The Big Experiment

Item Info

Item No: pixc00303
Title: The Big Experiment
Additional Title: The Big Experiment
Media Type: Cartoons (Commentary)
Source: Print and Picture Collection

Created for Evening Public Ledger, date unknown.


The nationwide labor upsurge of 1934 reached its peak in San Francisco. On May 9, 1934, leaders of the International Longshoremen’s Association (ILA) called a strike of all West Coast dockworkers, demanding a wage scale, a 'closed shop' (union membership as a requirement of employment), and union-administered hiring halls.  A few days later seamen and teamsters joined the strike, effectively stopping all shipping from San Diego to Seattle.  Enraged employers, backed by a sympathetic mayor and police chief, used every means available to open the waterfront and protect strikebreakers, whom they improted in large numbers. Working closely with local politicians and the press, the employers set out to convince the public that the strike was controlled by 'Reds' intent on overthrowing the government.

  • "Congress Investigates the 1934 San Francisco Strike." History Matters: The U.S. Survey Course on the Web. George Mason University. Web. 5 Nov. 2015.

Creator Name: Sykes, Charles Henry, 1882-1942 - Artist