tv Reel America The Inheritance - 1964 CSPAN September 7, 2021 4:45am-5:46am EDT
>> in the old country, i worked like an animal. even before my children were born, the mark was on them. animal. before god, i swear my children will not live as i have lived. ♪ freedom doesn't come down like summer rain ♪ ♪ freedom, freedom is ♪ ♪ a hard one thing you've got to work for it ♪ ♪ fight for it ♪ ♪ day and night ♪ ♪ pass it on to your children ♪ ♪ mother ♪ ♪ pass it on to your children ♪ ♪ brother ♪ ♪ you have got to work for it ♪ ♪ fight for it ♪ ♪ day and night for it ♪ ♪ pass it on to your children ♪ ♪ pass it on ♪♪
>> arrive on schedule for examination and present themselves and their documents. matching the letter on your tag. >> name? >> alex. >> place of birth? >> odessa. >> how much money do you got? >> i don't understand. >> money, dinero. >> 5,000 to process today. let's keep it moving. we're getting a lot of it lately. >> name? >> spell it. >> skip it. we'll make it simpson. >> please, god, let nothing go wrong. let them not notice the baby's runny nose. let them take us into america.
♪♪ >> why do you keep asking me what it is going to be like? i told you a thousand times, the streets are paved with gold and the houses are marble. yeah, yeah. ♪♪ >> ah, is this the country, gold in america. learn, study, pay attention. keep your eyes open, you hear? this is golden america where millionaires grow on trees like little apples. ♪♪
♪ no wrong no wrong ♪ ♪ the music is peaches and dreamy ♪ ♪ oath don't let my feet touch the ground ♪♪ >> aye, is this a country, as true as i am standing here, vanderbilt has zen houses on fifth avenue! in case they need a little fresh air, a dump on long island and a little home in newport and a 60-room shack in north carolina. i read in the paper to take care of the grounds, they spend more than the whole department of agriculture. let it be a lesson, save your money!
>> official new york city housing survey, 1905, we find it difficult to convey the conditions in the new immigrant neighborhoods. darkness and dampness and dirt. dirt and discomfort and disease. diphtheria and death. >> mulberry street, 1706 us in four rooms. bianca and the kids stay in the parlor. if i get a boyfriend, where can we go to hold hands? into the park with the pigeons? >> my dear, there are certain rules of etiquette one does not question. a lady does not show her ankle or raise her voice.
a female maiden is considered quite satisfactory. naturally the best and safest thing to do is to stay home and help mother about the house. >> 12 hours a day, mama makes 50 cents, i make a dime. louie makes a nickle. >> laying down track for the westbound train, stacking up timber in the state of maine, digging out coal in the west virginia home, hammering steel in the pittsburgh mills. immigrants from austria and italy, and immigrants on the baltic sea, green-eyed slovaks and irish men and englishmen
from leeds. six days a week and 12 hour days, and it welcome boys to the usa. dollar a day for a factory hand and it is welcome ladies to the promised land. ♪♪ immigrants and sons of immigrant putting down roots, hanging on. stubborn as the tree that pushes its way up through the rock. acrobats and clowns, rascals and lover, builders and dreamer, leaving their signature on the cities. from budapest to county court they came, and finding no miracles, they made their own.
a miracle of friendship. the miracle of laughter. the miracle of the generations. the miracle of learning. >> listen, you want to hear the president? >> george washington, thomas jefferson -- >> what else did you learn? >> daniel webster, quote, justice is the great interest of man on approach. >> from your mouth to god's ears. >> i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america and to the republic for which it stands one nation indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. >> a goal of america, half dream and half nightmare.
