25, 50, and 75 years ago

November 28, 2022

December 1, 1997

Problems on the railroad have clogged California ports, stranded grain crops in the Midwest, and closed some Gulf Coast petrochemical plants that are unable to get needed materials.

The meltdown began early this summer after the Union Pacific bought out the rival Southern Pacific Railroad. One of the first things the merged railroad did was cut the overall workforce by more than 2,000. The drive to squeeze as much work as possible out of fewer workers lies behind the safety disaster unfolding in Texas. Nine rail workers have been killed since June 22 as a result of numerous major rail accidents.

On Sept. 10 the Federal Railroad Administration issued a report that stated that the UP Railroad is suffering from a fundamental breakdown in safety procedures, primarily from deficiencies in training, dispatching, and employee fatigue.

December 1, 1972

BATON ROUGE, La. — “There would have been no violence if the students had not fired the first shot or whatever.” This is one of the first public statements Louisiana Gov. Edwin Edwards made concerning the death of two Black youths on the Baton Rouge campus of Southern University Nov. 16.

Through this statement and others like it Edwards tried to shift the blame for the deaths — which students have described as an attempted assassination of students leading their fight against control over the school by the all-white board of education — from the police onto the backs of the students.

They were prepared to wage war. The officers, one student remarked, were equipped for battle in Vietnam, bearing tear-gas grenades, Thompson submachine guns, M-16s, riot-20 shotguns, M-79 grenade launchers, and M-1 carbines complete with bayonets.

December 1, 1947

The tycoons who run Hollywood have announced the firing of the ten studio employees who refused to answer yes or no to the House Un-American Committee’s question as to whether they were members of the Communist (Stalinist) Party. This action of the movie autocrats is one more step in the deliberate drive of American Big Business to establish “thought control” in the United States.

Next in line after the purge in Hollywood are logically the radio, magazines, newspapers and books. Even that is not all. The final objective is all American industry. The aim is to label any worker who refuses to kiss the boss’s shoes as a “red” and throw him into the streets. The aim is to brand as “subversive” and “disloyal” any militant ready to stand up and fight for his union.

The prosecuting attorney, judge and jury will be the boss.