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HELLO, MY NAME IS BILL BERNDTSON, AND I REPRESENT THE GREATER NEW HAVEN LABOR HISTORY ASSOCIATION. WE ARE ON THE WEB AT WWW.LABORHISTORY.ORG LABORHISTORY.O R G. IN 1988 THE GRATER NEW HAVEN LABOR HISTORY ASSOCIATION WAS FORMED BY A GROUP OF ACTIVE AND RETIRED UNIONISTS, ALONG WITH SOME ACADEMICS INTERESTED IN THE LABOR MOVEMENT. SINCE THE BEGINNING WE HAVE BEEN INVOLVED IN A VARIETY OF PUBLIC ACTIVITIES. WE HAVE PUBLISHED TWO BOOKS: A LABOR ALMANAC, IN 1995, AND IN 2004 MOMENTS IN NEW HAVEN’S LABOR HISTORY. WHICH IS STILL IN PRINT. WE PUT ON AN AWARD WINNING BUS TOUR OF NEW HAVEN’S CENTERS OF LABOR HISTORY AND A WALKING TOUR OF RIVER STREET IN NEW HAVEN. WE PUT OUT AN ONGOING NEWSLETTER FOR MEMBERSHIP. AND WE HAVE A TRAVELING EXHIBIT OF GARMENT WORKER MEMORABILIA. THIS EXHIBIT, WHICH IS UNDER REFURISHMENT AT THIS TIME, HAS

GRACED THE HALLS OF: •

LIBRARIES IN THE CITY,

THE ETHNIC HERITAGE CENTER ON THE CAMPUS OF SOUTHERN CONNECTICUT STATE UNIVERSITY,

THE NEW HAVEN CITY HALL ATRIUM.

AND AT THE FIRST OF THE YEAR, IT IS SCHEDULED TO OPEN AT THE HAGMAN LIBRARY IN EAST HAVEN.

THIS COMING SPRING IT WILL BEGIN A SIX MONTH STAY IN THE HOMER BABBAGE LIBRARY AT UCONN, AND

THERE IS A POSSIBILITY OF A STAY AT THE CAPITAL IN WASHINGTON DC.

JOAN CAVANAGH, GNHLHA ARCHIVIST ALONG WITH DENNIS HAMILTON, JULIE HAMILTON AND CORRIE CARTON PUT THIS EXHIBIT TOGETHER, AND ANOTHER ONE IS IN THE WORKS BASED ON THE RECORDS OF THE INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF MACHINISTS LOCAL 609, WHICH REPRESENTED WORKERS AT WINCHESTER REPEATING ARMS FOR 50 YEARS UNTIL THE PLANT CLOSED IN 2006.

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THESE ARE JUST A FEW OF OUR ACTIVITIES. I URGE YOU TO CHECK OUT MUCH MORE IN OUR WEB SITE AT WWW.LABORHISTORY.ORG. ONE OF THE FIRST DECISSIONS OF THE ASSOCIATION WAS TO HONOR, EACH YEAR, TWO AREA PEOPLE WHO HAVE BEEN ACTIVE IN THE LABOR MOVEMENT. THIS AWARD WAS TO BE CALLED "THE AUGUSTA LEWIS TROUP PASS IT ON AWARD". SOME OF THOSE WHO RECIEVED THIS AWARD ARE IN THE AUDIENCE TODAY. (NAMES? NICK, MARY, DOROTHY, IRM ETC).

AT ONE OF OUR EXECUTIVE BOARD MEETINGS IN 2005, OUR VICE -PRESIDENT MARY JOHNSON MENTIONED THAT SHE WAS CONCERNED ABOUT THE "W.P.A. MURALS" IN THE TROUP SCHOOL BEING DAMAGED DURING THE SCHOOL'S RENOVATION. SHE FOLLOWED UP ON THIS AND FOUND THAT THE BOARD OF ALDERMEN HAD PASSED A RESOLUTION PROTECTING THESE HISTORIC ART TREASURES. SHE ALSO BROUGHT BACK NEWS OF A PROPOSED MURAL DEPICTING NEW HAVEN'S PROUD LABOR HISTORY. WELL OUR NAME IS THE GREATER NEW HAVEN LABOR HISTORY ASSOCIATION, LABORHISTORY.ORG! AND WE WANTED TO BE INVOLVED IN THIS MAGNIFICENT ENDEVOR.

WE HAD AN INTERN FROM CENTRAL CONNECTICUT STATE UNIVERSITY WHO RESEARCHED THE HISTORY OF LABOR IN THE INDUSTRIES ON RIVER STREET IN NEW HAVEN AND BASICALLY ORGANIZED OUR RIVER STREET WALKING TOUR. THIS TIME OUR INTERN CAME FROM SACRED HEART UNIVERSITY IN FAIRFIELD CT. HIS NAME WAS WILLIAM GEDDISH, AND HIS ASSIGNMENT WAS TO RESEARCH AUGUSTA LEWIS TROUP AND HIS WORK IS NOW COPYRIGHTED.