♪ when i die don't bury me at all ♪ ♪ hang me up on a spool next to a bobbin, so i can keep on working ♪ ♪ because i got the blues of the promised land ♪ ♪ i got the cotton mill blues ♪ ♪ got to work like hell ♪♪ >> 2 million children in the mills and the mines. 6 million grown-ups unemployed. >> why hire a man for a dollar when you can hire a kid for a dime? >> i was taught in my youth that it was the height of vulgarity to discuss money. a professor in chicago came up with a few statistics.
an american family cannot adequately survive on less than $900 a year. the average working man earns about $400. ♪ when the union's inspiration through the worker's blood shall run ♪ ♪ there can be no power greater anywhere beneath the sun ♪ ♪ but the force on the earth is weaker ♪ ♪ than the foo feeble strength of one ♪ ♪ for the union makes us strong ♪ ♪ solidarity forever ♪ ♪ solidarity forever ♪♪ >> the garment workers of new york keeping alive a tradition of unions since before
washington was presented carrying on the heritage of the boston carpenters who fought for the ten hour day while missouri was still indian territory. ♪ union men be strong side by side we'll battle on, victory will come ♪ >> rights will be protected and cared for not by the labor agitator but by the christian mentor whom god has given control of the property interests of this country. ♪ freedom doesn't come like a bird on the wing, doesn't come down like the summer rain ♪ ♪ freedom, freedom is a hard one thing you've got to work for it, fight for it day and night for it ♪ ♪ and every generation got to win it again ♪
♪ pass it on to your children, mother, pass it on to your children, brother ♪ >> came to chicago green off the boat. 1910. got myself a job at a men's clothing shop. sitting at the machine shaking in your boots scared of being fired. but talking, sneezing, looking at the foreman crosseyed. >> get up before dawn, come home in the dark, the children's faces you don't look on except when they are sleeping. and then the slack season and speed up and go crazy with the speed up turning out more
and more for the same money. >> just like all of the sudden, the foreman announces that they are cutting the seam piece rates for the pants. >> you got a wife and kids to support. you keep your mouth shut. >> lucy, you going to sit there and take it? not me, i'm not taking it. i'm walking out. sure all right for them, but i got kids to feed. >> they warned us, walk out and you are blacklisted, finished in chicago. >> why doesn't the union do something. the so-called union, my boy, it
is for the aristocrats, and they are not interested in the greenhorns. >> what am i doing in here taking over their work? i ought to be out there with them. >> what do we do? >> i don't know what you are going to do. i know what i am going to do. out. i'm walking out. ♪♪ >> do you hear? do you hear the latest? >> six more shops out. >> 18,000. >> 35,000. >> you hear? $40,000. ♪♪ >> heard a rumor the union is looking to make deal under the table and sell us down the river. ♪♪
♪ i met a mild-mannered girl ♪ ♪ and i have never done them harm that i can see ♪ ♪ and still i see they throw me in the can ♪ ♪ and they go simply wild ♪ ♪ wild over me ♪♪ >> broken heads and empty stomach, four months out in the freezing street. four months standing together, standing solid. >> i see charlie out there walking in the line. out comes the foreman, gives him a punch and yells go home, troublemaker. so charlie says i got my rights. rights they gave him. a bullet in the head they gave him.
>> how do you do, sir? my name is jane adams. i'm a social worker, and i wonder how long it has been since you saw in your own eyes the conditions under which you saw the people work for you. >> so i went down to my factory and i looked and i wasn't surprised they were on strike. i was only surprised they waited so long. >> he wouldn't arbitrate agreements and wage demands. >> what does hillman say? >> all we want is to be treated as human beings, not machines. arbitration is the first step. >> all right. so they got arbitration. they got a little security at
hart, schaffner and marx. >> still leaves the rest of us right back where we started. >> you think this is the end? take it from me, this is only the beginning. >> something in the wind blowing east in chicago. the restless murmur running through. something being born. a beginning. a hope. >> new york 1912, heart of the men's clothing market. 60,000 vest makers, pressers and pants makers, tailors slapped in jail by the police. bailed out by a tough little labor lawyer named laguardia. >> you hear, we got a settlement, a 53-hour week. >> big present they gave us, ice in the winter. >> whatever you get, you have to
fight for it. if i'm wrong, if my information is mistaken, please correct me which i will appreciate. thank you. >> something in the wind, something struggling to be born. baltimore, strike and sellout. rochester, sellout and heartbreak. >> the union is having a convention. nashville, tennessee. >> why nashville? the biggest locals are new york, chicago and baltimore. >> that's the reason. they are making complaints and so they are making it tough for
us to get out there. >> so why nashville. why not alaska? >> beg, borrow, scrape the money together for train fare. >> all out for nashville. >> locals from new york, boston, rochester, cincinnati, baltimore, and those delinquent on dues will not be seated. >> we were on strike, we couldn't eat, so how can we pay? >> you have to have the right to speak. >> baltimore is still out on strike. >> delegate from chicago is out of order. >> listen, we just came in from nashville, and chicago walked out of the convention. >> yeah, and new york and baltimore.
