Civil Rights and Labor History Consortium / University of Washington

Chicago Communist Party Actions 1929-1934

by Randi Storch

Randi Storch is Professor of History at SUNY Cortland and author of Red Chicago: American Communism at its Grassroots, 1928-35 (University of Illinois Press, 2007)

This timeline accompanies Mapping Red Chicago: Grassroots Communist Party Activism 1928-1935. It includes more than 300 Communist Party marches, demonstrations, mass meetings, picnics, dances, organizational meetings, and other actions that the Party and auxilliaries like the Unemployed Councils and League for Negro Struggle organized in Chicago. Here we see the extraordinary energy of the Party and the demands it placed on members and supporters. By 1932, hardly a week passed without a demonstration or important meeting.

Pull scroll bar to see full list. Filter by event type. Dates* indicate either the actual event date or a date associated with a source, mostly CP reports or CP newspapers (see below). The table is hosted by Tableau Public and may take a few seconds to respond. If slow, refresh the page. 

Sources: These data come from records I researched at The Russian Center for the Preservation and Study of Documents of Recent History (RTsKhIDNI), which changed its name to The Russian State Archive of Social and Political History (RGASPI). The CPUSA’s collection (fond 515), where most of these materials exist, is now available to researchers on microfilm at the Library of Congress. Data also come from research published in Harold Lasswell and Dorothy Blumenstock’s World Revolutionary Propaganda: A Chicago Study (New York: Alfred Knopf, 1939); and from the Communist Party publication, Labor Unity.

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