galling reminder of segregation and discrimination for black Seattleites. This essay recounts the Coon Chicken Inn's history and documents little-known examples of African Americans organizing against the restaurant.


Tyree Scott and the United Construction Workers Association by Trevor Griffey

Seattle’s politics of fair employment entered a new phase when African American construction workers and activists began to protest racially exclusionary hiring practices in Seattle’s construction unions in the fall of 1969. Led by electrician Tyree Scott, workers used direct action to challenge institutional barriers to African American employment.


Battle at Boeing: African Americans and the Campaign for Jobs, 1939-1942 by Sarah Miner

In 1942, pioneering women Florise Spearman and Dorothy West Williams became the first African Americans ever to be hired at Boeing. Their employment capped a two-year campaign led by the Northwest Enterprise, Seattle's black-owned newspaper, and a coalition of black activists. The Aeronautical Workers union fought the demand for open hiring and it was only when the federal government intervened that the company and the union gave up the white-only employment policy.


CORE and the Fight Against Employer Discrimination in 1960s Seattle by Jamie Brown

The Congress of Racial Equality mounted a concerted campaign to end employment discrimination in Seattle. This essay examines the tactics of the campaign and evaluates methods of the small but very active CORE chapter.


CORE's Drive for Equal Employment in Downtown Seattle, 1964 by Rachel Smith

Culminating two years of campaigns to end discrimination in employment, CORE launched a drive to win jobs for African Americans in Seattle's downtown retail district. This essay details the campaign and its impacts.


The 1964 Open Housing Election: How the Press Influenced the Campaign by Trevor Goodloe

In a crushing defeat for civil rights, Seattle voters overwhelming rejected a 1964 ballot measure that would have made it illegal to discriminate on the basis of race in the sale or rental of housing. This essay examines the surprising role of the city's newspapers in the open housing election.


The Early History of the UW Black Student Union by Marc Robinson

When members of the BSU took over the administration building on May 20, 1968, they began a sequence of activism that transformed the University of Washington and helped rearrange the priorities of higher education in Washington State.


The BSU Takes on BYU and the UW Athletics Program, 1970 by Craig Collisson

Denouncing the racist practices of Brigham Young University and the Mormon Church, the BSU demanded that UW sever its athletic contracts with BYU. When the administration refused, the BSU launched some of the most militant demonstrations of the era.


The Franklin High School Sit-in, March 29, 1968 by Tikia Gilbert

The March 1968 BSU confrontation at Franklin High was a pivotal moment for Seattle Civil Rights movements. It helped solidify the reputation of the BSU and launch the Black Panther Party.


1965 Freedom Patrols and the Origins of Seattle's Police Accountability Movement by Jennifer Taylor

What began as a fight between two white police officers and two unarmed black men in Seattle’s predominantly non-white Central District became political when an officer shot and killed one of the African Americans.  African American community leaders demanded justice and set up "freedom patrols" to monitor the police.


Communist Civil Rights: The Seattle Civil Rights Congress, 1948-1955 by Lucy Burnett

From 1948 to 1955, the Seattle Civil Rights Congress (CRC) provide legal defense and civil rights counsel to numerous Communist Party members and people of color while informing the public about civil rights. During its seven years of activity, the Seattle CRC maintained an active voice of dissent in an era of Red Scare tactics and silence on the subject of civil rights. Their efforts laid the groundwork for future civil rights activism in Seattle.


The Black Panther Party in Seattle 1968-1970 by Kurt Schaefer

This essay explores the first three years of the Seattle chapter of the Black Panther Party from its founding by Black Student Union members in 1968 through the 1970 crisis negotiated by Mayor Wes Uhlman. The essay is presented in three parts.


The Seattle School Boycott of 1966 by Brooke Clark

"What do we want? Integration. When do we want it? Now!" This familiar chant from the civil rights movement reflected the desires of Seattle parents of school age children in 1966. That year, for two days, K-12 students poured out of Seattle’s public schools and attended “freedom schools” to protest racial segregation in the Seattle school system. This essay tells the story of that boycott—from its origins to its effect on Seattle’s students and politicians.


The Christian Friends for Racial Equality, 1942-70 by Johanna Phillips

Started in 1942 by Seattle women of different faiths and races, Christian Friends for Racial Equality (CFRE) pioneered interracial and interreligious cooperation that laid the groundwork for Seattle's more activist movement in the 1960s.to break down social and cultural barriers to interracial cooperation.


Black Longshoremen: The Frank Jenkins Story by Megan Elston  

Frank Jenkins was one of the first non-white members of the ILWU, and advocated for increased civil rights within the labor movement.


Revels Cayton: African American Communist and Labor Activist by Sarah Falconer

On February 19, 1934, a group of Communists decided that discrimination toward African Americans and Filipinos in Seattle must come to an end. Led by a young, African American, Revels Cayton, the group entered a Seattle City Council meeting demanding laws that would make discrimination based on race illegal. This essay examines the activism of Revels Cayton, son of the prominent middle class black leaders Horace and Susie Cayton, brother of the influential sociologist Horace Cayton, Jr.


Electrical Workers Minority Caucus: A History by Nicole Grant

Since 1986 the Electrical Workers Minority Caucus has carved out a space for workers of color and female workers in IBEW Local 46, the union representing electrical workers in the Pacific Northwest. This essay explores the history of race, gender, and struggle before EWMC and examines the organization's role in Local 46 today.


Race and Civil Rights in the Washington State Communist Party: the 1930s and 1940s by Shelley Pinckney

The Communist Party of Washington State struggled diligently to fulfill Lenin’s pledge, working to improve conditions for people of color in the Pacific Northwest. The CP was one of the first left groups to take up the issue of racism and oppression. During the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s, the CP made important strides in the areas of union desegregation, public education about racial injustices, and legal support for civil rights activities.


Organized Labor and Seattle's African American Community: 1916-1920 by Jon Wright

The General Strike of 1919 demonstrated the power of organized labor in Seattle. For black workers this was not beneficial. Seattle unions were often racist and excluded Blacks from their ranks. At other times they voiced support for Blacks, but in actuality they did little to erase the color bar in unions.


  Black Power and Education in the Afro American Journal 1968-1969 by Doug Blair

Founded in 1967, the Afro American Journal was a consistent voice for Black Power and community control. No issue was more important to the newspaper than education.


Berry Lawson's Death and African American Civil Rights in 1930s Seattle, by Taylor Easley

The police murder of a Seattle African American man during the Depression led to a successful civil rights lawsuit in the Supreme Court.


  Seattle's Negro Repertory Company by Sarah Guthu

The all-African American company in Seattle during the Depression produced three plays: Stevedore, about a longshore strike; an all-black production of Lysistrata, which was closed down for its "scandalous" scenes; and a production written by the Negro Unit based on the life of poet Paul Laurence Dunbar.


 

ASIAN-AMERICAN CIVIL RIGHTS introduction


Film: A "The Family Affair" by Shaun Scott

This 19 minute video explores a century of Asian American community building and civil rights activism in Seattle. It was created for the Seattle Civil Rights and Labor History Project by Shaun Scott.

  Seattle's Asian American Movement

A special section covering many Asian-American struggles in Seattle including the Oriental Student Union and the perseveration of the International District.


  Filipino Cannery Unionism Across Three Generations 1930s-1980s

A special section on cannery workers.


  Jimmie Sakamoto and the Fight for Japanese American Citizenship by Andy Marzano

Editor of the Japanese American Courier and founder of the Japanese American Citizens League (JACL), Jimmie Sakamoto began making an impact when he testified before a Congressional committee at age 17. This report details his life and assesses his role in the fight to achieve full citizenship.


  Filipino Americans and the Making of Dr. Jose P. Rizal Bridge and Park by Andrew Hedden

In 1974, Seattle's 12th Avenue South Bridge was renamed and rededicated in the name of Dr. Jose P. Rizal, the martyred Filipino patriot and novelist. This report tells the story of how the bridge and nearby park came to be named for Rizal, and explores their meaning to several generations of Seattle's Filipino American community.


  White Supremacy and the Alien Land Laws of Washington State by Nicole Grant

In 1966, voters repealed the several Alien Land Laws that had made it illegal for Chinese, Japanese, and for a time Filipino immigrants to own land in Washington State. This essay examines first the campaigns to restrict land rights and then efforts to repeal Alien Land Laws in the 1950s ad 1960s.


  "Pride and Shame" The Museum Exhibit that Helped Launch the Japanese American Redress Movement by Allison Shephard

In 1970, the Seattle Chapter of the Japanese American Citizens League changed course on a museum exhibit that was supposed to merely celebrate their community, and instead decided to also revisit the painful history of internment. The exhibit, "Pride and Shame", ended up traveling around the country, and has been credited with helping launch the internment redress movement.


  After Internment: Seattle's Debate Over Japanese Americans' Right to Return Home by Jennifer Speidel

On December 17th, 1944 U.S. Major General Henry C. Pratt announced that the federal government would officially end the exclusion order that prevented Japanese and Japanese-Americans from returning to the West Coast. The announcement set off a fiery debate over "resettlement," with some Seattle residents supporting the right of return, while others, including many public officials, tried to stop it.


Cannery Worker's and Farm Laborer's Union 1933-1939: Their Strength in Unity by Crystal Fresco

Seattle was home to the most important Filipino-American-led labor union, the Cannery Worker's and Farm Laborer's Union. Organized in 1933, the union represented "Alaskeros," the men who shipped out each spring to work in the Salmon canneries of Alaska. This essay narrates the dramatic early years of CWFLU. The union was still in its infancy when two of the founders, President Virgil Duyungan and secretary Aurelio Simonn, were murdered.


