Labour history with a local touch

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In the spring of 1934 the AFL held a strike against Electric Auto-Lite here in Toledo. Today is notable because it was on this day in 1934 that the strike turned violent, as a deputy began beating an elderly man as some picketers were being arrested, leading to the five-day "Battle of Toledo" between picketers and the Ohio National Guard. Two picketers wound up dying in the battle, double the bodycount of the previous century’s "Toledo War." Although Auto-Lite went out of business in the sixties, its old building wasn’t demolished until 1999; a park now stands in its place, the highlight of which is a bronze statue of two strikers standing on top of bricks from the old building. The Auto-Lite strike is widely credited as being the incident which made Toledo a union town, although this obviously isn’t so much the case these days what with unions being weakened so much in my lifetime. On that rather long note, let’s play the friday5.org Friday Five.

[Okay, friday5.org is down right now, so I’ll post the Friday Five when I can actually, you know, see it.]

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