Lynne Allred paper concerning "The Gastonia Strike of 1929: Social and Judicial Injustice."
Scope and Contents
Copy of her paper, "The Gastonia Strike of 1929: Social and Judicial Injustice." Materials such as interviews used in research may be found in oral histories.
- circa 1976
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Collection is open for research.
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Biographical / Historical
The Gastonia Strike of 1929 was a large labor strike that occurred at the Loray Mill in Gastonia, NC in 1929. The communist-led National Textile Workers Union targeted the mill for a southern organizing drive with the goal of a minimum $20 weekly wage, equal pay for women and children, an end to the stretch-out system (assinging more tasks to fewer workers) and union recognition. When Gastonia police confronted guards at a tent colony that had been erected for striking workers that had been evicted from their homes, gunfire erupted, which resulted in the injuries of one worker and four police officers and the death of police chief O.F. Aderholt. The trial of the men accused of killing Aderholt resulted in a mistrial.
In the face of widespread backlash against the National Textile Workers Union in Gastonia, the leaders of the strike called for a mass rally to regain the initiative for their campaign. Gastonia police and mill managers attempted to stop the rally and intercept carloads of workers who were trying to attend. While they were chasing a truck of strike leaders, these vigilantes opened fire and killed Ella May Wiggins, a mill worker and striker. Wiggins was the mother of five children and had composed inspirational ballads throughout the strike. By the fall of 1929, the strike leaders abandoned their headquarters in Gastonia and moved away. Five men accused of murdering Wiggins were not convicted but a second trial of Police Chief Aderholt's murderers resulted in the conviction of eight men. The strike resulted in no victories or concessions for the textile workers in Gastonia and reaffirmed the power of the mill owners. In subsequent years, the Communist party continued to use the events of the strike for partisan advantage, while many citizens of the town attempted to forget the painful memories it had caused.
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Language of Materials
Contains a copy of Lynne Allred's paper "The Gastonia Strike of 1929: Social and Judicial Injustice."
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Gift of Lynne Allred, ca. 1976.
Interviews (cassette tapes) by Allred with LeGette Blythe (who covered the strike as a reporter for The Charlotte Observer) and Ralph Glenn (a high school teacher in Gastonia when the strike occurred) moved to Oral history collection.
Processed by Randy Penninger, February, 1993.
- Allred, Lynne
- Blythe, LeGette -- Interviews
- Gastonia (N.C.) -- History -- 20th century Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Gastonia (N.C.) -- Trials, litigation, etc. Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Glenn, Ralph Anderson -- Interviews
- National Textile Workers Union (U.S.) -- Trials, litigation, etc.
- Strikes and lockouts -- Textile industry -- North Carolina -- Gastonia Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Textile Workers' Strike, Gastonia, N.C., 1929 Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Textile workers -- Labor unions -- Southern States Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Trials (Conspiracy) -- North Carolina -- Gastonia Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Lynne Allred papers
- Randy Penninger
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Part of the Manuscript Collections, J. Murrey Atkins Library Special Collections and University Archives, UNC Charlotte Repository
Atkins Library, UNC Charlotte
9201 University City Blvd
Charlotte NC 28223 United States