The Local 7/Local 37 Story: Filipino American Cannery Unionism in Seattle 1940-1959 by Micah Ellison

Historians have concentrated on the early years of the Cannery Workers Union and on the two sets of assassinations that plagued the Filipino-American-led union, the murder of Duyungan and Simon in 1936 and the second dual assassination of union leaders Silme Domingo and Gene Viernes in 1981. This essay explores the critical middle period as the union negotiated the 1940s and 1950s, dealing with deportation threats, internal turmoil, but also consolidating and becoming a critical resource for Filipino-American communities on the West Coast.


  The Murders of Virgil Duyungan and Aurelio Simon and the Filipino Cannery Workers' Union, by Nicole Dade

In 1936, two leaders of the Filipino Cannery Workers' and Farm Labor Union were shot to death, weakening the union but also providing the fragmented Filipino community with a cause to unite behind.


  Filipino Resistance to Anti-Miscegenation Laws in Washington State, by Corinne Strandjord

Two anti-miscegenation bills proposed during the 1930s were successfully blocked by protest and political activism among the Northwest's communities of color, including Filipino Americans.


Philippine-American Chronicle by Rache Stotts-Johnson

The Chronicle was the paper of the Filipino-led cannery workers' union, as well as a source of progressive news for the Filipino and labor communities in Seattle.


Victorio Velasco, Pioneer Filipino American Journalist, by Erik Luthy

Velasco was the central figure in Filipino American journalism in the Northwest. This paper traces his political evolution toward progressive politics and his time as an Alaskero.


The Filipino Forum: The Founding Years 1928-1930 by Mark Mabanag 

Early issues of the newspaper dealt with topics ranging from nationalism, the Philippines’ struggle for independence from American rule, the prejudices experienced by Filipinos in the United States as well as in their homeland, to labor unionism.


Emerging Opportunities in Dark Times: Japanese Americans in the Northwest, 1933-1934, by Yukio Maeda

During the Depression, many Japanese Americans in the Northwest began to embrace both Japanese and American cultures, nurtured cross-cultural social life, carved out economic sectors for themselves, and created political organizations with active participation in local cities and towns.


The Washington Commonwealth Federation and the Japanese Boycott, 1937-1938, by Chris Kwon

The labor/radical reform coalition, the Washington Commonwealth Federation, organized an "anti-fascist" boycott against Japanese goods as part of an effort to oppose Japanese imperial expansion into China. However, this stance bled into anti-Japanese sentiment that would culminate in the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II.


Be Good Americans: The Message of The Japanese-American Courier, by Roxana Johnson

The second generation of Japanese immigrants, the Japanese American Nisei, used civic organizations and Seattle's ethnic newspapers to create a fully American identity for themselves in response to anti-Asian sentiment.


 

JEWISH CIVIL RIGHTS


DeFunis v. Odegaard: Another Kind of "Jewish Problem" by Sharae Wheeler

In 1971, Marco Defunis, a Sephardic Jew and native of Seattle, Washington, brought suit against the UW Law School, claiming reverse discrimination. The case reached the Supreme Court which used it to set limits on affirmative action. The DeFunis case was very complicated for the Jewish community, as this award-winning essay explains.


Combating Anti-Semitism at the Laurelhurst Beach Club by Anne Levine

The Seattle chapter of Anti-Defamation League of the B'nai B'rith was founded in 1913. In the 1950s it won a signal victory against the Laurelhurst Beach Club that systematically denied membership to Jewish residents of the Laurelhurst neighborhood. This essay tells the story of the twenty-year-long campaign..


Mark M. Litchman: A Courageous Lawyer in a Time of Civil Unrest and Depression, by Kiyomi Nunez

Litchman was one of Washington's most ardent legal defenders of labor radicals and civil rights advocates. Throughout his long career he defended IWWs and other radicals while fighting for Socialism and civil rights.


Responding to Anti-Semitism in the Jewish Transcript: Seattle's Jews during America's Great Depression, by Stephanie Fajardo

Seattle's Jewish community sought out several strategies for responding to Anti-Semitism during the Great Depression through their newspaper.


The Jewish Transcript 1924-1926 by Rachael Blanchard

Calling itself "the Voice of Jewish Washington," The Jewish Transcript has served the Jewish community for more than eighty years. This essay explores the very early history of the weekly newspaper.


The Jewish Voice of the Pacific Coast: 1915-1916 by Kate E. Marshall

Published between 1915 and 1919, the weekly Jewish Voice of the Pacific Coast projected the image of a prosperous and secure Jewish community, and one deeply engaged with events beyond the Northwest


 

LATINO CIVIL RIGHTS introduction


A History of Farm Labor Organizing 1890-2009 by Oscar Rosales Castaneda, Maria Quintana, James Gregory

Long before the United Farm Workers Union (UFW) began organizing in the 1960s, farm workers had been contesting the unique challenges of working in the fields. This report--in ten brief chapters--examines the long history of farm workers in Washington State, focusing on their and political activism.


The Chicano Movement in Washington State 1967-2006 by Oscar Rosales Castaneda

This two-part essay traces the history of Chicano political and cultural activism in Washington State. The movement emerged in two locales: in the Yakima Valley and Seattle. Reflecting the split geography, the movement linked together campaigns to organize and support farmworkers with projects that served urban communities and educational agendas.


La Raza Comes to Campus: The new Chicano contingent and the grape boycott at the University of Washington, 1968-69 by Jeremy Simer

Chicano students at the UW mobilized for the first time  in the fall of 1968.  They formed the United Mexican American Students (UMAS), which soon led a campaign to boycott of California table grapes in support of the United Farm Workers which had been on strike since 1965. The successful boycott made turned a small group of Chicano students into a force to be reckoned with.

  Depression-Era Civil Rights on Trial: The 1933 Battle of Congdon Orchards in the Yakima Valley," by Mike DiBernardo

The Industrial Workers of the World had led the organization of farmworkers in Washington's Yakima Valley. On August 24, 1933, strikers faced 250 farmers, organized as a militia to put down the incipient union organizing among fieldworkers.


Timeline: Movimiento from 1960-1985

An extensive timeline of important events.


Photo Collections

A wide range of photos from the early days of the Movement to the present day.


Newspaper coverage 1968-79

Hundreds of digitized articles on the grape boycott and the formation of El Centro de la Raza, among other topics.


 

URBAN INDIAN CIVIL RIGHTS introduction


Bernie Whitebear and the Urban Indian Fight for Land and Justice by Joseph Madsen

The inspirational leader of the 1970 Fort Lawton takeover and the campaign to build Daybreak Star Indian Cultural Center, Bernie Whitebear dedicated his life to urban indian activism. Born on the Colville Reservation, he joined fish-in protests in the 1950s, worked to develop Indian social services in the 1960s, then led the United Indians of All Tribes in their historic fight to reclaim Native land in Seattle.


The Fish-in Protests at Frank's Landing by Gabriel Chrisman

The fish-ins of the 1960s were to Native Americans what sit-ins were to the Black civil rights movement. Native activists defied state authorities, suffering arrest and jail time in order to reclaim fishing rights guaranteed in the treaties of the 1850s. In 1974, the federal courts finally recognized their rights. This prize-winning essay examines the historic campaign.


By Right of Discovery: United Indians of All Tribes Retakes Fort Lawton, 1970 by Lossom Allen

In the early morning hours of March 8, 1970, members of the United Indians of All Tribes jumped the barbed wire fences of Fort Lawton and reclaimed the soon-to-be-decommissioned military base as land that belonged to Native peoples. Thus began an 18 month long struggle that resulted in the establishment of Daybreak Star Cultural Center, one of the first urban Indian cultural centers in the United States.


United Indians of All Tribes Meets the Press: News Coverage of the 1970 Occupation of Fort Lawton by Karen Smith

The invasion of Fort Lawton set off a frenzy of media coverage. Intrigued by the militant action, the major newspapers mixed condescension with mild sympathy while reinscribing old stereotypes. Smaller newspapers took stronger positions. American Indian publications were also divided. This essay analyzes the press coverage, finding fascinating differences of perspective, while arguing that the volume of press coverage was an important breakthrough for Native politics.


American Indian Women's Service League: Raising the Cause of Urban Indians, 1958-71 by Karen Smith

Founded in 1958 by Pearl Warren and seven other Native women, The American Indian Women's Service League proved a pivotal institution for Seattle's growing urban Indian population. In 1960, the group opened the Indian Cultural Center which provided social and health services, taught Native cultural awareness, and laid the foundation for the political activism of young urban Indians in the late 1960s and 1970s.


Indian Civil Rights Hearings: U.S. Civil Rights Commission Comes to Seattle, 1977 by Laurie Johnstonbaugh

In October 1977, the U.S. Civil Rights Commission began two days of hearings in Seattle. The hearings were in response to mounting tension between local government and business interests and Native American communities over the issue of tribal sovereignty. This article explores the backlash campaign that followed the 1974 Boldt fishing rights decision and the Civil Rights Commission's effort to sort out the controversy.


The Real American -- "A National Newspaper for Indians and their Friends" 1922-1924 by Erin Plummer

Published in Hoquiam and distributed throughout Washington and beyond, The Real American was a well-written and lively weekly that mixed local tribal news with coverage of national issues important to Indians. Editor Hugh Howell and a staff of young Northwest Indians preached pan-Indianism while also serving up large spreads about beauty contests and other entertainment.


