“I sweated over my introduction, rewrote it ten times. When I had finished, this, in part, was the text: “There were Alabama Bankheads in one or another of the houses of Congress for sixty consecutive years. My father was Speaker of the House for four years, served with that body for twenty-five. My grandfather, John, […]comments
Tag Archives: Huntsville AL
Yes, a new grievance structure was established that removed control from the hands of the mill owners. Yes, workers had the legal right to organize. But the stretch-out and wage system were referred to a committee to be studied, and little practical change in the daily lives of the workers was apparent. Many were turned away from their jobs as retaliation for their union efforts. New complaints piled up unredressed. Families were turned out of their homes. And the bitter taste left from the pyrrhic sacrifices of the strike lingered in the hearts of many.
The mill industry in Huntsville rebounded during World War II, but shortly after the war, another slow descent began as manufacturing moved offshore. Once employing hundreds of thousands of workers, the industry vanished. Today, many of those mill buildings and villages still exist in Huntsville, having been repurposed into a community theater (the former Merrimack Hall), artists’ studios and shops (Lowe Mill) and commercial space (Lincoln Mills). They are the last reminders of this once-critical industry in the region, and the movement it generated.comments
On a cold day in March 1881, three masked men on horseback, brandishing revolvers, held up an army paymaster on the banks of the Tennessee River near Muscle Shoals, AL. The paymaster was on his way with the payroll to pay the construction workers digging a canal near Muscle Shoals. The masked men kidnapped the […]comments