WE HAD STARTED HUNTING FOR HER STORY AND SOMEONE – I THINK – MARY JOHNSON SUGGESTED I CONTACT RHODA CAHN, A MEMBER OF THE ASSOCIATION WHOSE LATE HUSBAND BILL HAD DONATED

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A COLLECTION OF RESEARCH MATERIAL ON TROUP TO THE WALTER REUTHER LIBRARY AT WAYNE STATE UNIVERSITY, DETROIT MICHIGAN. I FOUND THE PEOPLE AT WAYNE STATE VERY COOPERATIVE, AND THEY SENT US 131 PAGES OF RESEARCH MATERIAL.

WE HAD FOUND A MENTION HERE AND A MENTION THERE, BUT WHEN WE FOUND BILL CAHN, WE FOUND AUGUSTA LEWIS TROUP

ALONG SIDE WILLIAM GEDDISH’S SEARCH FOR AUGUSTA LEWIS TROUP, WAS THE MURAL. 5th WARD ALDERMAN JORGE PEREZ, SAID THAT ALTHOUGH AN ALUMNUS OF THIS SCHOOL, AND A GOOD STUDENT, HE THOUGHT THAT TROUP WAS “SOME WHITE GUY”. ANDREA VAN DEN HEEVER, URGED HIM TO ATTEND THE GREATER NEW HAVEN LABOR HISTORY ANNUAL MEETING WHERE SHE WAS ABOUT TO RECEIVE THE AUGUSTA LEWIS TROUP, PASS IT ON AWARD. HE DID, AND FOUND OUT WHO THIS “WHITE GUY” WAS. SHE WAS THE FIRST WOMAN TO HOLD OFFICE IN A NATIOMAL UNION, AND WHEN THE “MEN’S: TYPOGRAPHICAL UNION WOULDN’T LET WOMEN IN SHE ORGANIZED A TYPOGRAPHICAL UNION FOR WOMEN, EVENTUALY MERGING WITH THE MEN’S UNION.

THIS KNOWLEDGE OF AUGUSTA LEWIS TROUP GALVANIZED JORGE’S FEELINGS THAT THE STUDENTS HERE SHOULD HAVE A MEMORABLE INTRODUCTION TO HER, AND TO HER REMARKABLE STORY. HE ORGANIZED A COMMITTEE TO IMPLEMENT THESE GOALS. AFTER AN INITIAL MEETING AT CITY HALL THE COMMITTEE MET AT THE LABOR CENTER WITH: •

SUSAN WEISSELBERG, SCHOOL CONSTRUCTION PROGRAM COORDINATOR NEW HAVEN PUBLIC SCHOOLS

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MIKE BOUWMAN, PROJECT MANAGER SCHOOL CONSTRUCTION

TIM CALLAHAN,& TOM LODGE REPRESENTING: - HERBERT S. NEWMAN ARCHITECTS.

MARK WILSON, VICE PRESIDENT OF LOCAL #35 FUE. UNITE/HERE

LULA WHITE, GREATER NEW HAVEN LABOR HISTORY ASSOCIATION EXECUTIVE BOARD MEMBER.

JOAN CAVANAGH, GREATER NEW HAVEN LABOR HISTORY ARCHIVIST

5th WARD ALDERMAN JORGE PEREZ,

MARY AND ME IN ATTENDANCE.

THIS MEETING WAS ONE OF MANY WHICH INVOLVED COMMUNITY MEMBERS, UNION MEMBERS AND CITY OFFICIALS. A PACKET OF PICTURES, CDs AND WRITTEN MATERIAL RELETIVE TO NEW HAVEN LABOR HISTORY.

CANDIDATES WERE CULLED DOWN FROM TWENTY TO TEN AND THEN TO THREE, WHO PERSON MADE PRESENTATIONS OF THEIR WORK TO THE COMMISSION. AND THEN TO ONE, SUSAN BOWEN. SUSAN GATHERED PHOTOGRAPHS FROM FROM THE GREATER NEW HAVEN LABOR HISTORY ASSOCIATION AT OUR LOCATION AND AT THE ETHNIC HERITAGE CENTER, AND FROM VIRGINIA BLAISDEL, NOTED NEW HAVEN JOURNALISTIC PHOTOGRAPHER. BLESS YOU SUSAN. AND ALL THOSE INVOLVED IN THIS GREAT EFFORT.

NEVER AGAIN WILL AUGUSTA LEWIS TROUP BE MISTAKEN FOR “SOME WHITE GUY”

YOU CAN FIND AUGUSTA LEWIS TROUP IN WILLIAM GEDDISH’S RESEARCH IN THE BOOKLET IN YOUR LAP.

YOU CAN ALSO FIND HER IN SUSAN BOWEN’S MURAL IN THE HALLWAY OUTSIDE OF THIS ROOM.

THANK YOU ALL, AND NEVER, NEVER FORGET:

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LABORHISTORY.ORG.


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GNHLHA Troup Talk