>> boston and philadelphia, cincinnati. >> 75% of the membership walked out. >> holding their own convention. >> we're setting up our own union. ♪♪ >> it will be an outlaw outfit. sidney, you are out of your mind, staking your mind on a wild gamble. >> in the year 1914, they gathered at webster hall and took the gamble. >> it was our dream to give security to our member, security within the framework of liberty, lincoln said a nation cannot exist half slave and half free, neither can a man. we cannot exist free politically, but slaves industrially. >> dear brother, we just formed an organizing committee for the amalgamated clothing workers out here in milwaukee.
two french button hole makers and a seam cutter and lithuanian and two pols and a hungarian. >> starting with nothing, with empty pockets and a barrel of hope. organizing new york and chicago. wisconsin and new jersey. baltimore and boston. kentucky, missouri, ohio, montreal, toronto, pennsylvania. >> dear brother hillman, maybe you can come to our assistance. we had a little strike down here in philadelphia and our business agent got thrown in jail, and i have not got enough to buy postage stamps, let alone bail.
if worse comes to worse, i will hock my jacket. >> i'm a boss, so don't out me, the union is the best thing that ever happened in this industry. we got arbitration, we can come together like human beings, set standards, set rates, in a civilized manner, you know what i mean? since we went union, we never had a strike. >> january 1, 1915, special to mcclures magazine. midway through the wilson administration, there are indications that the nation is seeing the beginnings of a new freedom. a weakening of the grip of monopolies by the corrupt passages act, the clayton antitrust act, workman's compensation act, child labor laws. ♪♪ ♪♪
♪ i may not know what the war is about, but i bet by gosh i'll soon find out ♪ ♪ my darling, don't you father, i'll bring you a gun for a souvenir ♪ ♪♪ >> u.s. army, dead and missing, 130,500. wounds, 234,300. u.s. steele, profits $2 billion. in the back wash of war, depression and a rising hysteria. in a single year, 61 murders by lynching. revolution in russia touching off panic at home.
