tv Reel America The Inheritance - 1964 CSPAN September 16, 2018 4:00pm-5:01pm EDT
erica," "inheritance," a film commissioned by the amalgamated clothing workers of america. it includes songs by variety of folk singers. it documents conflicts and advances for textile workers for ellis island to the civil rights movement. the union had over 100,000 members in the late 1920's, and in 1976, it merged with the textile workers of america. this is just under one hour.
>> ♪ hush, don't you cry go to sleep, ye little baby ♪ >> [singing in foreign language] [baby crying] narrator: today is born out of yesterday, and there is no birth without pain. [singing in foreign language] narrator: spring, 1901. [bell rings] narrator: 16 years old, coming to america with five words of english. >> my name is xena gravitch. >> an impossible language. i will never learn it.
>> my name is xena gravitch. my name is xena gra -- [ship's horn] >> in the old country, i worked like an animal, and even before my children are born, the mark is on them. animal. before god, i swear my children will not live as i have lived. >> ♪ freedom doesn't come like a bird on the wing doesn't come down like the summer rain freedom, freedom is a hard won 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 you've got to work for it, fight
for it, day and night for it ♪ >> ♪ pass it on to your children ♪ >> ♪ pass it on [crowd noise] announcer: new arrivals scheduled for examination, present yourself with your documents. find the line matching the letter on your tag. >> name? >> albrun -- >> place of birth. >> odessa. >> how much money do you got? >> no understand. >> money. dinero. how much money? >> we've got 5,000 to process today, so let's keep these lines moving. you've got exactly two minutes to ask them 32 questions and finish health inspection. keep an eye out for tb. we're getting a lot of it lately. >> name? >> crissimo -- >> spell it. >> cris -- >> skip it. we'll make it "simpson."
>> please, god, let nothing go wrong. let them not notice the baby's running nose, let them take us into america. ♪ >> why do you keep asking me what it is going to be like? i told you 1000 times. the streets are paved with gold, and the houses are all marble. yes, yes. ♪ >> i am in this country, golden america. learn, study, pay attention, keep your eyes open, you hear? this is golden america, where millionaires grow on trees like
little apples. [children singing] ♪ >> aye, is this a country? as to as i'm standing here, one family, the vanderbilts, has got seven houses on fifth avenue. and in case they need some fresh air, they have a dump on long island and a hole in the wall on rhode island, not to mention a 60 room shack in north carolina. i read them the paper. just to take care of the grounds, they spend more on agriculture. let it be a lesson. save your money.
[crowd noises] narrator: an official new york housing survey, 1905. >> we find it difficult to convey conditions in the new immigrant neighborhoods. darkness, dampness, dirt, dirt, discomfort, and disease. diphtheria and death. [baby cries] >> mulberry street. 17 of us in four rooms. naples andio from
aunt bianca and the kid sleep in the parlor. if i ever get a boyfriend, where can we hold hands? in the park, with the pigeons. >> my dear, there are some rules of etiquette one simply does not question. a lady does not show her ankle or raise her voice. if unmarried, a girl must be accompanied by a chaperone. a male relative would be quite satisfactory. naturally, the best and safest thing to do is stay at home and help mother about the house. >> 12 hours a day. mama makes $.50. i make a dime. louis makes a nickel. [whirring] [train whistle] >> laying down tracks for the westbound train, stacking up timber in maine, digging up coal in the west virginia hills, hammering steel. immigrants from austria and
italy, immigrants from riga on the baltic sea slow backs, , swedes, irishmen from limerick, english men from leeds. ♪ six day a week, a 12 hour day, and it is welcome, boys to the , usa. a dollar a day for a factory hand, and it is welcome, ladies to the promised land. , ♪ [guitar being played] narrator: immigrants and the sons of immigrants, putting down roots, hanging on, stubborn as a tree that pushes its way up through the rock. acrobats and clowns, rascals and lovers, builders and dreamers,
leaving their signature on the city's -- cities. budapest, columbia and 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, do you want to hear the president? george washington, john adams, thomas jefferson. >> professor genius, what else did you learn? >> daniel webster, a quote. "justice is the great interest of man on earth." >> 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. narrator: golden america. half dream and half nightmare. >> ♪ when i die don't bury me at , all hang me up in the pulled room hall -- pool room hall i can keep on working in the promised land i got the blues" i got the blues lordy, lordy, got to work like hell ♪ narrator: two million children in the mills and the mines, 6
