Civil Rights and Labor History Consortium / University of Washington

Everett Massacre (Bloody Sunday, November 5, 1916)

It was perhaps the deadliest day in the turbulent history of the IWW. At least five Wobblies (and perhaps as many as twelve) died along with two deputies on the afternoon of November 5, 1916 when Sheriff McRea and 200 armed and hastilly deputized men met the steamer Verona at the Everett dock. Vowing to continue a free speech fight in support of striking Everett shingle mill workers, Wobblies had been twice attacked, beaten, and driven out of town. Now they were back in force, 260 aboard the Verona and another 40 following on the Calista, vessels that had been chartered by the Seattle IWW local. No one knows who fired the first shot, but it triggered a raging gun battle that lasted ten minutes and left dozens wounded along with the seven confirmed dead.

Authorities immediately blamed the IWW and 74 Wobblies were charged with conspiracy to murder the deputies. The trial of first defendant, Thomas Tracy, began five months later and was closely followed in newspapers across the country. When the Seattle jury found him not guilty because of the probability that the deputies had been killed by friendly fire, the other defendents were released.

Here are essays, photographs, and documentary collections for exploring the massacre and its aftermath.

Everett Massacre Aftermath:
The Battle to Control the Story

by Matthew Anderson

In the months following the clash at the Everett docks another clash unfolded as many different groups and interests fought to establish what happened and who was to blame. This was a battle to control the "story" and ultimately shape the history of the Everett massacre as it would be understood by later generations. .

Faces of the IWW:
The Men Arrested after the Everett Massacre

Seventy four men were charged with murder following the deadly clash at the Everett docks. They were photographed as they were booked and the Everett Public Library has preserved and digitized these remarkable images, giving us a rare look at a selection of dedicated IWW activists.

Everett Massacre Digital Collection
University of Washington Libraries

110 news articles, pamphlets and photographs that can be viewed online


Everett Public Library Digital Collection
214 digital photographs and documents that can be viewed online