Bread & Roses Centennial Meeting, Jan. 15

Prof. Bob Forrant chairs the planning committee for the Bread & Roses Centennial Project in Lawrence. He sent this information about the upcoming planning meeting on January 15.

“One hundred years ago this very week, thousands of workers in Lawrence had no idea that within just a few days they would engage in one of the most significant labor strikes in history, a strike that would resonate around the world. Largely made up of immigrant workers, many of whom were women, the strikers walked out in the dead of winter to protest wage cuts, dangerous work, and their unhealthy living conditions and in pursuit of a better life for their children.

“The 1912 Strike’s centennial represents an opportunity for people from Lawrence and others who choose to participate to engage in a series of important community conversations on, among other things, the role of democratic institutions in America at the time of the strike and today. The centennial celebration will be marked by a year-long series of conferences, film showings, lectures, art exhibits and other  events. A successful, widely marketed and well-coordinated series of activities across 2012 will provide a powerful platform to enhance civic pride in Lawrence. And, the centennial year offers an extraordinary opportunity to educate a wide-ranging audience on the history of Lawrence, its mills, its immigrant population, and its working people. At the same time it creates an important lens for a community conversation regarding what the city’s next one hundred years could be like.

“We ask you to join us on Saturday, January 15, from 1:00 pm to 3:00  pm at the Lawrence Heritage State Park to discuss and plan for the centennial year. For this to be a success, we need your help!  For further information visit:

—Robert Forrant
For the Bread & Roses Centennial Planning Committee”

One Response to Bread & Roses Centennial Meeting, Jan. 15

  1. Bob Forrant says:

    This is a great opportunity to establish some Lawrence-Lowell efforts in terms of our shared histories, the importance of that history, the notions of how the creative economy can boost economic development, and the links between the Bread & Roses Strike and labor activities in Lowell in 1912 and beyond. Many of the leading characters in the Lawrence Strike moved over to Lowell later in 1912 and participated in a quite significant strike. There are wonderful photos of Industrial Workers of the World icon ‘Big Bill’ Haywood leading textile mill strikers down Merrimack Street, his bowler hat a distinct marker.