million grown-ups unemployed. >> why hire a man for one 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 unless the $900 a year. the average working man earns about $400. ♪ inspiratione union for theer greater -- union makes us strong solidarity forever, solidarity forever ♪
narrator: the garment workers of new york, keeping alive a tradition going back to the philadelphia printers who formed a union before washington was president. immigrants and the sons of immigrants, carrying on the heritage of the boston carpenters who fought for the 10 hour day while missouri was still indian territory. ♪ >> ♪ we are coming, union men we are battle side, we will ♪ctory will come ♪ >> as spokesman for the mine owners, the rights and interests of the laboring man will be cared for not by the labor agitator but by the christian man who by god's wisdom has been given control of the property interests of this country. >> ♪ freedom doesn't come like the bird on the wing
doesn't come down like this summer rain freedom, freedom, is a hard-one hard-won thing you have to work for it, fight for it, day and night for it and every generation has got to win it again pass it on to your children, mother pass it on to your children, brother ♪ >> i came to chicago green off the boat, 1910. got myself a job in a men's clothing shop. the machine shaking in your , boots, scared of being fired for talking, sneezing, looking at the foreman cross-eyed. >> a busy season, it get up before dawn, come home in the
dark, the children's faces you don't look on except when they are sleeping. and in the slack season, you can speed up. you can go crazy with the speed up, turning out more, more, more for the same money. [sewing machine] >> just like this, all of a sudden, the foreman announces piece ratetting the for seaming pants. >> you have a wife and kids to support. you keep your mouth shut. >> are you going to sit there and take it? not me. i not taking it. i'm walking out. ♪ >> sure, it's all right for them, a handful of girls.
i've got kids to feed. >> i warned her. walk out, and you are blacklisted, finished in chicago. >> why doesn't the union do something? >> the so-called union is strictly for the cutters, the aristocrats. they are not interested in greenhorns. >> what am i doing out here taking over their work? i ought to be out there with them. >> what do we do? >> i don't know what you're going to do. i know what i'm going to do. out. i am walking out. ♪ >> do you hear? did you hear the latest? >> three dollars an hour. six more shops. >> 18,000. >> 35,000. >> you hear? $40,000. ♪
>> i heard rumor the union is looking to make a deal under the table and sell us down the river. [crowd noise] i am as mild-mannered a girl as i can be i have never done any harm that i can see still, they throw me in the can they go wild, simply wild, over me ♪ >> men with empty stomachs, four months out on the freezing street, four months standing together, standing solid. >> i see charlie out there walking in the line. up comes a foreman who 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. i wonder, mr. sharpener, how long has it been since you have seen with your own eyes the conditions under which these people work? >> so i went to my factory and i looked, and then i wasn't surprised that they went on strike. i was only surprised they waited so long. >> schaffner is going to arbitrate grievances and wage
demands. >> what does hellmann 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. >> it 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. ♪ narrator: something in the wind, blowing east in chicago, a restless murmur running through the shops, something being born, a beginning. a hope. new york, 1912, heart of the men's clothing market. rs, buttonholeke makers, cutters, tailors,
slapped in jail by the police, bailed out by a tough little labor lawyer named laguardia. >> did you hear? 53 hour week. >> ice in the winter. >> listen, whatever you get, if i am wrong, if my information is mistaken, please correct me, which i will appreciate. thank you. ♪ narrator: something in the wind, something struggling to be born. baltimore, strike and sellout. rochester, sellout and hardship. -- heart break. ♪ [crowd noise]
>> the union is having a convention, nashville, tennessee. >> why nashville? >> because the locals are in new york, chicago, baltimore, that's the reason. they are making it tough for us to get out there. >> so why nashville? why not alaska? sounds] train bag, -- beg, borrow, scrape together the money for train fare. >> all out for nashville. >> new york, boston, rochester, cincinnati, philadelphia, baltimore, altoona. >> we were all on strike, we didn't eat, how can we pay dues? >> the right to speak. >> baltimore is still out on strike. >> the balcony is out of order.
