Gastonia, 1929: The Story of the Loray Mill Strike

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University of North Carolina Press, 1995 - History - 226 pages
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Of the wave of labor strikes that swept through the South in 1929, the one at the Loray Mill in Gastonia, North Carolina, is perhaps the best remembered. In Gastonia 1929 John Salmond provides the first detailed account of the complex events surrounding the strike at the largest textile mill in the Southeast. His compelling narrative unravels the confusing story of the shooting of the town's police chief, the trials of the alleged killers, the unsolved murder of striker Ella May Wiggins, and the strike leaders' conviction and subsequent flight to the Soviet Union. Describing the intensifying climate of violence in the region, Salmond presents the strike within the context of the southern vigilante tradition and as an important chapter in American economic and labor history in the years after World War I. He draws particular attention to the crucial role played by women as both supporters and leaders of the strike, and he highlights the importance of race and class issues in the unfolding of events.

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Review: Gastonia 1929: The Story of the Loray Mill Strike

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Story of the Loray Mill strike in 1929. This violent strike was one of the opening shots in the war between the mill owners and labor unions over the lucrative southern textile industry. Read full review


The Strike
Guardsmen await the strike pickets

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About the author (1995)

John A. Salmond is professor of history at La Trobe University in Australia.

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