Category: History

A Young Lords Fiesta: The Threat of a Good Example

On a recent episode of our weekly radio show History is Revolting, we discussed the events of August 23, 1969, when the Young Lords attempted to hold an “open house” and street festival at the People’s Church, their headquarters in Lincoln Park, Chicago. The group wanted to celebrate the opening of a free community daycare center that they planned to operate out of the church’s basement. Instead of granting the Young Lords a permit to close off the street to hold a block party, the city responded by dispatching hundreds of police and a helicopter that circled overhead. We present here some background information and a brief narrative about the events of that day, along with links to some interesting primary source materials.

José Villa: A Spanish Militant in Colorado’s Coal Fields

On a recent episode of History is Revolting we discussed the life of José Villa, who was described in one newspaper as “one of the principal Spanish organizers” in the lead-up to the 1927-28 Colorado coal miners strike (led by the Industrial Workers of the World–IWW). Rather than provide a detailed summary of what we talked about (scroll to the bottom to listen to the episode), we present here some of the primary documents that informed our discussion.

Clemente Chavez: Immigrant Miner and Wobbly Martyr

On January 12, 1928, an immigrant coal miner and ‘Wobbly’ organizer named Clemente Chavez was shot in the head by an unknown Colorado state police officer. During two episodes of our radio show History is Revolting we talked about Clemente Chavez, and the various events that occurred on January 12, 1928, that culminated in Chavez’ murder inside the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) union hall. We also talked about the life of Chavez, and we examined a number of primary documents to explore his background in Mexico and his life as an immigrant miner in Colorado. Rather than provide a complete retelling of these episodes, we present here a sampling of some of the primary documents that tell the story of Chavez’ life.