Quileute Independent and Quileute Chieftain, 1908-1910 by Heather McKimmie

The Quileute Independent began publication in 1908 in La Push, Washington. Its editor, W.H. Hudson was a member of the Quileute tribe who had attended Chemawa Indian School, near Salem, Oregon. The next year the newspaper changed its name to the Quileute Chieftain with Hudson continuing as editor. Six issues of the combined newspaper are available on microfilm at the University of Washington Library


 

WOMEN AND CIVIL RIGHTS introduction


Women in Seattle's Civil Rights Movement

A powerpoint slide show introduces the history of women in Seattle's Civil Rights Movement.


When Abortion was Illegal (and Deadly): Seattle's Maternal Death Toll by James Gregory

Abortion was illegal in Washington until 1970, permitted only when the life of the mother was endangered. But countless women found ways to terminate pregnancies and some died doing so. We have found thirteen reported fatalities between 1945 and 1969 by no means a complete count. Here are details on each tragedy including the criminal prosecutions that followed.


Washington's 1970 Abortion Reform Victory: The Referendum 20 Campaign by Angie Weiss

One of the first states to liberalize abortion law, Washington was the only one to do so by means of a ballot measure. In 1970, Washington voters approved Referendum 20, three years before the Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision. This report analyzes the unique campaign that brought the ballot measure to voters and the bi-partisan pattern of support that secured victory at the polls.


The Christian Friends for Racial Equality, 1942-70 by Johanna Phillips

Started in 1942 by Seattle women of different faiths and races, Christian Friends for Racial Equality (CFRE) pioneered interracial and interreligious cooperation that laid the groundwork for Seattle's more activist movement in the 1960s.to break down social and cultural barriers to interracial cooperation.


American Indian Women's Service League: Raising the Cause of Urban Indians, 1958-71 by Karen Smith

Founded in 1958 by Pearl Warren and seven other Native women, The American Indian Women's Service League proved a pivotal institution for Seattle's growing urban Indian population. In 1960, the group opened the Indian Cultural Center which provided social and health services, taught Native cultural awareness, and laid the foundation for the political activism of young urban Indians in the late 1960s and 1970s.


Challenging Sexism at City Light: The Electrical Trades Trainee Program by Nicole Grant

On June 24, 1974 ten women began their first day of work at Seattle City Light, the city’s public utility. The women represented the first stab at gender integration of the all-male, unionized, Seattle City Light electricians. They would become the first female linemen, sub-station constructors, cable splicers, the first unionized female utility electricians in Seattle and the first in the nation.


Electrical Workers Minority Caucus: A History by Nicole Grant

Since 1986 the Electrical Workers Minority Caucus has carved out a space for workers of color and female workers in IBEW Local 46, the union representing electrical workers in the Pacific Northwest. This essay explores the history of race, gender, and struggle before EWMC and examines the organization's role in Local 46 today.


Battle at Boeing: African Americans and the Campaign for Jobs, 1939-1942 by Sarah Miner

In 1942, pioneering women Florise Spearman and Dorothy West Williams became the first African Americans ever to be hired at Boeing. Their employment capped a two-year campaign led by the Northwest Enterprise, Seattle's black-owned newspaper, and a coalition of black activists. The Aeronautical Workers union fought the demand for open hiring and it was only when the federal government intervened that the company and the union gave up the white-only employment policy.


Working Women at UW

Depression-era labor policies did not allow married women to hold jobs, favoring a husband's work. Prof. Lea Miller at the UW was fired, and sparked a national protest over the policy.

Part 1:Lea Miller's Protest: Married Women's Jobs at the University of Washington, by Claire Palay
Part 2: Married Women's Right to Work: "Anti-Nepotism" Policies at the University of Washington during the Depression, by Katharine Edwards
Where Women Worked During World War I by Tae H. Kim

Women had worked in textile industries and other industries as far back as 1880, but had been kept out of heavy industries and other positions involving any real responsibility. Just before the war, women began to break away from the traditional roles they had played. As men left their jobs to serve their country in war overseas, women replaced their jobs.


Laundry Workers Struggle for Recognition 1916-17 by Kimberley Reimer

Women who worked in the laundries in Seattle during the World War I period worked long, hard hours and were forced to work faster to receive less pay for their work. As laundry owners increased prices, they refused to pay more and fired women who joined unions or sought out representation. Nevertheless, women organized into unions and when their frustrations rose to a crescendo it culminated in a very successful strike.


Women and the Seattle Labor Movement by Lynne Nguyen

Examines the relationship of women to unions and the struggles of working women in the years surrounding WWI and the 1919 Seattle General Strike.


 

TIMBER WORKERS: introduction


Timber Strike of 1935 by Steven Beda

An introduction and detailed timeline of the strike.


News Coverage: Timber Strike of 1935 by Steven Beda

More than 400 digitized news articles about the strike from Washington State newspapes.


The Timber Workers' Strike of 1935: Anti-Labor Bias in The Seattle Star by Kristin Ebeling

As the timber workers' 1935 strike became more and more controversial, The Seattle Star became less supportive in their coverage of the issue, leading workers' to develop their own newspaper.


Timber Worker (1936-1942) by Gerardine Carroll and Michael Moe

Born in the midst of the 1935 timber strike, the Timber Worker was the union newspaper of the International Woodworkers of America, based in Aberdeen, WA.


International Woodworker (1942-1987) by Bryan Schnase

The International Woodworker succeeded The Timber Worker as the official publication of International Woodworkers of America. The paper lasted for 45 years, providing union news, current events, editorials, safety reports, and accident reports (a major issue in the logging and timber industry).


Harold Pritchett: Communism and the International Woodworkers of America, by Timothy Kilgren

Pritchett, a Communist, became president of the combative timber union on the West Coast, but was eventually denied re-entry to the US because of his red politics.


International Shingle Weavers of America 1901-1921 by Phil Emerson

For two decades, between 1901 and 1921, the International Shingle Weavers’ Union was one of the largest, most powerful unions in the Pacific Northwest.


The International Union of Timberworkers 1911-1923 by Chris Canterbury

Although the Timberworkers faced the same difficulties in organizing that beset all unions just after the turn of the century, as well as those particular to the timber industry, they also contended with unique factors that not only curtailed their efficacy as a union but causes their dissolution as well.


Loyal Legion of Loggers and Lumbermen by Erik Mickelson

The Loyal Legion of Loggers and Lumbermen (Four L) grew to become the world’s largest company union soon after Brice P. Disque of the United States Army created it in 1917. However, the historical context surrounding World War I set up the preconditions favorable to the formation of this unique union.


Anti-Labor Reactions and Labor Espionage

A guide to digitized documents in the Labor Archives of Washington State related to the Loyal Legion of Loggers and Lumbermen.


 

FARM WORKERS: introduction


A History of Farm Labor Organizing, 1890-2009 by Oscar Rosales-Castañeda, Maria Quintana, and James Gregory

Long before the United Farm Workers Union (UFW) began organizing in the 1960s, farm workers had been contesting the unique challenges of working in the fields. This report--in ten brief chapters--examines the long history of farm workers in Washington State, focusing on their labor and political activism.


Video Oral Histories

Veterans of the UFW campaign and activists who grew up in farm worker families discuss their experiences


  Farm Worker Organizing in Washington State

Explore a timeline of farm worker struggles in Washington from 1870 to 2006.


Photographs

More than 100 photographs of UFW-related demonstrations, meetings, and celebrations from the 1960s through the 1990s, along with 31 images of important murals.


News coverage 1933-2002: Farm workers, Strikes, Boycotts

More than 500 digitized articles from three eras of farm labor activism: 1933 during the Yakima hop strike; 1968-1975 during the grape boycott and initial campaign to build the UFW; and 1995-2002 following the Chateau St. Michelle campaign.


Depression-Era Civil Rights on Trial: The 1933 Battle of Congdon Orchards in the Yakima Valley by Mike DiBernardo

The Industrial Workers of the World had led the organization of farm workers in Washington's Yakima Valley. On August 24, 1933, strikers faced 250 farmers, organized as a militia to put down the incipient union organizing among fieldworkers.


Dorothea Lange essay series

Photographer Dorothea Lange visited Washington's Yakima Valley in 1939 to chronicle rural farm life and migrant families during the Depression.

Part 1: Dorothea Lange's Social Vision: Photography and the Great Depression, by Emily Yoshiwara
Part 2: Dorothea Lange in the Yakima Valley: Rural Poverty and Photography, by Stephanie Whitney


 

CANNERY WORKERS: introduction


Cannery Workers' and Farm Laborers' Union 1933-39: Their Strength in Unity by Crystal Fresco

In 1933 the first Filipino-led union ever organized in the United States was formed, the Cannery Workers’ and Farm Labors’ Union Local 18257. Based in Seattle, it was organized by "Alaskeros" who worked in the Alaska salmon canneries each summer and in the harvest fields of Washington, Oregon, and California in the other seasons.  The union was in its shaky beginnings when two of its founders were murdered. Yet, although its leaders were dead, the union would not die.


The Murders of Virgil Duyungan and Aurelio Simon and the Filipino Cannery Workers' Union by Nicole Dade

n 1936, two leaders of the Filipino Cannery Workers' and Farm Labor Union were shot to death, weakening the union but also providing the fragmented Filipino community with a cause to unite behind.


The Local 7/ Local 37 Story: Filipino American Cannery Unionism in Seattle 1940-1959 by Micah Ellison

This essay uses union records to explore the critical middle period in the history of Seattle’s Cannery and Farm Labor Union, affiliated in the early 1940s as Local 7 UCAPAWA and after 1950 as Local 37 ILWU.


Oral Histories

Activists from Seattle's Filipino American civil rights and labor movements discussed their experiences in videotaped oral histories.


