During the early 1930s, Minneapolis was a non-union city. But by 1934, frustrated by wages and working conditions, the Teamsters Local 574 was actively organizing the city’s truckers and preparing for a strike.
When employers refused to recognize the union or their demands, the truckers went on strike. In late July, police opened fire on the strikers, injuring more than 60 and killing two.
The events of that “Bloody Friday” are generally considered the turning point in the strike. The public watched, aghast, as the police gunned down unarmed strikers.
In the aftermath, Gov. Floyd B. Olson enacted martial law while federal mediators pushed for a quick resolution. The strike formally ended in August 1934 after the union and employers agreed to a settlement that addressed many of the union’s demands.
Photograph from the collection of the Hennepin History Museum. Learn more about the museum and its offerings at hennepinhistory.org or 870-1329.