It was a time of economic hardship unlike the United States had ever seen. In the midst of the Great Depression and labor strife throughout the nation, Vermont wrote its own chapter in this history with a marble industry strike in 1935. Workers walked off the job demanding pay raises and a right to unionize.
What followed was a bitter labor-management struggle, and a somewhat curious non-intervention by Vermont’s then-Governor, who opted to let the drama play out even as violent confrontations took place.
That decision has fascinated historian Scott McDowell, who has researched the Vermont Marble Strike and will speak about what he’s discovered tomorrow night at Johnston State College.
McDowell tells VPR’s Mitch Wertlieb that the Vermont Marble workers did not live in a bubble. They were very aware of other labor struggles going on in America at the time they decided to strike.
Click listen to hear the interview.
Scott McDowell, a Vermont historian and 2010 graduate of Johnson State, will present the college’s 29th annual Ellsworth Lecture at 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 20, in the Stearns Performance Space.