Photographs and Documents

Collections of photographs, documents, and newspapers that show the history of cannery workers and their unions.


1952 Local 37 Yearbook

Carlos Bulosan, the renowned Filipino-American author, became publicity director of Local 37 in 1952, editing the 52-page Yearbook, now a collector's item that can be read in its entirety in this pdf.


Ernesto Mangaoang Radio Interview during the 1950 Alaska Cannery Strike

On May 11, 1950, Local 7 business agent Ernesto Magaoang appeared on Reports from Labor, a biweekly labor radio show that aired in the Seattle area. Includes audio recording of the interview.


Philippine-American Chronicle by Rache Stotts-Johnson

The Chronicle was the paper of the Filipino-led cannery workers' union, as well as a source of progressive news for the Filipino and labor communities in Seattle.


Victorio Velasco, Pioneer Filipino American Journalist by Erik Luthy

Velasco was the central figure in Filipino American journalism in the Northwest. This paper traces his political evolution toward progressive politics and his time as an Alaskero.


 

LONGSHORE WORKERS: introduction


Films and slideshows

An important collection of videos, including a 20 minute film about the 1934 Longshore Strike with rare original footage of events in Seattle and Tacoma. Also watch several videos of Harry Bridges's newsreels and speeches.


Oral Histories and Video Memories

Watch brief videos of Nikki Bridges, Martin Jugum, Judge Jack Tanner, Jean Gundlach, and others.


  Timeline: Puget Sound Waterfront History 1894-2002

An overview of significant events in the history of longshore and warehouse workers in Puget Sound, primarily Tacoma and Seattle.


Ronald E. Magden Archive and books

Digitized copies of two of Magden's books on Seattle and Tacoma longshore history along with an oral history and dozens of rare photographs


Special Section: 1934 -- The Great Strike

A special section of the Waterfront Workers History Project, with photographs, films, research reports, and documents from the strike.


  Black Longshoremen: The Frank Jenkins Story, by Megan Elston

Frank Jenkins was one of the first non-white members of the ILWU, and advocated for increased civil rights within the labor movement.


The 1971 ILWU Strike: 130 Days to Victory by Ashley Lindsey

The story of the longest strike ever conducted by the ILWU.


The Waterfront Worker 1932-1936

Digitized copies of newspaper published by rank and file longshoremen in the years surrounding the 1934 strike.


The Pacific Coast Longshoremen

The Longshoremen began one year after the 1934 longshore strike, as the official newspaper of the International Longshoremen's Association.


Stevedore by Sara Guthu

This play about a longshoremen's strike brought white and black actors together onstage to portray the tenuous racial solidarities produced by labor struggle, and brought the fledgling Negro Repertory Company national recognition.

 

MARITIME WORKERS:introduction


Maritime workers photo collections

Photos of sailors and mates, marine engineers, marine cooks and stewards, and fishing boat crews.


Marine Cooks and Stewards

An introduction to this important union that pioneered interracial unionism.


Sailor's Union of the Pacific

Introduction to the evolution of the SUP since its founding in the 1880s.


Marine Engineers

Introduction to the Marine Engineers Beneficial Association (MEBA).


Desegregating a Maritime Union: the Marine Cooks and Stewards by George Robertson

The story of the transformation of the Marine Cooks and Stewards from an exclusive body to a bastion of racial progressivism on the West Coast.


Revels Cayton: African American Communist and Labor Activist by Sarah Falconer

A leader of the Marine Cooks and Stewards union, Revels Cayton was the most prominent African American communist, labor leader, and activist in the Northwest during the 1930s and 1940s.


Jerry Tyler and Labor Radio: An Activist Life by Leo Baunach

Maritime worker, labor activist, and radio personality, Jerry Tyler was the radio voice of organized labor in Seattle and the Pacific Northwest.


Seattle's CIO Radio: Reports from Labor by Leo Baunach

Reports from Labor was a fifteen-minute, biweekly labor radio show that aired in Seattle between July 1948 and October 1950, making it a rare pro-labor voice during difficult times for working people and progressive politics. Includes audio recordings.


 

SHIPYARD WORKERS: introduction


The Ship Scalers Union and Seattle’s Racial Progressivism in the 20th Century by Adam Farley

The Ship Scalers Union helped pioneer civil rights unionism in the Northwest. By the end of World War II half the members were African Americans and the union had become a force for progressive racial politicals and leftwing activism.


Seattle's Shipyards on the Eve of the 1919 General Strike by Patterson Webb

A strike by 30,000 shipyard workers set up the General Strike of 1919. This essay examines labor issues in the shipyards in the year before the strike. It includes a database of 142 digitized newspaper articles about shipyard workers from Seattle newspapers in 1918.


 

CONSTRUCTION WORKERS


United Construction Workers Association History by Trevor Griffey

This essay recounts the formation of the United Construction Workers Association by Tyree Scott and the struggle to open historically all-white unions to minority workers.


No Separate Peace

Between 1975 and 1978, the UCWA published the newspaper No Separate Peace.  Here are readable reproductions of each issue of the newspaper.


UCWA Video Interviews

The UCWA  History Project, a worker led group organized by Northwest Labor and Employment Law Office (NW LELO), conducted oral history sessions with former UCWA members on December 29 and December 30, 2003.


Electrical Workers Minority Caucus: A History by Nicole Grant

Since 1986 the Electrical Workers Minority Caucus has carved out a space for workers of color and female workers in IBEW Local 46, the union representing electrical workers in the Pacific Northwest. This essay explores the history of race, gender, and struggle before EWMC and examines the organization's role in Local 46 today.


 

AEROSPACE WORKERS


Battle at Boeing: African Americans and the Campaign for Jobs, 1939-1942 by Sarah Miner

In 1942, pioneering women Florise Spearman and Dorothy West Williams became the first African Americans ever to be hired at Boeing. Their employment capped a two-year campaign led by the Northwest Enterprise, Seattle's black-owned newspaper, and a coalition of black activists. The Aeronautical Workers union fought the demand for open hiring and it was only when the federal government intervened that the company and the union gave up the white-only employment policy.


Aero Mechanic (1939-1943) by Julian Laserna

The Aero Mechanic was published by Local 751 of the International Association of Machinists.  During World War II The Boeing Company became the Northwest's largest employer and Boeing workers joined what was to become one of the mainstays of the region's labor movement, IAM Local 751, International Association of Machinists Local 751 began publishing the paper in 1939.


 

LABOR CULTURE, LABOR ARTS


Jerry Tyler and Labor Radio: An Activist Life by Leo Baunach

Maritime worker, labor activist, and radio personality, Jerry Tyler was the radio voice of organized labor in Seattle and the Pacific Northwest.


Seattle's CIO Radio: Reports from Labor by Leo Baunach

Reports from Labor was a fifteen-minute, biweekly labor radio show that aired in Seattle between July 1948 and October 1950, making it a rare pro-labor voice during difficult times for working people and progressive politics. Includes audio recordings.


Ronald Ginther Watercolors

Ginther produced more than 80 paintings. They are a unique resource, depicting the rough life of Hoovervilles and homeless men, of jails and soup kitchens, unemployed demonstrations and police attacks, strikes and radical protests.


The Jameses and the Playhouse by Sarah Guthu

Florence and Burton James played a crucial role in establishing the contemporary theatre scene in Seattle, as well as influencing the social and artistic productions of the regional branch of the Federal Theatre Project in the 1930s. Despite—or perhaps because of—their strong influence in Seattle’s alternative and progressive arts community, the Jameses were targeted in 1948 by the anti-communist Canwell Committee hearings and forced to give up their Playhouse and theater.


The Power of Art and the Fear of Labor: Seattle's Production of Waiting for Lefty in 1936 by Selena Voelker

Waiting For Left is a play written by Clifford Odets about a 1934 taxi union strike. The public debate over Lefty shows how socially conscious theatre was seen as a powerful force in shaping American public opinion, or perhaps in illustrating tensions already present. Nowhere is the power of 1930s theatre shown more clearly than in the circumstances surrounding the Seattle production of Odets’ play.


Federal Theatre Project in Washington State by Sarah Guthu

The FTP in Washington was one of the most vibrant in the country, including the Negro Repertory Unit, Living Newspaper theatre journalism, a Children's Unit, and hosted traveling productions to New Deal public works programs around the state.


Richard Correll and the Woodcut Graphics of the Voice of Action by Brian Grijalva

Digitized images and information on the bold images created by Correll for the newspaper Voice of Action in the 1930s.


  Dorothea Lange essay series:

Social Documentary photography Dorothea Lange visited Washington's Yakima Valley in 1939 to chronicle rural farm life and migrant families during the Depression.

• Part 1: Dorothea Lange's Social Vision: Photography and the Great Depression, by Emily Yoshiwara
• Part 2: Dorothea Lange in the Yakima Valley: Rural Poverty and Photography, by Stephanie Whitney

  Dorothea Lange's Yakima Valley Photograph Gallery
Seattle's Negro Repertory Company by Sara Guthu

The all-African American company in Seattle during the Depression produced three plays: Stevedore, about a longshore strike; an all-black production of Lysistrata, which was closed down for its "scandalous" scenes; and a production written by the Negro Unit based on the life of poet Paul Laurence Dunbar.


Power (1937)

This Living Newspaper production, dramatizing New Deal debates between private and publicly-owned utilities, resonated with Seattle residents who were debating between the private Puget Power Company and the public Seattle City Light.


  One-Third of a Nation (1938)

The Washington Federal Theatre Project's longest-running production, a Living Newspaper, advocated for government-sponsored housing.



