On this day in Alabama history: Textile workers called for strike

On this day in Alabama history: Textile workers called for strike
Group of young boys working in Central Cotton Mills (owned by Avondale Mills), Sylacauga, November 1910. (Lewis Wickes Hines, Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division)

July 17, 1934

On July 17, 1934, leaders of the Alabama branch of the United Textile Workers of America (UTW) called for a general textile strike. By June 1934, there were more than 250,000 UTW members. It was the height of the Great Depression, and more than 4,000 textile workers in Huntsville, Alabama, walked off the job. The workers’ bold actions spurred a textile strike that spread from Alabama to Maine. The strikers fought for better working conditions, salaries and rights. The move triggered a national strike of textile workers that quickly spread beyond the South’s cotton mills, leading to the largest labor conflict in U.S. history. The mill industry in Huntsville did not rebound until World War II.

Read more at Encyclopedia of Alabama.

For more on Alabama’s Bicentennial, visit Alabama 200.

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