that the brother in the balcony be heard. >> >> the delegate from chicago is out of order. >> listen, were just came in for nashville. chicago just walked out of the convention. yes, and new york and baltimore. >> boston, philadelphia, and cincinnati. >> 75% of the membership walked out. >> holding their own convention. >> we are setting up our own union. ♪ >> it will be an outlaw outfit, will not even be in the af of l. you are staking your hand on a wild gamble. narrator: in the month of december in 1914, they gathered at webster hall, and they took the gamble. >> it's in our dream to give security to our members, security with individual freedom.
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. a group inmed milwaukee. hungarian. narrator: starting with nothing, empty pockets and a barrel of hope, organizing new york and chicago, wisconsin and new jersey, baltimore and boston, kentucky, missouri, ohio, montréal, toronto, pennsylvania. >> dear brother hillman, maybe you can come to our assistance. we had a little strike down here in philadelphia.
our business agent got thrown in jail. i haven't got to buy postage stamps, much less pay the fine. worse comes to worse, don't worry. i will hawk my overcoat. -- hock my overcoat. >> the union is the best thing that ever happened in this industry. we've got arbitration, come together like human beings, set standards set rates in a , civilized manner, do you know what i mean? since we went union, we have never had a strike. >> february 1, 1915, 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 passage of the corrupt practices act, the clayton antitrust act, workmen's compensation, child labor laws. ♪
i do not know what war is about but will soon sure find out ♪ [explosions] >> ♪ i may not know what the war is about, but i bet by gosh i will assume find out oh, my darling, don't you fear i'll bring you a gun for a souvenir ♪ ♪ narrator: u.s. army, dead and missing, 130,500. wounded, 234,300. u.s. steel, profits $2 billion.
in the backwash 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. 3000 foreign-born arrested, denied lawyers, held without charges for three months. in pittsburgh and gary, indiana, it was the 12-hour day, take it or leave it, and you had better take it if you know what is good for you. man♪ a vigilante
vigilante man does he carry a gun in his hand? would he beat your brother and sister down? ♪ >> clothing workers of america of the af of l, and closed find our contribution of $100,000 for the relief of the steel strikers. we know it's only the beginning of one of the greatest attacks ever directed at american labor. narrator: 1920. >> in six short years, we have built ourselves one of the strongest unions in the country. in new york a 44-hour week and a , working machinery of arbitration. decided the employers
to work with the union. they offered us a contract and we turned them down. >> lockout. >> they get an injunction and starve us out. >> the judge just came back into the courtroom. he's getting ready to read the decision. >> what happens if they get the injunction? >> we get thrown in the clinker. that is what happens. ye, the supreme court of the state of new york is now in session. the honorable judge presiding. >> the court must stand at all times as the representatives of capital industry. >> injection granted. while they may succeed at getting injunctions. we succeeded nothing else.
let them go ahead. >> hang on. sit tight and hang on. reopen shop again the seven-day week in the 12 hour day. starvation, slams, everything that is in human. their organization must ask a great sacrifices. we ask you to walk a set of spending all your money there. your lives depend on it. your future. children. of your we will take care that there was no single house without bread. we will not give you meet, but your brothers and sisters in chicago, rochester and baltimore will not let you starve. starting in the sweatshop at the age of 11, am how i never got time to go to harvard. so at the age of 47, i am in college. publicn history, speaking, labor history, even art classes.