 

LABOR NEWSPAPERS: introduction


The Labor and Radical Press 1820-the Present by Karla Kelling Sclater

This essay surveys 180 years of labor journalism and discusses key books and articles about labor journalism.


Newspaper Coverage of Washington State’s 1911 Workmen’s Compensation Act by Ryan Deibert

Press coverage of the development and implementation of Washington State’s 1911 Workmen’s Compensation Act varied significantly based on the fundamental political and economic interests of the newspaper publishers and their intended audiences.


News coverage 1933-2002: Farm workers, Strikes, Boycotts

More than 500 digitized articles from three eras of farm labor activism: 1933 during the Yakima hop strike; 1968-1975 during the grape boycott and initial campaign to build the UFW; and 1995-2002 following the Chateau St. Michelle campaign.


Seattle Union Record
A daily newspaper with a circulation that sometimes reached 80,000, the Union Record was the voice of labor from 1900-1928.
Perceptions of Race in the Seattle Union Record by Chad Seabury

An examination of racialized rhetoric in the main organ of the Seattle union movement in the years surrounding the 1919 General Strike.


The Scanner (1975-1981) by Victoria Troisi

Representing nearly all of the AFL-CIO union locals in Seattle, the King County Labor Council has published various newspapers throughout the past century, starting with the Union Record. In 1968, KCLC began publishing, the Scanner, a monthly that lasted until 1981.


Industrial Worker (1909-1930) by Victoria Thorpe & Christopher Perry

The Industrial Worker was the principal newspaper of the IWW, the Industrial Workers of the World. Published initially in Spokane, the Industrial Worker moved to Seattle in 1916.


The IWW, the Newspapers, and the 1913 Seattle Potlatch Riot by James Larrabee

By the late afternoon of July 19, 1913 the Seattle headquarters of the Industrial Workers of the World lay in ruin. Along with two Socialist Party offices and a Socialist newsstand, it had been looted and its contents dumped into the street and burned by a mob of locals and visiting sailors.


Portland Labor Press (1905-1915) by Kristin Peasley

The Northwest Labor Press of Portland is the oldest continuously published labor newspaper in the region. Since 1900, the Portland Central labor Council and Oregon State Federation of labor have made sure that the Labor Press remains a strong and active voice for unionism. We report on the early years of the newspaper when it was called he Portland Labor Press.


Guild Daily (August-November 1936) by Ericka Marquez

The Guild Daily was the paper of the American Newspaper Guild.  In the 1930s the guild organized journalists across the country.  But the strike that solidified that union took place at the Seattle Post-Intelligencer in 1936. Striking journalists not only brought the Hearst corporation to its knees, they published a daily newspaper of their own that kept the city informed of local, national, and strike news .


Timber Worker (1936-1942) by Gerardine Carroll and Michael Moe

International Woodworker (1942-1987) by Bryan Schnase

The Timber Worker and The International Woodworker were the official publications of the International Woodworkers of America.  The IWA was formed in 1937 when unionized workers in the timber industries broke with the AFL and joined the CIO.The papers provide invaluable information on the union and its causes: the struggle to establish legitimacy in early jurisdictional disputes, the union's campaign to improve safety conditions in the woods, and internal debates over communism.


The Pacific Coast Longshoreman (1935-1936) by Kristen Ebeling

The Pacific Coast Longshoreman was the newspaper of the Pacific Coast District of the International Longshoremen's Association.  The paper was founded a year after the 1934 strike and published weekly until 1936 when the Pacific Coast longshoremen left the ILA and formed the ILWU. 


Aero Mechanic (1939-1943) by Julian Laserna

The Aero Mechanic was published by Local 751 of the International Association of Machinists.  During World War II The Boeing Company became the Northwest's largest employer and Boeing workers joined what was to become one of the mainstays of the region's labor movement, IAM Local 751, International Association of Machinists Local 751 began publishing the paper in 1939.


   
Washington Teamster (1940-1943) by Carol Daniels

The Washington Teamster was the publication of Washington State's International Brotherhood of Teamsters.  The union has long been a powerhouse in Seattle. From his base in Seattle's Joint Council 28, Dave Beck organized delivery drivers and long-haul drivers up and down the coast.


The Washington State Teacher (1945-1951) by Trevor Sargent

The Washington State Teacher was the official organ of the Washington State Federation of Teachers (WSFT), which was allied with the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) and the American Federation of Labor (AFL). As a result, the paper had a two-fold objective: to strive for the the betterment of public education and to advance the organized labor movement.


Philippine-American Chronicle by Rache Stotts-Johnson

The Chronicle was the paper of the Filipino-led cannery workers' union, as well as a source of progressive news for the Filipino and labor communities in Seattle.


APWU News (1972-1991) by Jacqueline Hailey

Postal workers in Seattle had maintained a union since before World War I and a newspaper since 1947. In 1971 they became part of the American Postal Workers Union and the newspaper changed its name to the APWU News.


Third Rail (1992-present) by Steve Bergquist

Seattle Fire Fighters Local 27 (International Association of Fire Fighters) was formed in 1918.  The Third Rail is its monthly newspaper.


Bellingham Labor News by Jordan Van Vleet

Established in 1939, The Bellingham Labor News was the official publication of the Bellingham Central Labor Council.  It was published weekly until 1968 when it merged with other Northwest labor newspapers to become the Northwest Washington Labor News.


 

1919 SEATTLE GENERAL STRIKE


  Seattle General Strike Slideshow

Provides a brief historical introduction to the strike and highlights several features of the Seattle General Strike Project

 

  Film: Witness to Revolution: The Story of Anna Louis Strong

An excerpt from a film on radical Anna Louis Strong, containing the only known footage of the strike.

 

  General Strike Map

An interactive map of important locations in the strike, with accompanying historical photographs.

 

  Seattle's Newspapers Report on the Strike

A collection of over 180 articles published during the strike.

 

The Politics of Gender in the Writings of Anna Louise Strong by Rebecca B. Jackson

The various literary styles that Anna Louise utilized during her years employed at the Seattle Union Record exemplify both her unique perspective on the politics of class and gender and her rather paradoxical role in the Seattle labor movement during the era of the General Strike of 1919.


The Industrial Workers of the World in the Seattle General Strike by Colin M. Anderson

The insistence of conservatives that the IWW was behind the strike, together with the organization’s place in the labor movement at the time, has created a mystery as to just how much of a role the "Wobblies" played in the Seattle General Strike.


The University of Washington, Henry Suzzallo, and the General Strike by Patrick Farrell

While the city lay dormant, the mayor, city officials, union leaders worked day and night to find solution to the strike. They were joined by UW President Henry Suzzallo who tried to mobilize the campus against the strike and against radical labor.


The Mooney Congress and the 1919 Seattle General Strike by Stan Quast

Sentenced to death in 1917 for a July 1916 San Francisco parade bombing he was ultimately cleared of, Thomas J. Mooney in his San Quentin death row cell became the focus of an intense, desperate struggle by trade unionists and political leftists nationwide to thwart the California execution.


Seattle's Shipyards on the Eve of the 1919 General Strike by Patterson Webb

A strike by 30,000 shipyard workers set up the General Strike of 1919. This essay examines labor issues in the shipyards in the year before the strike. It includes a database of 142 digitized newspaper articles about shipyard workers from Seattle newspapers in 1918.


The Songbird and the Martyr: Katie Phar, Joe Hill, and the Songs of the IWW by Senteara Orwig

The story of IWW "songbird" Katie Phar, a 10-year-old Spokane girl, and her correspondence with Wobbly martyr and songwriter, Joe Hill, brings to life the powerful synthesis of music and organizing that the IWW employed in the years before World War I when the radical organization was becoming influential in the Pacific Northwest.

African-Americans and the Seattle Labor Movement by Jon Wright

The General Strike of 1919 demonstrated the power of organized labor in Seattle. For black workers this was not beneficial. Seattle unions were often racist and excluded Blacks from their ranks. At other times they voiced support for Blacks, but in actuality they did little to erase the color bar in unions.


Manufacturing a Menace: Labor Espionage in Seattle, 1919-1920 by Shaun Cuffin

Edward W. Graham worked at Skinner & Eddy Shipyards, where he was a card-carrying member of Boilermakers Local #104 and Shipbuilders Industrial Union Local #325 of the Industrial Workers of the World. He was also a spy who sent daily reports to the leadership of Associated Industries, an employer group that led the campaign to defeat organized labor in the wake of the General Strike. This report uncovers the spies, explores their methods, and assesses their impact.


Reds, Labor, and the Great War: Antiwar Activism in the Pacific Northwest by Rutger Ceballos

A vocal and militant anti-war movement emerged in Seattle following the outbreak of war in Europe in 1914. Based largely in the labor and radical communities, it continued even after the US declared war in 1917 and Congress passed punitive sedition laws. This paper explains the politics of prowar and antiwar activism in Seattle and details the government crackdown on dissent, including the prosecutions that sent Hulet Wells, Louise Olivereau, Sam Sadler, and others to prison.


International Shingle Weavers of Americaby Phil Emerson

For two decades, between 1901 and 1921, the International Shingle Weavers’ Union was one of the largest, most powerful unions in the Pacific Northwest. It set the standard for the other unions of the day or yet to come.


Women and the Seattle Labor Movement by Lynne Nguyen

Examines the relationship of women to unions and the struggles of working women in the years surrounding WWI and the 1919 Seattle General Strike.


How the National Press Reported the General Strike by Sheila M. Shown

Several newspapers were in support of labor making certain advances. However, the Seattle General Strike was viewed to be something more. Labor was aiming to shut an entire city down and maybe even more. Some newspapers began to publish paranoia articles and to imply that the unions were pushing for a ‘Bolshevik Revolution’. These newspapers played on people’s fear of losing their democracy even though that wasn’t really the case.


