1937 July 23

La Follette Committee Report Condemns Police Actions in Chicago Strike


The U.S. Senate La Follette Committee released a report on the infamous “Memorial Day Massacre,” in which the police shot and killed ten striking steelworkers near Chicago on May 30, 1937. The New York Times published excerpts from the report on this day.

The La Follette Committee investigation had been authorized by the Senate Subcommittee on Education and Labor to “Investigate Violations of the Right of Free Speech and Assembly and Interference with the Right of Labor to Organize and Bargain Collectively (June 6, 1936).

The committee was named after Robert M. La Follette, Jr., son of the more famous Robert M. La Follette, Sr., one of the great progressives in the first decades of the twentieth century. He was a passionate opponent of U.S. entry into World War I (October 6, 1917), and was almost impeached for his speech “Free Speech in Wartime.” He was also the Progressive Party candidate for president in 1924.

Learn more: Jerold Auerbach, Labor and Liberty: The La Follette Committee and the New Deal (1966)


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