>> with volunteer to go out there and arrange the entertainment. i don't believe the world has as theildren anywhere, eastside children. they took our modest program and transformed it with their magic. i sat there thinking, what if the society were making children like this instead of profits? -- what if the business us is the war making children like this, is that of making profits. but we hung on, hung on for six long months. and we won. ♪ >> we did it. we did it. we hung on and we won. ♪ >> the 1920's. >> a chicken in every pot and a tin lizzie in every garage. >> keep cool with kool-aid. >> cancel the child labor laws. >> what did calvin coolidge say ♪
dodo do di, and, patrick henry made is beach, when he told them liberty , or black bottom. ♪ >> believe you me, the 20's isn't all bo, doe dee oh do. it is still a seasonal business. layoffs come unemployment. for a loan come of asking for security. this and that. security, i wouldn't be there in the first place. my hands are my security. >> as we come marching, marching, we battle for men for they are women's children and we mother them again. our lives shall not be slotted from birth until life closes.
us bread, and give us roses. narrator: the amalgamated pioneering slum clearance, putting up the first cooperative low-rent houses, founding a bank where working man can get alone out of the security of his -- can get a loan out of the security of his labor, setting up the only unemployment insurance program in the nation. and that was also the 1920's. >> up, up, up boys, the sky is the limit. >> at&t, 303. >> u.s. steel, 313. >> i love my wife, but who are you kiddin? >> what's wrong with the market? u.s. steel, 300. u.s. steel, 152. u.s. steel, 60. ♪ >> who cares if the sky has to
fall♪ in the sea who cares about dating younger♪ as long as you have -- who cares about dating younger!♪ >> president hoover assured reporters today that the fundamental business of the country is on a sound and prosperous basis. the secretary of the treasury announced, i can guarantee there is nothing in the situation to be concerned about. ♪ >> it's a mighty hard row that these poor hands hold ♪ ♪ my poor dad traveled a hard, dusty road♪ ♪ at the edge of your's cities, ou will see us and then♪ we come with the dust, and we are gone with the wind♪ >> fed up with being unemployed,
tired of being hungry doughboys , 20,000 went down to washington to demand the veterans bonus that we had coming to us. the armyoover sicced on us, chased us out of the hospital. >> let me tell you mister, we ain't taken it no more, there there is going to be some changes made. >> california is proud to nominate a president. california, 44 votes for roosevelt. [applause] >> there is a mysterious cycle in human events. to some generations, much is given. of other generations, much is
expected. this generation of americans as rendezvous with destiny. [explosions] ♪ narrator: the new deal, beginning to roll, a running river of social legislation, bringing jobs to 9 million unemployed, fair labor laws setting minimum wages and maximum hours. child labor laws passed again. the tva, 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. in -- thel you was politicians will vote for a bill in congress that lengthens the working hours and abolishes the prevailing wage. politicians the will do, unless you make your wants and your rights known. and you can't do it unless you organize. >> this country wants representation, the workers want organization, they want participation, they want
protection, they want employment, and they are going to have those things through the leadership and instrumentality of this new labor movement. [applause] >> instead of 1000 craft unions segregating the workers, the cio meant one great union for the industry. organize the unorganized, furnace man in the steel mills, deckhands, stokers aboard the merchant ships roustabout's in ggers in the oil fields. rubber workers, electrical , thers, copper miners amalgamated organizing cotton garment workers in pennsylvania, new england and the prairie
states, organizing laundry workers, cleaners and dyers, retail clerks, providing the manpower and money to organize a textile workers union. ♪ >> if you want fair wages, then we tell you what to do♪ you have to talk to their workers in the shop with you♪ you have to build a union and fight for what you want♪ better building conditions, better working conditions, working with a♪ that is why you have to ride on the union train♪ we will all be waiting until judgment day if you don't♪ will be buried♪ now you know you are underpaid♪ but the boss thinks you ain't♪ you may be down and out♪ but you ain't beaten♪
