Davis Radio Theater reenacts 1946's Great Oakland General Strike – Tonight – New Year's Day
For whatever reason, labor and/or strike history doesn’t usually make it into the textbooks. Relatively few people outside Michigan remember one of the most pivotal strikes of all, the great Flint sitdown of 1936 to 1937; the bloody, bitter fighting in coal country has rarely been told outside the historical films October Sky and Matewan. While folksy newspaperman Stewart Holbrook wrote both lovingly and trenchantly of the Wobblies and their buddies in the Northwest, few people remember Holbrook, most of whose books are out of print. And thus, they don’t get his humorous, sometimes sad insights… about the labor tensions existing decades before the UAW and Jimmy Hoffa became household names.
In 1946, a hundred thousand citizens of Oakland, California, walked off their jobs and struck in what was then called the Great Oakland General Strike. Largely forgotten today, writer-director Les Light (based in Davis, California) has brought together many actors (Damany Fisher, Justin Jackson, Kirsten Sanford, Victoria Stephens, Walt Livingston, Jeff Menager, Sean Johanson, Cinitra Verona, Mary Nicholl Mike Doughton, Ryan Todd, Paul Conrad, “Bashful” Ben Breuning and Craig Fergus) to recreate this historic event. Aired live, this is an interesting slice of documentary history.
You can listen live on line today to hear this radio drama at 6 PM PST, 8 PM CST, 9 PM EST (Eastern Standard Time), on KDVS 90.3 FM on Tuesday, January 1.