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Vol. 78/No. 43      December 1, 2014

25, 50, and 75 Years Ago

December 1, 1989

On November 19, the very same day the Pathfinder mural was unveiled, the New York Post editors launched a scurrilous attack against the artistic landmark headlined, “Off the wall — and that’s where it belongs.”

For the last two years more than 50 artists from across the United States and some 20 other countries volunteered their labor to complete the mural on the side of the six-story Pathfinder Building on the Lower West Side of Manhattan.

The artwork pictures portraits of figures whose speeches and writings are published by Pathfinder Press including Nelson Mandela of South Africa, Ernesto Che Guevara and Fidel Castro of Cuba, Malcolm X, Maurice Bishop of Grenada, Augusto César Sandino and Carlos Fonseca of Nicaragua, and Karl Marx, V.I. Lenin and Rosa Luxemburg.

November 30, 1964

The campaign of racist terror in Mississippi suffered a highly significant set-back in the town of Laurel, a town in the south-central part of the state. There a local of the AFL-CIO International Woodworkers of America has publicly urged its members to carry arms to repulse attacks by the Ku Klux Klan.

The union’s self-defense recommendation was made following consultation with the local’s lawyers after two attacks on the local’s secretary-treasurer, Otis Mathews. The local, whose members work at the Masonite factory, had recently agreed with the company to comply with a federal order to upgrade workers on the basis of seniority, not race. This resulted in some Negro workers becoming supervisors. All officials of the local union are white. The Ku Klux Klan began a campaign of threats against the union for negotiating compliance with the order.

December 1, 1939

DETROIT, Nov. 27 — The Chrysler Corporation is now taking the first active steps in launching a back-to-work movement. This morning 200 Negro strikebreakers were escorted under heavy police guard through a picket line of more than 5,000 workers into the Dodge plant. The scabs were jeered by the pickets and a clash was averted only because of shouted orders by Richard Frankensteen, U.A.W. Executive Board member, and Pat Quinn, President of the Dodge U.A.W. local.

Union leaders accurately pegged the aims of the corporation when they called it an attempt to foment a “race riot” in Detroit. The clash that the company officials hope to provoke between Negro and white workers is intended to create a battle between the workers themselves on a racial issue and thereby facilitate widespread strikebreaking and ultimate state intervention.  
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