we just have to organize and talk it over♪ ♪ >> which side are you one? which side are you on? >> i will stick with the union until this whole fight is won. ♪ which side are you on? 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? [applause] ♪ >> this land is your land ♪ this land is my land from california to the new york islands♪ from the redwood forests to the gulf stream waters, this land was made for you and me♪ ♪ as i went walking? >> that ribbon of highway
field,e men's clothing victory. industrywide collective bargaining, bringing order out of chaos. auto organized, cio. steel organized. textile organized. rubber, oil, copper, merchant marine, furniture workers, leather workers, woodworkers. packing house workers glass workers. ♪ ["this land is your land" being sung]♪ >> in three years, 5 million americans organized. cio. >> 1938, ♪ ♪ forget your troubles and just get happy♪ ♪ you better take all your cares away♪ ♪ sing hallelujah ♪ get ready for the judgment day♪ ♪
forget your troubles and just get happy you better chase all your cares away. we're going to the promise land♪ there is also peaceful on the other side♪ forget your troubles, come on get the♪ shout hallelujah, come on get have♪ get ready for the judgment day♪ >> berlin. chancellor adolf hitler told reporters today germany had no territorial ambitions. he claimed that all allegations to the contrary are fabrications circulated by an international jewish conspiracy. ♪ narrator: poland, 1939. [explosions] ♪ >> poland, denmark, norway,
on the bleak islands of the pacific, we got the message the days when the united states could sit isolated behind its oceans, were gone forever. on, for better or for worse, it was one world. the battle line ran from the philip means to iwo jima, from anzio to normandy, from al alamein to stalingrad. ♪ the battle line ran through pittsburgh and detroit, norfolk and go. san francisco. ♪
and yet, in the midst of war, in the 19 42 elections, on the a third of americans 80 million eligible voters went to the polls. ♪ franklin roosevelt, the white house, washington, to sidney hillman. " dear sydney, i can think of nothing more important than the continuing political education of the people who do the jobs of this land." >> it is our duty now to begin to lay the plans and determine the strategy for winning a lasting peace, and the establishment of an american standard of living higher than ever known before. narrator: the man dies, but the dream endures. ♪ >> we have accepted, so to speak, a second bill of rights under which a new basis of
prosperity can be established for all, regardless of station, race or creed. to earn enough to provide adequate food and clothing and recreation. the right to adequate protection from the economic fears of old age, sickness, accident and unemployment. and finally, the right to a good education. all of these rights spell security. ♪ narrator: the clock ticks away the inexorable hours. over the horizon, the days vanish like wild birds. the sky announces a new season. pinned up on the drawing board are plans for the destruction of pianos and violins. lightning flashes among the constellations, and yet the
human spark burns on. thunder rolls above the clouds, and yet the small, persistent voice of a man prevails. i looked age of 83, back to see the changes that had taken place. i remembered that when mr. hillman had just arrived from chicago, i then said to a friend of mine, i said, -- he looks like a young fellow, but i would take my hat off to him if you can take a these wolves and make them see the light, and create a business where individuals could make a livelihood and do away with that slavery that existed s.l through the year
>> i can go back to a time with my pop, may he 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. when he was out just one day, there was no day. and when he had no pay, there was no food in the house. at that time, a boss was able to walk over to the machine, or off the cotton, kick you out, and that was it. when things got slow the boss used to go around and cut prices, and we used to work cheaper. you had no standard of conditions, of garments, of labor. dog.s a doggi dog eat benefits, we had none. >> today, as long as i stay in the amalgamated, i've got my
benefits, i can move to any union shop in the country, new york, ohio, oskaloosa and keep my medical care. keep my pension. >> whoever thought that this trade would have three weeks' vacation? whoever thought we would have real holidays? -- legal holidays? whoever thought we would see a business agent who could walk into a shop and tell the boss, you can't fire this man because he is old, or because he is sick? you've got to keep him. thishoever thought in trade, that when a man reached 65, he could retire? because never did we think we would see it in this trade. a man used to work until he dropped by the machine. and after he dropped, he had to hope his family was support him. i can remember when a man got sick, he was broke. the unionhave got hospitalization on x-rays, psychiatric, right down the line.
