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Civil Rights and Labor History Consortium / University of Washington

Labor and Radical Newspapers and Periodicals 1925

by Josue Estrada and James Gregory

In 1925, researchers at the Rand School of Social Science compiled and published The American Labor Press Directory, listing 629 newspapers and periodicals. Mostly weeklies and monthlies, the majority were affiliated with local labor councils or were owned by publishers who proclaimed their commitment to the labor movement. Next in number were national publications owned by AFL international unions like the International Moulders Union. The once massive Socialist press had been decimated in the Red Scare and by 1925 claimed only 31 periodicals, while the IWW had 15, nearly all published out of the Chicago headquarters. The Directory also counted periodicals published by religious groups and other organizations deemed friendly to the cause of labor.

The UCLA based Networked Labor Project has been working with these data to explore personal connections between labor activists in the 1920s and presents more detail than is available here. Here we map the newspapers to show the changing geography of labor and radical organizations. Switch between three visualizations. And compare these 1925 data with our maps of the Socialist, IWW, and Anarchist movements before 1925. The maps are hosted by Tableau Public and may take a few seconds to respond. If slow, refresh the page.

Sources: American Labor Press Directory (New York: Rand School of Social Science, 1925). Pdf copy from Hathi Trust

Data extraction and compilation: Josue Estrada

Maps: James Gregory

Additional Radical and Labor Press maps and charts

Click to see map and photos
Socialist newspapers 1900-1920

This interactive map identifies 380 newspapers linked to the Socialist Party, providing detail about editors, circulation, and about the towns and cities where they were published.

IWW newspapers and periodical 1905-1946

The IWW published newspapers in 19 languages. Many were short-lived with small circulations, while one, The Industrial Worker, continues today. Here are interactive maps and a database of information.


Anarchist newspapers and periodicals

Anarchists published periodicals in 18 different languages, reflecting the immigrant majority and transnational nature of the American movement.These maps and tables locate 274 periodicals affiliated with anarchist groups or ideas from 1872 to 1940. 


Labor newspapers 1925

These maps and charts zero in on regions and subregions, displaying county by county electoral support for socialist candidates for the Northeast, Midwest, Northwest, Southwest, and subregions of the South. They make it possible to follow hotspots of party support from election to election.

Click to see map and charts
Maps of underground and alternative newspapers 1965-1975

Here are seven maps and charts showing the year-by year geography of the underground media system, locating the comings and goings of more than 2,000 weeklies and monthies. Filter by state and by categories, including African American, Chicana/o, antiwar GI, countercultural, radical left, and other descriptives.

Click to see map and photos
Chicano newspapers and periodicals 1966-1979

Here are more than 300 newspapers and newsletters associated with the surge in Chicano activism in the 1960s and 1970s. Some were published by movement organizations, others served local communities.