The Reo Ramblers at the 1937 sit-down strike

July 18, 2008

The Reo Ramblers at the 1937 sit-down strike, March 10-mid April 1937, photo courtesy Archives of Michigan

The Archives of Michigan’s July 2008 Image of the Month comes from the R.C. Leavenworth photographic collection. They write:

Lansing Auto Worker declared during the event, “Reo Strike Is Nation’s Model Demonstration.” Under the stress of wage reductions and layoffs resulting from the nation’s Depression, Reo workers shut down the factory and occupied it for a month. Workers remained peaceful, engaging in activities such as checkers, volleyball, and singing with the Reo Ramblers. The strike was successful and reenergized the local UAW chapter.

Michigan in Pictures has a post titled Remembering the Flint Sit-Down Strike on a Labor Day that has some great info about this landmark strike and – as is often the case – Wikipedia has a nice Flint Sit Down Strike article (with some more photos).

You can click the photo to read about a special Leavenworth exhibit at the Michigan Historical Center and also see another shot by Leavenworth of Jazz Music in Lansing in the 1920s.

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