today, i come into a shop in i look around and i see the anger p told, girls and boys, and i said to myself, "are these people know what we fought for?" " do they know how hard it was to get the conditions that we have 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 that they must sacrifice to keep the conditions? ?" they call each other brothers and sisters at a union meeting. do they know that a union brother and a union sister made sacrifice? >> if i had a hammer ♪ a hammer in the morning a hammer in the evening♪ i would hammer all over this land♪ i would hammer out danger♪ i would hammer out a warning♪ union is dignity. >> the biggest thing we have a show the south through our union is dignity. the thing that is most important down there is dignity, the right to stand up and grieve, the
right to know they can take a stand when they are mistreated in the shop. you go into a town that is antiunion, try to make contact as quietly as possible. we are refused housing accommodations, hotels and motels. when we get somewhere, our phone calls are monitored. i have been in the southern community in a plant and city chaseals, police, sheriff us away from the plant, take after our car. take the number of the car, rope around my neck, pulled up on my tiptoes and told, if you ever come back here again, we will kill you. many times a worker will say i'm for you, i'm going to vote for you, but don't park your car close to our house because they will see you and i might get fired tomorrow. the boss will know that you have
been to see me, and i may get fired tomorrow. it takes a lot of courage for a worker to sign a union card, but the workers have got courage, a lot of them have. ♪ ['s "if i had a hammer" being sung] i'd hammer in the morning♪ i'd hammer in the evening♪ i'd hammer all over the land♪ i'd hammer up freedom i'd hammer out justice i'd hammer out love between my brothers and my sisters, all over this land♪ >> as it is, they say we're not ready. that is the first thing you hear. he is not ready for it. how can i give him something he is not ready for? but come i am ready. i've been ready. but maybe you don't recognize it. i have children, and i'm worried about them like you are worried about yours. ♪ >>♪
you've got to work for it, fight for it day and night for it. ♪ generation's got to win it all again♪ >> sometimes i start thinking, if only i could protect them from all the troubles of the world, discrimination, poverty, war. but the best i can do is let her learn to stand up and fight for a decent life. that's her inheritance. ♪ narrator: the seed is planted and the seed flowers. the roots take hold. a stubborn three forces its way -- a stubborn tree forces its way through the rock. immigrants and the sons of immigrants, handing down their inheritance, creating out of their dreams and their anguish and their songs, the face of america. ♪
>> ♪ freedom doesn't come like a bird on the wing♪ ♪ doesn't come down like the summer rain♪ freedom, freedom is a hard-won thing♪ you have got to fight for it, fight for it♪ day and night for it♪ and every generation has to win it all again♪ ♪ [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2017] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org]
social programs about the war. >> in late july 1918, general oppression created the first united states army and immediate apps were to pentagon center dot american forces at one point on the line. saintpoint was a mihiel. >> visiting villages, monuments and the american cemetery related to the battle of saint -mihiel. >> the weather was horrible, it was raining and it was chilly. the americans launched the attack heading north in the direction of where we are standing. unbeknownst. to them, the germans who had occupied this whole salient had began a withdrawal and they were sorry to move their troops, but they did not move them quick enough -- they were starting to move their troops, but they did not move them quick enough. the following day, they reached not only their may not
objectives of that day, but on day.ollowing and by mid morning of september 13, the whole silly and had been liberated. announcer: watch american artifacts today at experience eastern. on american history tv on c-span3. >> american history tv, u.s. army command and staff college , and the truman presidential library archivist, discuss or astronauts and hunter efforts during the truman administration. topics include the president's response to the soviets retaining nuclear secrets through as you knowledge, mccarthyism and truman's reaction to allegations against accused spies, ethel and julius rosenberg. the harry s truman presidential library hosted this event. it is just under one hour.