victims of the palmer raids, their houses ransacked without search warrants. 3,000 foreign born arrested, denied lawyers and held without charges for three months. in pittsburgh and gary, indiana, it was the 12-hour day, take it or leave it. and you better take it if you know what's good for you. ♪ tell me what is a vigilante man ♪ ♪ what is a vigilante man ♪ ♪ does he carry a club and a gun in his hand when he beat your brother and sister down ♪♪
>> amalgamated workers closed for relief of steel strikers. we know this is one the only beginning of the attacks against american labor. >> 1920. >> in six short years, we built ourselves one of the strongest unions in the country. in new york, a 40-hour week and working machinery allowed arbitration. >> the employer decided it is time to come up with a plan to set back the clock, bring back the sweat shop. and when we turned them down -- lockout. >> they got it all figured. shut down the machines, lock the doors and get a court injunction against picketing and sit back
and starve us out. >> the judges came back into the courtroom, and he is getting ready to read the decision. >> what happens if they get the injunction. >> we will be thrown into the clink for picketing. that is what happens. >> hear ye, hear ye, the supreme court of the state of new york is in session. honorable judge strickland presiding. >> injunction granted. >> while the employers may succeed in getting injunctions, they succeed at nothing else. as long as they think they can ship injunctions instead of pants, let them go ahead. >> hang on and sit tight, and hang on. if we crack, it means the end of the union. the open shop again and the seven-day week and the 12-hour day and starvation and slums and
crime and everything that is rotten and everything that is inhuman. your organization must ask great sacrifices, and we ask you to walk instead of a nickel carfare, and your lives depend on it and you future and the future of your children. we will take care that there is not a single house without bread, and we won't give you meat, but your brothers and sisters in rochester and baltimore will not let you starve. >> what? with the starting of the sweatshop at the age of 11, somehow i never got time to go to harvard, so at the age of 47, i'm in lockout college. american history, public speaking, labor history and even art classes. ♪♪ >> we volunteered to go there and arrange entertainment. i don't believe the world has such children anywhere as the east side children. they took our modest program and
transformed it with their magic. i sat there thinking, oh, what if the businesses of society were making children like this instead of profits. and we hung on, hung on for six more months, and we won. >> we did it. we did it. we hung on and we won. >> the '20s, ticket in every pot and tin lizzy in every garage. cancel the child labor laws. ♪ in the white house the other day, work the job and coolidge says ♪ ♪ and patrick henry made a famous speech when he said never liberty or black bottom ♪ ♪ crazy tune and all that counts
is fo-dido-do ♪♪ >> believe me, for the clothing markets, seasonal business, layoffs, unemployment, behind with the rent, payments with the radio, going to the bank for a loan and they ask you for security. if i had security, i wouldn't be there in the first place. my hands are my security. >> as we come marching, marching, we battle too for men, for they are women's children and we mother them again. our lives shall not be sweated from birth until life closes. hearts starve as well as bodies. give us bread, but give us roses. >> the amalgamated pioneering slum clearance, putting up the first cooperative low rent houses, a bank where the working man can get a loan with the
security of his labor, setting up the only insurance program in the nation, and that was also the '20s. >> boys, the sky is the limit. >> at&t 253 and u.s. steel, 253. >> u.s. steel 313. >> what is wrong with the market? >> u.s. steele 300, 152, u.s. steele 60. ♪ who cares if the sky appears to fall in the sea, who cares what banks fail in yonkers as long as you got a kiss that conquers ♪♪
>> president hoover assured the reporters that the economy is on a sound and prosperous basis. he assured the treasury that there is nothing in the situation to be concerned about. ♪ it is a mighty hard road that these poor hands have hoed and my poor feet have travelled a hot dusty road ♪ ♪ at the edge of your cities you will see us and then ♪ ♪ we come with the dust ♪ ♪ and we're gone with the wind ♪♪ >> i am tired of being unemployed and tired of being hungry. 20,000 dough boys went down to washington to get the money that was promised to us. hoover chased us out of the capital.
♪♪ >> the new deal beginning to roll, a running river of social legislation. the naacp and the wpa bringing jobs to 9 million unemployed. fair labor standards law setting minimum wages and maximum hours. child labor laws passed again. the tba bringing light to the dark valleys. the social security act partially inspired by the amalgamated pattern, providing unemployment and old age insurance. the wagner labor relations act, employees shall have the right to bargain collectively through representatives of their own choosing.
>> continue to organize and express yourselves. the politicians will vote for bills in congress. it lengthens the working hours and puts in a starvation period and a abolishes the prevailing wage, and this is what the politicians will do unless you make your wants and your rights known. and you can't do it unless you organize. >> they want organization, they want participation, they want protection, they want employment. and they are going to have those things through the leadership and the instrumentality of this new labor movement.