Mayor Ole Hanson: Fifteen Minutes of Fame by Trevor Williams

Ole Hanson was Mayor of Seattle in 1919 when the Seattle Central Labor Council led local unions on a general strike that shut down the city for three days. When Hanson denounced the strike and threatened martial law, he earned national headlines. Because newspapers and he himself exaggerated his importance in ending the strike, Ole Hanson became briefly a national celebrity.


Spying on Labor: The Seattle Minute Men by Susan Newsome

The combination of an increased fear of a possible German invasion and a strong patriotic duty among Americans led to the creation of volunteer organizations in which citizens could show their dedication to the United States by spying on their friends, neighbors and co-workers and reporting any un-American conduct.

 


Loyal Legion of Loggers and Lumbermen by Erik Mickelson

After the 1917 IWW timber strikes, employers aided by the federal government organized the Loyal Legion of Loggers and Lumbermen. The 4Ls kept independent unions out of the lumber camps until the 1930s.


The International Union of Timberworkers 1911-1923 by Chris Canterbury

The Northwest lumber industry in the early part of the 20th century was, at its best, rugged, at its worst, brutal. The isolation and transient lifestyle of timber workers made most of them unable to vote. With few ties so society and an insecure economic future, these men had little to lose. This disposed many towards unions or other forms of protest although they were rarely successful.


The Seattle Telegraphers Lockout of 1918 by David Radford

On Monday April 29 1918, a local branch of the Commercial Telegraphers Union held a small meeting in Seattle, unaware of the storm of controversy and political wrangling that would follow for the next four months and the shockwaves that would bring labor in Seattle ever closer together.


The IWW, the Newspapers, and the 1913 Seattle Potlatch Riot by James Larrabee

By the late afternoon of July 19, 1913 the Seattle headquarters of the Industrial Workers of the World lay in ruin. Along with two Socialist Party offices and a Socialist newsstand, it had been looted and its contents dumped into the street and burned by a mob of locals and visiting sailors.


Where Women Worked During World War I by Tae H. Kim

Women had worked in textile industries and other industries as far back as 1880, but had been kept out of heavy industries and other positions involving any real responsibility. Just before the war, women began to break away from the traditional roles they had played. As men left their jobs to serve their country in war overseas, women replaced their jobs.


Newspaper Coverage of Washington State’s 1911 Workmen’s Compensation Act by Ryan Deibert

Press coverage of the development and implementation of Washington State’s 1911 Workmen’s Compensation Act varied significantly from newspaper to newspaper.  Particularly among Seattle newspapers, amount and slant of coverage and editorial opinion seemed to reflect the fundamental political and economic interests of the newspaper publishers and their intended audiences.


Laundry Workers Struggle for Recognition 1916-17 by Kimberley Reimer

Women who worked in the laundries in Seattle during the World War I period worked long, hard hours and were forced to work faster to receive less pay for their work. As laundry owners increased prices, they refused to pay more and fired women who joined unions or sought out representation. Nevertheless, women organized into unions and when their frustrations rose to a crescendo it culminated in a very successful strike.


Perceptions of Race in the Seattle Union Record by Chad Seabury

The construction of race in the United States has been a long process of redefining and reaffirming the ideas of whiteness and citizenship. This racialized form of thinking was by no means a forgone conclusion from the creation of our country, but was a thought process that was created and perpetuated over hundreds of years, continuing through today. The process of organizing labor was certainly not immune to racialized forms of thinking.


 

1934 LONGSHORE STRIKE: introduction


Labor’s Great War on the Seattle Waterfront: A History of the 1934 Longshore Strike by Rod Palmquist

An illustrated three-part essay on the 83 day strike that paralyzed West Coast shipping and drew support from a wide range of waterfront and non-waterfront workers.

War on the Docks: Puget Sound's Longshoremen in the 1934 Strike

This slideshow tells the story of the 1934 in the Puget Sound ports using rare photographs and original newsreel footage.


The 1934 West Coast Longshore Strike

This movie, written and narrated by Ron Magden, commemorates the struggle of longshoremen in 1934 and remembers those killed in the course of the strike. Highlights include archival footage from 1934.


The Seattle Press and the 1934 Waterfront Strike by Rachelle Byarlay

An analysis of three Seattle newspapers shows the shifts in news coverage for and against the strike.


News Coverage of the 1934 Strike

More than 600 digitzed newspaper articles about the strike that appeared in Seattle newspapers between May and August 1934

 

The Waterfront Worker 1932-1936

Digitized copies of newspaper published by rank and file longshoremen in the years surrounding the 1934 strike.


Labor Events Yearbook

Explore a day-by-day database of articles from state labor newspaper from 1930 to 1939.


The 1971 ILWU Strike: 130 Days to Victory by Ashley Lindsey

The story of the longest strike ever conducted by the ILWU.


News Coverage of the 1971 Longshore Strike

More than 160 digitized newspaper articles about the strike.


 

UNEMPLOYED AND HOOVERVILLES: introduction


  On to Olympia! The Hunger Marches of 1932-1933, by Ali Kamenz

During the early 1930's, the poor and unemployed participated in a series of marches on the capitol in Olympia to demand food, work and housing. Once there, they encountered indifference, hostility, and violence from elected officials, local law enforcement and vigilantes.

  The Unemployed Councils of the Communist Party in Washington State, 1930-1935 by Marc Horan-Spatz

Following the stock market crash of 1929, the Communist Party began to organize unemployed workers into Unemployed Councils. . In Washington State, the Councils were in direct competition with the Socialist-led Unemployed Citizens League, which led to tensions between the two organizations.

Organizing the Unemployed: The Early 1930s, by Gordon Black

As elsewhere in the country, Washington State's Communist Party helped to organize the unemployed into active political and social formations. In Washington, the Unemployed Citizen's League and its newspaper, The Vanguard, gained the state Communists a broad appeal, and integrated the unemployed into the state's radical reform coalitions.

Self-Help Activists: The Seattle Branches of the Unemployed Citizens League by Summer Kelly

In the summer of 1931 a group of Seattle residents organized to establish self-help enterprises and demand that government officials create jobs and increase relief assistance to unemployed.


  Interactive map of the Seattle Branches of the Unemployed Citizens League

This interactive map shows the Seattle locations of the the Unemployed Citizens League which established self-help commissaries and demanded jobs and relief services for the unemployed.


Vanguard and Unemployed Citizen by Erick Eigner

The socialist-linked Seattle Labor College launched a newspaper in 1930 which helped galvanize one of the most effective unemployed movements in the country. By late 1931 the Unemployed Citizens League had tens of thousands of members organized in "self help" production and barter clubs.


Seattle’s “Hooverville”: The Failure of Effective Unemployment Relief in the Early 1930s by Magic Demirel

"Hoovervilles," shanty towns of unemployed men, sprung up all over the nation, named after President Hoover's insufficient relief during the crisis. Seattle's developed into a self-sufficient and organized town-within-a-town.


A Tarpaper Carthage: Interpreting Hooverville, by Joey Smith

Seattle's Hooverville and its residents were portrayed as violent, exotic, and separate from the rest of Seattle, obscuring the social accomplishments and self-organization of shantytown residents.


The Story of Seattle's Hooverville

A rare memoir of life in Hooverville written by the man who was widely acknowledged as the unofficial mayor of Seattle's famous shacktown


  "Nobody Paid any Attention": The Economic Marginalization of Seattle's Hooverville, by Dustin Neighly

Seattle's decision to raze Hooverville in 1941 and expel its residents relied on a discourse of "otherness" that set Hooverville economically, socially, and geographically apart.


 

PUBLIC WORKS AND WORKERS: introduction


The Town the New Deal Built: Mason City, Grand Coulee Dam, and Visions of New Deal America by Allison Lamb

Mason City, WA was built by federal New Deal funds and private contractors to house the workers and families who were building the Grand Coulee Dam, and was consciously promoted as an example of the social vision, technological capacity, and high standard of living that New Deal America aspired to.


Grand Coulee Dam: Leaving a Legacy, by Christian McClung

Funding from the Works Progress Administration allowed the completion of the Grand Coulee Dam in central Washington, one of the most dramatic ways the New Deal rebuilt Washington's infrastructure.


Maps of New Deal Public Works projects

Interactive maps of public works in Washington State


  Map of Major WPA Projects in Washington State

An interactive map of major New Deal construction projects in Washington State during the 1930s.


  Map of Civilian Conservation Corps Camps

An interactive map of Civilian Conservation Corps camps in Washington from 1930-1939.


Labor the New Deal

A guide to digitized photographs and comments in the Labor Archives of Washington State relating to public works in Washington


 

THE INDUSTRIAL WORKERS OF THE WORLD


The IWW in the Pacific Northwest

A guide to digitized resources on the IWW in the Labor Archives of Washington State, including charters and photos and documents from massacres in Everett and Centralia. The I.W.W. was devoted to the principle that all workers should be united in a single organization in order to place maximum pressure on their employers. While the I.W.W. was successful in recruiting in many places throughout the country, its influence was most widespread in the Pacific Northwest.


The Industrial Workers of the World in the Seattle General Strike by Colin M. Anderson

The insistence of conservatives that the IWW was behind the strike, together with the organization’s place in the labor movement at the time, has created a mystery as to just how much of a role the "Wobblies" played in the Seattle General Strike.


