Longshore Strikers, 1934

Longshore strikers on the railroad tracks near Pier Park and N Columbia Boulevard, 1934.


Longshore strikers on railroad tracks near Pier Park and N Columbia Boulevard, 1934: A2004-002.9377

Longshore strikers on railroad tracks near Pier Park and N Columbia Boulevard, 1934: A2004-002.9377


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12 thoughts on “Longshore Strikers, 1934

  1. The guy in front…light shirt, dark pants and the flat cap kinda looks like a young Dustin Hoffman!

    On the other hand…it looks like the beginning of an old country-western movie title/credit set-up…

    I hear the train a comin’
    It’s rollin’ ’round the bend,
    And I ain’t seen the sunshine
    Since, I don’t know when…
    (Thank you, Mr. Cash!)

    With the RR sign situated where it is, one can easily assume that there is a road hidden behind all that tall grass…it almost looks like a lot of the men are on that road…considering the proximity of their positions…and…almost everyone seems to be lookin’ for something…did somebody get thrown off the train a day or two earlier? 🙂

  2. On the Railroad Crossing post are the words, “Look Out For The Cars.” Never seen that before.

  3. PierParkPete-There was even an odder sign on the passenger trains back before AMTRAK took over. It was in the bathrooms & said “Do not flush when train is in station”. I remember my dad taking me to Seattle & when I flushed the toilet I could see the tracks passing by under the train.

  4. Anybody know where this? I looked near Pier Park and Col Blvd and couldn’t find anything close. Those tracks look old, even in 1934. Hills in the back indicate Willamette River in the background? I give up.

  5. @Chuck, the older passenger trains in Europe still have the very same bathroom features. 🙂

    And that guy in front looks like he’s about to give the photographer a good “talking to”.

  6. Tad: guy in background has a club (stick) in his hand. It’s about to get serious for somebody!

  7. Regarding the July 1934 Longshore strike. Does anyone know which trees were hit by bullet holes? In the book Pistols Pickets and Politics Dave Callison makes reference to the trees with billet holes. Louis Stone also spoke of them. Both have passed away

  8. Not so much a problem along the track, Dumping sewage created general nastiness underneath & in-between cars.
    Poor sods who had to oil the wheel journals and adjust brakes !

  9. looks like a picket line fight on Lombard near the RR track near T4’s main gate . there is a guy in a dark sweater on his knees between the two guys to the camera’s left of the guy in the white shirt walking toward the camera . the guy with the stick is circling around . this looks very serious .

  10. This photo almost certainly is a snapshot from the events in PDX labor history known as “Bloody Wednesday” or the “Battle of Pier Park” from 11 July 1934, during the west coast maritime strike called by the Marine Workers Industrial Union. Strikers gathered along the tracks in the north end of Pier Park trying to block a train carrying cargo west to Terminal 4. Mayor Joe Carson had ordered a phalanx of armed police to escort the train in an open box car. The train left the Albina yard and made it about a mile west of the Columbia Park-Mock Crest tunnel when it was forced into a series of starts and stops before making it to the intersection of Swift Blvd. near the city incinerator and north end of Pier Park. It was around here that shots were fired (mostly or all by police from shotguns and some revolvers), rocks were thrown, and three strikers were hit and wounded. The train eventually reversed course and headed back to Albina yard. The strike ended a few days later in a victory for the striking breakaway longshore union. This incident is still commemorated in July by several ILWU locals in Oregon. Maybe this photo shows the spot at the Swift Blvd. intersection where the shooting occurred; everybody in pic looks pretty agitated as many others have pointed out. Read all about it in many places, including The Oregonian (12 July 1934, pp. 1, 4) and in the “The Portland Red Guide” by Michael Munk (Ooligan Press, 2007).

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