>> instead of 1,000 craft unions, the cio meant one big union for every major industry. organize the unorganized. pedal letters and furnace men in the steel mills, deck hands aboard the ships, lead miners, copper miners, rubber workers, electrical workers, amalgamated organizing cotton garment workers in pennsylvania, new england, and the prairie states, organizing laundry workers and cleaners and dyers and retail clerks and providing the manpower and money to organize a textile workers union. ♪ if you want higher wages ♪ ♪ let me tell you what to do ♪
♪ talk to the workers with you in the shop ♪ ♪ and if you stick together ♪ ♪ boys you will get what you want ♪ ♪ shorter hours and vacations with pay ♪ ♪ and take the kids to the seashore ♪ ♪ because if you wait for the boss ♪ ♪ you will be dead and gone to heaven ♪ ♪ and st. peter will be the boss ♪ ♪ and you know the boss is going to speed up the work ♪ ♪ and you may be down and out ♪ ♪ but you can spread out a leaflet ♪ ♪ and talk it over ♪♪ ♪ which side are you on ♪ ♪ which side are you on ♪ ♪ my daddy was a miner ♪ ♪ and i'm a miner's son ♪ ♪ i will stick with the union ♪ ♪ until this fight is done ♪
♪ which side are you on ♪ ♪ which side are you on ♪ ♪ which side are you on ♪♪ >> we have been down here for five days. what do you say, boys? [ cheers ] ♪ this land is my land ♪ ♪ this land is your land ♪ ♪ from california to the new york islands from the redwood forest to the gulf stream waters ♪ ♪ this land is made for you and me ♪ ♪ i went walking that river and highway ♪ ♪ i saw above me that endless skyway ♪
♪ when it came to a union man, sit down, sit down. ♪ when they give him a sack ♪ ♪ they take it back ♪ ♪ sit down sit down sit down ♪ ♪ sit down sit down economy sit down sit down ♪ ♪ when you want the boss to come across ♪ ♪ sit down sit down ♪ ♪ sit down sit down ♪ ♪ sit down sit down ♪♪ >> we sat for 34 days. and we came up with a contract. and victory, collective bargaining bringing order out of chaos. steel organized, auto organized, textile organized, rubber, oil,
copper, merchant marine, glass workers, leather workers, packinghouse workers and woodworkers. ♪ this land is your land, this land is my land, from california to the new york islands ♪♪ >> in three years 5 million americans organized, cio. 1938. ♪ forget your troubles and just get happy ♪ ♪ you need to chase your cares away ♪ ♪ sing hallelujah and get ready for the judgment day ♪ ♪ and just get happy ♪ ♪ shout hallelujah and get happy ♪ ♪ because we are going to the promised land ♪ ♪ and we are headed across the river and going with the tide ♪ ♪ because it is so peaceful on the other side ♪ ♪ forget your troubles and get
the united states could sit isolated behind the oceans ended forever. the message was written in fire that from now on for better or for worse, it was one world. the battle line ran from the philippines to iwo jima, from anzio to normandy. from alimane to leningrad and through pittsburgh and norfolk and san francisco. ♪♪ and yet in the midst of war in the 1942 elections, only a third of america's 80 million eligible voters went to the polls.
franklin roosevelt, the white house, washington, to sidney hillman, dear, sidney, ki think of nothing more important in the years to come than the continuing political education of the people who do the jobs of this land. >> it is our duty now to begin delay the plans and determine the strategy for winning a lasting peace of the establishment of an american standard of living higher than ever known before. >> the man dies. but the dream endures. >> we have accepted so to speak the second bill of rights under which a new basis of security and prosperity can be established for all regardless of station or race or creed. the right to earn enough to provide adequate food and clothing and recreation, the right to adequate protection
the sky announces a new season. pinned on the drawing board are taken place. i remembered that when mr. hillman had just arrived from chicago i then said to a friend of mine, and i says, he looks like a young fellow, but i would take my hat off to him if he can take these wolves and make them see the light and create a business where individuals could make a livelihood and do away with the slavery that existed all through the years. >> i can go back to a time when my pop, may rest in peace, we worked together and he broke me in.
