Portland State University, Department of History
Date of Publication
Master of Arts (M.A.) in History
Industrial Workers of the World, Centralia (Wash.) -- History, Washington (State) -- Centralia, History
1 online resource (62 p.)
Armistice Day 1919 was enthusiastically celebrated in Centralia, Washington. The Principle event of the day’s activities was a parade organized under the leadership of the newly formed American Legion. But the parade was to be more than the simple affirmation of the victory in France, it was to be a reaffirmation of the patriotism of the newly returned sailors and soldiers and their home-town supporters.
Centralia was a troubled city in 1919. Organized labor of the most militant and extreme sort was challenging the oligopoly of the lumber trust. The Industrial Workers of the World had been successful in their strike of 1917 and had worked significant and widespread changes in the wage and work conditions then effective in the lumber camps of the pacific northwest. These “Wobblies” had established an office in Centralia which was a principle transit site for both the lumber camps working in the Cowlitz River foothills and the incredibly rich Grays’ Harbor district. Loggers bound in and out of this location had to stop over in Centralia where they were proselytized by the firey orators of the IWW.
The Becker Committee affidavits give us a useful and unique resource for attempting to present the tragic events of November 11, 1919 in Centralia, Washington.
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Skoog, Lawrence C., "Labor Violence: the Centralia Case, the IWW and its Enemies" (1974). Dissertations and Theses. Paper 2300.