On February 11, 1937, several hundred members of the United Automobile Workers Union (UAW) emerged from three General Motors (GM) factories in Flint, Michigan to the sounds of cheering crowd. After a 44-day sitdown strike, they won a major victory.
A victory that didn’t come easily… The strikes faced tear gas attacks, heat shut offs, and battles with the police and company “security”. The Michigan governor called in the National Guard.
The Flint Sitdown Strike began on December 30, 1936.The goal of the strike was simple: GM recognition of the UAW. For over six weeks members of the UAW stopped production and refused to leave the plants they occupied. They slept on unfinished car seats, eating food their families and friends slipped through factory windows.
So today — for the those that sat down in ’37, for those that have marched, stood up, and fought since then for weekends and 8 hour work days — a big thank you.
Feb. 6, 1961
The civil rights jail-in movement began when ten students in Rock Hill, South Carolina, were arrested for requesting service at a segregated lunch counter. They refused to post bail and demanded jail time rather than paying fines, refusing to acknowledge any legitimacy of the laws under which they were arrested.
Rev. Martin Luther King wrote to, Diane Nash and the others in jail ‘‘You have inspired all of us by such demonstrative courage and faith. It is good to know that there still remains a creative minority who would rather lose in a cause that will ultimately win than to win in a cause that will ultimately lose.’’