Today in labor history: Textile workers ambushed

On this day in 1929, during the Loray Mill strike in Gastonia, North Carolina, National Textile Workers Union members were ambushed by a group of armed men.

The group – consisting of local vigilantes and a sheriff’s deputy – attacked the workers on their way back home from a meeting. They proceeded to force mill striker and songwriter Ella Mae Wiggins’ pickup truck off the road, and shot the 29 year-old mother of nine in the chest, killing her.

Though there were around 50 witnesses during the assault, five of the attackers were arrested – but all acquitted of her murder.

After her death, the AFL-CIO expanded Wiggins’ grave marker in 1979, to include the phrase, “She died carrying the torch of social justice.”

Photo: Wiggins’ children at their mother’s grave, on the day of her funeral.   Tumblr

 


CONTRIBUTOR

Special to PeoplesWorld.org
Special to PeoplesWorld.org

Peoplesworld.org is a daily news website of, for and by the 99% and the direct descendant of the Daily Worker. Published by Long View Publishing Co., People’s World reports on the movements for jobs, peace, equality, democracy, civil rights and liberties, labor, immigrant, LGBT and women’s rights, protection of the environment, and more.

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