The Reuther-Pollack Labor History Symposium II

by Jul 25, 2018History, Latest Postings, Lecture

Saturday, September 1, 2018, 10 AM – 5 PM

To be held at the Wheeling Academy-Law & Science Foundation

The First State Capitol Building
1413 Eoff Street
Wheeling, WV 26003

The date of the symposium is appropriate as it is the birthday of Wheeling’s well known union leader Walter P. Reuther (September 1, 1907), the culmination of the Battle of Blair Mountain (September 2, 1921), and Labor Day. In addition to Mr. Reuther, who is widely regarded as one of the most influential and charismatic labor leaders of the 20th Century, the symposium is named in honor of Augustus Pollack, the Wheeling business owner whose progressive policies toward his employees led organized labor to erect a monument in his honor. It is thought to the only monument ever built by labor in honor of a business owner. Symposium attendees will have the opportunity to join a walking tour, led by an expert, to view both the Pollack and Reuther monuments at Heritage Port on the Wheeling riverfront during the lunch break.

10-11:00 AM: Registration

11:00 AM: Dr. Steven Stoll, Professor of History at Fordham University (author of Ramp Hollow: The Ordeal of Appalachia), “The Captured Garden: Subsistence Under Capitalism” (A chapter from the book)

12:00 PM: Dr. Benjamin Bankhurst, Assistant Professor of History at Shepherd University, “African American Life and Labor on C&O Canal: A Case Study of Lock 38”

1:00-2 PM: Lunch; A Birthday Party for Walter P. Reuther & optional Walking Tour to Reuther and Pollack Monuments, led by Dr. David Javersak

2:00 PM : Mark Bulik, Senior Editor, New York Times: “The Sons of Molly Maguire: The Irish Roots of America’s First Labor War”

3:00 PM: Dr. Kevin Kenny, Professor of History at Boston College: “Making Sense of the Molly Maguires”

4:00 PM: Gavin Strassel, United Auto Workers Archivist at the Walter P. Reuther Library of Labor and Urban Affairs at Wayne State University: “How Walter Reuther transformed the Labor Movement into a Social One: Stories from the UAW Archives ”

Registration is $20.00 (includes lunch). All proceeds go toward event expenses. Email to rsvp


Monday, August 27, at 7 pm at the First State Capitol, Free Screening of the documentary, “American Socialist: The Life and Times of Eugene Victor Debs”

Tuesday, Aug 28 at noon, Lunch With Books at the Ohio County Public Library: Jack Seitz, Lead Educator at the West Virginia Mine Wars Museum: “A Brief Sketch of West Virginia Labor History in Modern Context or: The Long History of ‘Going West Virginia on You.’”

Tuesday, Aug 28 at 7 PM, Special Edition People’s University at the Ohio County Public Library: Louis Martin, Associate Professor of History, Chatham University: “Appalachia in the Age of Neoliberalism”

Wednesday, August 29, at 7 pm at the First State Capitol, Free Screening of the documentary: “Brothers on the Line”

Thursday, Aug 30 at noon, Special Edition Lunch With Books at the Ohio County Public Library: Ginny Savage Ayers, “Never Justice, Never Peace: Mother Jones and the Miner Rebellion at Paint and Cabin Creeks”

Thursday, Aug 30 at 7 PM – Concert at the First State Capitol: “Songs of Protest and the Working Class” Featuring musicians Tom Breiding, Jason Kendall and Mike Stout.

Friday, Aug. 31 at 7 PM at the First State Capitol: “The Francis Pier-Pint Historic Brew-Off” Featuring Travis Henline (WV Statehood), Dr. Hal Gorby (South Wheeling), and Ryan Stanton (Wheeling’s Brewing History). And the Wheeling Alers. Your admission ticket gets you a commemorative Francis Pier-Pint pint glass and free beer samples. You pick the best historic brew!


Email for ticket information


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