June 7 – Middletown 366

1912

Women Strikers Claw and Bite Police; Troops Called

Middletown (Conn.) Officers Forced to Use Clubs in Subduing Foreign Industrial Workers

Middletown, Conn., June 7.–A clash of 350 striking operatives of the Russell Manufacturing Company with police and deputies, at the mills in South Farms today, brought here later a platoon of cavalrymen from Troop A, Connecticut national guard, to assist the police until the trouble is over.

Practically all the strikers are foreigners, the greater number being women who have joined the Industrial Workers of the World, and under encouragement of the organizers they demanded increased wages and improved working conditions. The strike followed the company’s refusal to recognize the labor organization.

Today’s clash was brought about by the strikers trying to stop others from going into the mills. The women fought the police with finger nails and teeth while showers of stones, bricks and other missiles were thrown by the men. The police finally used their clubs and dispersed the mob after several arrests had been made.

From The Indianapolis Star, June 8, 1912.

1964

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Speaks at Wesleyan University

On this date in 1964, the Rev. Dr, Martin Luther King, Jr. gave the baccalaureate address at Wesleyan University, and the University conferred on him an honorary degree of doctor of divinity.  It was one of several visits Dr. King made to Wesleyan in the 1960s–Wesleyan Professor of Religion John Maguire was a close friend of his going  back to their student days.

Dr. King’s speech in 1964 was a powerful call to action–urging graduates to act according to their conscience.  His last visit to Wesleyan was in 1966.

Story contributed by Joyce Kirkpatrick; Kimberly Singh.

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