1911 - 1950

Dissent: 1933

A municipal court judge rules that the Los Angeles Police Department cannot interfere with meetings of political groups with which it disagrees.

Labor: 1933

18,000 cotton pickers strike throughout the San Joaquin Valley. Vigilante ranchers shoot and kill two strikers in a Pixley union hall. The governor calls the National Guard which rounds up hundreds of strikers and holds them in the Tulare County Fair grounds, effectively ending the strike.

Race: 1933

After an appellate court rules that marriages between Filipino men and white women are legal because Filipinos are not “Mongolians” but “Malays,” the Legislature passes a law invalidating marriages between Caucasians and Malays.

Criminal Justice: 1933

San Jose LynchingSan Jose LynchingA mob in San Jose lynches two men accused of kidnapping and murdering the popular son of a local department store owner. Governor James Rolph, Jr. calls the lynchings “the best lesson that California has ever given the country.”

Labor: 1934

Imperial County vigilantes kidnap and beat ACLU attorney A.L. Wirin before abandoning him in the desert. Wirin was assisting lettuce strikers against growers’ violence.

Labor: July 5, 1934

Killed WorkersKilled WorkersSan Francisco police shoot and kill two union members near the Embarcadero on what comes to be called “Bloody Thursday.”

Labor: July 14, 1934

Workers throughout San Francisco stage a four-day general strike which shuts down the city. Police and vigilantes respond by attacking offices and meeting places of left-wing organizations throughout the Bay area. ACLU of Northern California formed in response to civil liberties violations.

Censorship: 1934

19341934Doors to Coit Tower are padlocked because the San Francisco Art Commission objects to leftwing murals being painted by leading California artists under the auspices of the WPA.

Labor: May 3, 1934

37,000 longshoremen on the west coast strike for $1.00/hour, a 30-hour work week, and fair hiring practices.

See a documentary excerpt about the 1934 longshoremen’s strike:

Watch an excerpt from a 1934 newsreel about the strike.

Labor: Oct. 12, 1934

Longshoremen and dock employers sign an arbitration settlement. Longshoremen secure a union hiring hall, contracts guaranteeing a 30-hour week, and a six-hour day.

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