The Songbird and the Martyr: Katie Phar, Joe Hill and the Songs of the IWW by Senteara Olwig

The story of IWW "songbird" Katie Phar, a 10-year-old Spokane girl, and her correspondence with Wobbly martyr and songwriter, Joe Hill, brings to life the powerful synthesis of music and organizing that the IWW employed in the years before World War I when the radical organization was becoming influential in the Pacific Northwest.


Industrial Worker(1909-1930) by Victoria Thorpe & Christopher Perry

The Industrial Worker was the principal newspaper of the IWW, the Industrial Workers of the World. Published initially in Spokane, the Industrial Worker moved to Seattle in 1916.


The IWW, the Newspapers, and the 1913 Seattle Potlatch Riot by James Larrabee

By the late afternoon of July 19, 1913 the Seattle headquarters of the Industrial Workers of the World lay in ruin. Along with two Socialist Party offices and a Socialist newsstand, it had been looted and its contents dumped into the street and burned by a mob of locals and visiting sailors.

Mark M. Litchman: A Courageous Lawyer in a Time of Civil Unrest and Depression by Kiyomi Nunez

Litchman was one of Washington's most ardent legal defenders of labor radicals and civil rights advocates. Throughout his long career he defended IWW members and other radicals while fighting for socialism and civil rights.


The IWW in the Fields, 1905-1925 by Oscar Rosales Castañeda

Long before the United Farm Workers, the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) organized locally and nationally through their farm labor arm: the Agricultural Workers Organization (AWO). See also Castaneda’s account of the Battle of Congdon Orchards, a flashpoint in the IWW farm worker struggle against farm bosses.


  Depression-Era Civil Rights on Trial: The 1933 Battle of Congdon Orchards in the Yakima Valley," by Mike DiBernardo

The Industrial Workers of the World had led the organization of farmworkers in Washington's Yakima Valley. On August 24, 1933, strikers faced 250 farmers, organized as a militia to put down the incipient union organizing among fieldworkers.


 

COMMUNIST PARTY: introduction


Communism in Washington State Slideshow

An introductory slideshow of communist history in Washington including photographs and links.


History 1919-2002

A detailed narrative of the history of the Communist Party in Washington State from 1919 to 2002. It is organized in eight chapters, each richly illustrated with photos and important documents.


Film: Witness to Revolution

A brief biography of Anna Louis Strong, Seattle’s most famous communist, and a preview of the biographical film Witness to Revolution.


Toward a History of Washington State Communism by James Gregory

An overview of the history of the Communist movement in Washington State, this essay introduces the nine chapter narrative history of Communism in Washington State.


Rough Beginnings: The 1920s by Daeha Ko

Founded in 1919, the Party faced severe repression and locked itself in sectarian battles with other left and labor groups during its first decade.


  Organizing the Unemployed: The Early 1930s, by Gordon Black

As elsewhere in the country, Washington State's Communist Party helped to organize the unemployed into active political and social formations. In Washington, the Unemployed Citizen's League and its newspaper, The Vanguard, gained the state Communists a broad appeal, and integrated the unemployed into the state's radical reform coalitions.


  Organizing Unions: The '30s and '40s, by Brian Grijalva

This paper traces the Washington Communist Party's attempts--and successes--in organizing unions during the 1930s and 1940s.


  The Washington Commonwealth Federation and Washington Pension Union, by Jennifer Phipps

Washington's Communist Party was central to two broader political formations that reshaped state politics, reform, and social services.


  Blocking Racial Intermarriage Laws in 1935 and 1937: Seattle's First Civil Rights Coalition, by Stefanie Johnson

Two anti-miscegenation bills proposed during the 1930s were blocked by an activist coalition of African Americans, Filipino Americans, and progressives.


  Race and Civil Rights in the Washington State Communist Party in the 1930s and 1940s, by Shelley Pinckney

This paper traces the civil rights campaigns of the Washington State Communist Party during the Depression years.


War and Red Scare: 1940-1960 by Stephanie Curwick

From the Hitler-Stalin pact to the Soviet-U.S alliance of World War II to the Cold War Red Scare, shifting international alliances meant dramatic changes for those who supported Communism. The Red Scare devastated the Party and affiliated movements. Some members went to jail, some underground.


  A Partial Revival: The 1960s by Paul Landis

Fighting the laws and rules that kept Communists and former Communists from various jobs and that limited free speech on campuses and elsewhere, the Party made a modest comeback in the 1960s, participating in the antiwar movement and civil rights campaigns.


  Closing the Century: 1970-2002 by Marian Spath

Still a presencetoday, the Washington State Communist Party is maintained by a small and aging cadre of dedicated members who are often equally active in labor and social justice causes.


Communist Civil Rights: The Seattle Civil Rights Congress, 1948-1955 by Lucy Burnett

From 1948 to 1955, the Seattle Civil Rights Congress (CRC) provide legal defense and civil rights counsel to numerous Communist Party members and people of color while informing the public about civil rights. During its seven years of activity, the Seattle CRC maintained an active voice of dissent in an era of Red Scare tactics and silence on the subject of civil rights. Their efforts laid the groundwork for future civil rights activism in Seattle.


The Seattle Seven: The Smith Act Trials in Seattle (1952-1958) by Jesse DeLauder

In an attempt to destroy the leadership of the Communist Party, the Justice Department initiated a wave of prosecutions under the Smith Act which made it a crime to advocate the overthrow of the US government. In 1952 seven suspected leaders of the Washington Communist Party were charged and after a six month long trial most were convicted and sentenced to long prison terms. This report details the trial and constitutional issues.


The Pacific Northwest Labor School: Educating Seattle's Labor Left by Lucy Burnett

Founded in 1946, the Labor School bought together left-wing union leaders, rank and file members, University of Washington academics, and community and religious organizers to promote labor and develop the intellectual skills of working people. But as the Cold War took shape, the school became a lightning rod for anti-Communist charge and attacks from the political right. Although it folded in 1949, the school made an important impact on the labor culture of the region.


Harold Pritchett: Communism and the International Woodworkers of America,, by Timothy Kilgren

Harold Pritchett helped organize the International Woodworkers of America in the mid 1930s and became its first President. But his Communist Party affiliation made him a target and in 1940, US immigration authorities deported him and he was forced to resign the Presidency.


Communism, Anti-Communism, and Faculty Unionization: The American Federation of Teachers' Union at the University of Washington, 1935-1948 by Andrew Knudsen

The founding of an AFT-affiliated faculty union at the University of Washington allowed faculty job security and redress during the economic crisis. Yet the radical and sometimes Communist politics of its members made the union susceptible to federal anti-Communist repression by the 1940s.


Building the People's Republic in Washington State: The Washington Commonwealth Federation, Comintern Foreign Policy, and the Second World War, by Skyler Cuthill

The changes in Soviet foreign policy heavily influenced the foreign policy of the Washington Commonwealth Federation, leading to successes and losses in state politics and public influence.


“Fascism and Its Ally, Racism”: The Complexities of the Washington Commonwealth Federation's Stance on Civil Rights by Catherine Roth

The civil rights policies of the Washington Commonwealth Federation, a labor/left political coalition, mirrored the zigzags of the international Communist Party's politics, swerving from defending them to silence around Japanese American internment in World War II.


A Worker's Republic Against Fascism: The Voice of Action's Idealized Pictures of Soviet Russia in the 1930s Elizabeth Poole

The Voice of Action portrayed Soviet Russia as a model for an antifascist workers' republic.


The Voice of Action: A Paper for Workers and the Disenfranchised by Seth Goodkind

The Voice of Action was a radical labor newspaper published in Seattle between 1933 and 1936. This paper traces its never-official links to the politics of the Communist Party and its commitments to workers and the unemployed.


  Voice of Action, newspaper report by Christine B. Davies

The Voice of Action was a newspaper for Seattle's radical and labor movements, published between 1933 and 1936.


Richard Correll and the Woodcut Graphics of the Voice of Action by Brian Grijalva

Digitized images and information on the bold images created by Correll for the newspaper Voice of Action in the 1930s.


 

SOCIALISTS/ ANARCHISTS


The Squabbling Socialists of Washington State: A Guide to Factions and Newspaper 1900-1917 by Gary Siebel

An introductory essay to the State’s many socialist grouping in the early 20 th century.


Socialist: The Workingmans Paper (1900-1910) by Gordon Black

For ten years, this weekly newspaper was the strongest voice for socialism in the Pacific Northwest. Edited by Hermon Titus, The Socialist was acerbic, witty, and often sectarian.


Socialist Voice (1911-1912) by Jordan Shay

The Socialist Voice was the second in a sequence of Socialist Party newspapers published in Seattle.


Herald/Socialist Herald (1915-1916) by Kaira Veckaktins

The Socialist Herald/The Herald is in the middle of a string of Socialist newspapers based in Seattle in the first two decades of the 20 th century. It followed the Socialist Voice and preceded the Socialist World . In early 1916 the paper turned away from the Socialist Party and affiliated with the Nonpartisan League of Washington.


Commonwealth (1911-1914) by Frederick Bird

The Commonwealth was a socialist weekly newspaper published in Everett, Washington between January 1911 and April 1914. Subtitled the "Official Paper of the Socialist Party of Washington," the Commonwealth served as a promotional and educational medium for the party, reporting locally and statewide on internal Socialist Party events and issues.


Washington Socialist (1914-1915) by Frederick Bird

The Washington Socialist was the second of four consecutive Socialist weekly newspapers published in Everett, Washington between January 1911 and June 1918.


Northwest Worker (1915-1917) by Frederick Bird

Local news coverage in the Northwest Worker’s 27-month run focused on the unsuccessful reelection campaign of a Socialist city commissioner, on the paper’s never-ending financial struggles, and on the escalating labor turmoil in Everett, leading up to and following the infamous “Everett Massacre” of November 5, 1916.