i used to remember when he broke me in. we used to work next to each other. he was a strict man. and when he was out a day, just one day there was no pay. and we had no pay, there was no food in the house. we always ate from the clothing line, and that time the boss was able to walk over to the machine, tear it off and kick you out and that was it. when things got slow the boss used to go around and cut prices and we had to work cheaper. you had no standard of conditions. you had no standard of garments. you had no standard of labor. it was a dog eat dog. and benefits, we had none. >> today, as long as i stay in the amalgamated, i can move to any union shop in the country, new york, ohio and tuscaloosa, keep my medical care and keep my pension. >> whoever thought that this trade would have three weeks' vacation? whoever thought they'd have legal holidays?
whoever thought we'd see a business and walk in and tell a boss you can't fire a man because he's old or because he's sick. you have to keep him. those things you didn't see years ago, and whoever thought in this trade that when a man reached 65 he could retire and never did we think we'd see it in this trade. a man used to work until he dropped by the machine and he hoped his family would support him. i can remember when a man got sick. he was broke. today we've got the union hospitalization on x-ray, psychiatric right down the line. today i come into a shop and i look around, and i see the younger people, girls and boys. and i say to myself, do these people know what whey fought for? do they know how hard it was to get the conditions we've got?
do they know what a union actually means? do they know what they have to go through to keep the conditions that they have? do they know they must sacrifice to keep the conditions? they call each other brothers and sisters in a union meeting. do they know a union brother and union sister means sacrifice? ♪ if i had a hammer i'd hammer in the morning i'd hammer in the evening ♪ ♪ all over this land ♪ ♪ i'd hammer out a danger i'd hammer out a warning ♪ >> the biggest ever thing i would sell to the workers is our dignity. the most important thing is dignity. the right to stand up and grieve and the right to know that they can take a stand when they're mistreated in the shop. you go to into a town that's
anti-union, we try to make contact as quiet as possible. many times we refuse lodgings and accommodations and hotels and hotels and we do get into places where our calls are monitored. i myself have been in front of the plant in the southern community and city officials, police and sheriffs groups chase us out of the plant and take us out of the car, rope around my neck, held up on my tiptoes and told if you ever come back here again, we'll kill you. many times a worker will say, i'm for you. i'm going to vote for you. i'll sign a union card, but don't park your car close to our house because the boss will know we've been to see you, and i may get fired tomorrow. it takes a lot of courage for workers to sign a union card. >> the workers have courage. a lot of them have. ♪ if i had a hammer
i'd hammer in the morning ♪ ♪ i'd hammer in the evening all over this land ♪ ♪ i'd hammer out freedom i'd hammer out justice ♪ ♪ i'd hammer out love between my brother and my sisters ♪ ♪ all over this land ♪ >> they say we're not ready. that's the first thing. he's not ready for it. how can i give him something he's not ready for? but i am ready. i've been ready. but maybe you don't recognize it. maybe you think i'm a child or something. i'm not a child. i'm grown. i have children, and i'm worried about them like you worry about yours. ♪ you've got to work for it, fight for it, day and night for it ♪ ♪ and every generation's
got to win it again ♪ >> sometimes i get thinking if only i can protect her from all of the troubles in this world, discrimination, poverty, war, but the best i can do is let her learn to be strong, to stand up and fight for a decent life. that's her inheritance. >> the seed is planted and the seed flowers. y in -- the roots take hold. the stubborn tree forces its way through the rock, immigrants and sons of immigrants handing down their inheritance, creating out of their dreams, their anguish and songs the face of america. ♪♪ ♪ freedom doesn't come like a bird on the wing ♪ ♪ doesn't come down like the
international ladies garment workers union faced fighting for workers rights and the role of minority women in the garment industry. >> good evening, everyone. i am valley paley. i am the director of the center for women's history, and i am so delighted to welcome you to the new york historical society and to the center this evening. if you do not know about us, it's time you did. we are the first such center within the walls of a major museum in the united states. and it's about time.