Co-operative News (1917-1918) by Frederick Bird

The Co-operative News served as a promotional and educational instrument for the Socialist Party, reporting on national, state and local Socialist Party events and issues. In a shift of emphasis reflected by the publication’s new name, the paper featured extensive coverage of the growing cooperative movement.


Party Builder (1916-1919) by Scott Livingston

An internal newsletter for the Socialist Party of Washington State. Contains listings of monthly dues, financial statements for the state party, and minutes from the state party’s executive committee meetings.


Truth/ Socialist Worker (1913-1914) by Stephanie Curwick

Socialist papers of the Tacoma, Washington area, "TRUTH" & "The Socialist Worker" were lively left-wing papers that called for the "revolution and emancipation of labor from its brutal slavery." These militant socialist papers were critical in exposing problems that capitalism had reaped upon labor.


Discontent: Mother of Progress (1898-1902) by Amanda Rankin

Discontent: Mother of Progress was the second in a sequence of publications edited by members of the anarchist colony at Home, Washington, near Tacoma.


The Agitator (1910-1912) by Heather Gorgura

The Agitator was published by members of the anarchist colony of Home, in the state of Washington. Editor Jay Fox made the bimonthly tabloid into a lively journal advocating a blend of libertarian ideas and revolutionary industrial unionism.


People's Advocate (1892-1900) by Jayne Muir

The People's Party briefly dominated Washington state politics, electing a governor and many other public officials in 1896. The populist movement was strong both in the cities and in rural areas and laid the ground work for long-lasting radical tendencies among farmers as well as workers. Of the many Pacific Northwest newspapers that carried the Populist message only a few survive. We have a report on the influential Chehalis, WA, newspaper.


 

WASHINGTON COMMONWEALTH FEDERATION


Voice of Action by Christine B. Davies

The Voice of Action was a newspaper for Seattle's radical and labor movements, published between 1933 and 1936 .


  The Washington Commonwealth Federation and the Washington Pension Union, by Jennifer Phipps

Washington's Communist Party was central to two broader political formations that reshaped state politics, reform, and social services.


  Building the People's Republic in Washington State: The Washington Commonwealth Federation, Comintern Foreign Policy, and the Second World War, by Skyler Cuthill

The changes in Soviet foreign policy heavily influenced the foreign policy of the Washington Commonwealth Federation, leading to successes and losses in state politics and public influence.


  “To Vote Democratic, Vote Commonwealth”: The Washington Commonwealth Federation's 1936 Electoral Victory, by Drew May

The left/labor political coalition launched a 1936 electoral campaign to challenge the right wing, anti-New Deal Democrats in Washington State, as well as advocate radical propoerty redistribution and social insurance policies.


  Blocking Racial Intermarriage Laws in 1935 and 1937: Seattle's First Civil Rights Coalition, by Stefanie Johnson

Two anti-miscegenation bills proposed during the 1930s were blocked by an activist coalition of African Americans, Filipino Americans, and progressives.


  The Washington Commonwealth Federation and the Japanese Boycott, 1937-1938, by Chris Kwon

The labor/radical reform coalition, the Washington Commonwealth Federation, organized an "anti-fascist" boycott against Japanese goods as part of an effort to oppose Japanese imperial expansion into China. However, this stance bled into anti-Japanese sentiment that would culminate in the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II.


  The Spanish Civil War and the Pacific Northwest, by Joe McArdle

Nearly seventy men volunteered to fight with the Abraham Lincoln Brigades during the Spanish Civil War of 1936-1937. on the side of the democratically elected Spanish government against Franco's fascists. This paper surveys the political attitudes and backgrounds of those volunteers, with an emphasis on University of Washington students who enlisted.


  Washington Commonwealth Builder/Washington Commonwealth, newspaper report by Jessica Dunahoo

Read a history of the newspaper of the Washington Commonwealth Federation, a left-labor-communist political coalition that reshaped state politics during the Depression.


  Washington New Dealer, newspaper report by Jonathan Stecker

The New Dealer was the final paper, from 1938-1942, of the radical-labor political coalition, the Washington commonwealth Federation.


  Communism, Anti-Communism, and Faculty Unionization: The American Federation of Teachers' Union at the University of Washington, 1935-1948, by Andrew Knudsen

The founding of an AFT-affiliated faculty union at the University of Washington allowed faculty job security and redress during the economic crisis. Yet the radical and sometimes Communist politics of its members made the union susceptible to federal anti-Communist repression by the 1940s.


  A Worker's Republic Against Fascism: The Voice of Action's Idealized Pictures of Soviet Russia in the 1930s, by Elizabeth Poole

The Voice of Action portrayed Soviet Russia as a model for an antifascist workers' republic.


The Voice of Action: A Paper for Workers and the Disenfranchised by Seth Goodkind

The Voice of Action was a radical labor newspaper published in Seattle between 1933 and 1936. This paper traces its never-official links to the politics of the Communist Party and its commitments to workers and the unemployed.


A Worker's Republic Against Fascism: The Voice of Action's Idealized Pictures of Soviet Russia in the 1930s Elizabeth Poole

The Voice of Action portrayed Soviet Russia as a model for an antifascist workers' republic.


Richard Correll and the Woodcut Graphics of the Voice of Action by Brian Grijalva

Digitized images and information on the bold images created by Correll for the newspaper Voice of Action in the 1930s.


 

SEATTLE BLACK PANTHER PARTY: introduction


Black Panthers Tell Their Stories Slideshow by Brian Grijalva

This slideshow introduce the special section on the Seattle BPP and includes video interviews and photos.


Video Oral Histories

In videotaped oral history segments, former Panthers talk about their reasons for joining the Party and their experiences in the organization. Former mayor Wes Uhlman tells of FBI plans to raid Panther headquarters and his reasons for intervening to prevent bloodshed.


News Coverage

A database of articles on the Seattle BPP, many of which are digitized.


1970 Congressional Investigation

In 1970, Congress launched a full scale investigation of the Black Panther Party. Much of the attention focused on the national leadership and the Oakland headquarters, but several other chapters were also investigated, including Seattle. On May 12, the House Committee on Internal Security began hearings in Washington D.C. focused on the Seattle chapter. Includes documents, photos and the text of the testimony.


Publications

Seattle BPP pamphlets.


Black Power and Education in the Afro American Journal 1968-1969 by Doug Blair

The Afro American Journal was published in Seattle from November 1967 to December 1972, and during that time was the most militant weekly newspaper to serve the black community. Supporting the principles of black power, the paper gave space to the Black Panther Party, the Nation of Islam, and other activist groups.


 

RED SCARES AND ANTI-LABOR ACTION


Spying on Labor: The Seattle Minute Men by Susan Newsome

The combination of an increased fear of a possible German invasion and a strong patriotic duty among Americans led to the creation of volunteer organizations around 1917 in which citizens could show their dedication to the United States by spying on their friends, neighbors and co-workers and reporting any un-American conduct.


The Birth of Anticommunist National Rhetoric: The Fish Committee Hearings in 1930s Seattle by Crystal Hoffer

The Fish Committee hearings in 1930s Seattle were a preface to the anti-communist trials of the late 1940s and 1950s.


1948 Canwell UnAmerican Activities Hearings

A guide to the many resources available on the 1948 hearing targeting alleged communists in Washington State


All Powers Necessary and Convenient: The 1988 Performances of Mark Jenkins’ Play

Fifty years after the notorious Canwell Committee hearings, Seattle once again watched Albert Canwell hunt communists at the University of Washington, this time as part of a remarkable play written by Mark Jenkins.


Red Scare Campaigns

Washington State has a long history of anti-communist campaigns, beginning in the 1920s when state officials and local police took steps to suppress the young communist movement. Here are official transcripts of three different sets of government investigations, including the 1930 US Congress Hearings on Washington, the Canwell Hearings and a series of HUAC Hearings in Seattle in the 1950s.


  Communism, Anti-Communism, and Faculty Unionization: The American Federation of Teachers' Union at the University of Washington, 1935-1948 by Andrew Knudsen

The founding of an AFT-affiliated faculty union at the University of Washington allowed faculty job security and redress during the economic crisis. Yet the radical and sometimes Communist politics of its members made the union susceptible to federal anti-Communist repression by the 1940s.


Anti-Labor Reactions and Labor Espionage

A guide to digitized resources from the Labor Archives of Washington State, including documents from Seattle employers who attempted to infiltrate the labor movement.


 

ANTI-WAR MOVEMENTS


Short Histories: Special Sections:

Research Reports Photos and Documents

 

HARRY BRIDGES


Harry Bridges: Life and Legacy

This special section hosts links and resources about rank and file leader and ILWU president Harry Bridges.


Videos of Harry Bridges

Two historic videos: a 1950 newsreel about his arrest and threatened deportation and his memorable 1986 speech at Local 23’s 100th anniversary celebration.


Nikki Bridges video

Writer, activist, wife of Harry Bridges, Noriko Sawada Bridges (Nikki) grew up in California, spent three years in a concentration camp during World War II, and was active in labor and civil rights before meeting Bridges in 1958. Here she remembers her experiences in the labor, civil rights, and economic justice movements.


Harry Bridges and the Tradition of Dissent Among Waterfront Workers

On January 29, 1994 the Harry Bridges Center for Labor Studies brought together ILWU veterans, Pacific Northwestern activists, and academics to honor and remember the legacy of Harry Bridges and the tradition of dissent he inspired on the waterfront.


Harry Bridges Photo Archive

A collection of 46 photographs, articles, and documents featuring Harry Bridges.