17 March 1941

17 March 1941

17 March 1941

March 1941


War at Sea

German submarines U-99 and U-11 sunk off Iceland.


British repulse an Italian counterattack at Keren and occupy Jujiga

Coal Diggers, Steel Workers Ask Boost in Pay

From Labor Action, Vol. 5 No. 11, 17 March 1941, p.ك.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’ Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

Negotiations between the coal operators and the United Mine Workers of America began Tuesday morning. Conferences between the United States Steel Corp, and the Steel Workers Organizing Committee are also in progress. The negotiations between the miners and the coal mine owners overlap with those between the steel workers and the steel operators. This, because some of the largest mines are owned by the United States Steel Corp. and other large steel companies such as Jones & Laughlin. These are the “captive mines” such as those operated by the Frick Coal Co., subsidiary of U.S. Steel.

The present two-year contract of the miners expires March 31. The contract of the steel workers with U.S. Steel runs perpetually unless it is called off by the SWOC or the Corporation.

Central Demand

The central demand of the miners and the steel workers is an increase in wages. At present the miners have a 35-hour week and a basic daily wage of $6.00 in the North and $5.60 in the South. The miners will probably demand a 30-hour week and a $1.00 a day increase in pay.

The SWOC has already rejected the 2½ cents an hour increase offered by U.S. Steel. The union wants 10 cents an hour increase. Among other demands of the union are:

  1. To be recognized as the exclusive bargaining agent for all employees of the corporation, instead of the present arrangement under which the agreements are plant by plant and the union is the bargaining agent for union members only.
  2. A 48-hour rest period in each calendar week, the work week to run from Monday to Friday. This would eliminate the practice of the company in working the men for 10 consecutive days and on Saturdays and Sundays without a rest period.
  3. Time and a half for overtime in excess of eight hours a day and for work in excess of 40 hours in any calendar week.
  4. One week’s vacation with pay for one to five years’ employment and two weeks for all employed over five years.
  5. Improvement of the present grievance machinery.
  6. Creation of a joint commission of the union and the company to consider equalization of rates in various labor classifications.
  7. Reinstatement provisions for draftees.
  8. Seniority to be based on continuous service.
  9. Arrangements for machinery through which the union can collect dues.

Weaknesses of SWOC

A reading of the present demands of the SWOC reveals a number of important points that were not covered in the original contract with U.S. Steel. At present the SWOC is bargaining agent only for union members. This despite the fact that there is no union in steel other than the SWOC. There has not been any other union that could in any sense be called representative of the steel workers for at least 40 years.

The way, of course, for the SWOC to push this demand and to make the demand effective is to complete the organization of the steel industry and to set up a real steel international. At present the SWOC is a loose aggregation, completely controlled from the top. The top officers of the SWOC sign contracts without submitting the contract to the workers involved for approval or rejection. Contracts do not cover all the plants of a company or all of the several subsidiary companies of a holding company like U.S. Steel. The SWOC is seeking now to correct this weakness in its relations with U.S. Steel but nothing has been done yet to strengthen the union internally by making it a more militant and better fighting organization. For this more internal democracy is needed, the encouragement of more initiative from the Union membership and locals, the complete organization of the industry and the formation of a steel international union.

Sore Spots

U.S. Steel is not paying time and a half for overtime in excess of the basic work day of eight hours. Furthermore, by judicious juggling of the work week fay the “stagger” system, the corporation is in position to tamper with the time and a half provision. Added to this is the fact that the workers lose Saturdays and Sundays off.

The union demands do not define what is meant by “improvement of the present grievance machinery.” However, it is evident that here is a real sore spot. This is usually the case in all loosely drawn contracts. If grievance procedure is not clearly defined, well understood by the workers and an efficient grievance committee established, the company can render a contract completely useless. This is a further reason for establishing an international in steel and putting the union under the democratic control of the workers.

It is impossible for a committee, at the top, and removed from the daily practical problems that come up in every plant, to handle grievances efficiently. This holds not only for the national leadership but also for any local or regional leadership appointed from the top. Day-to-day grievances can be handled effectively only by elected representatives or committees of the men in the shops. These representatives should be employed in the shops. When it is necessary for international officers to step in, it should be at the request of the men in the plants and in consultation with their elected shop representatives. No union contracts should be signed until the union membership has had the opportunity to approve or reject them.

From demand 𔄡” it seems that the SWOC has had some difficulties in collecting dues. In the final showdown, the inclination of workers to pay dues will be decided by the service which they feel the union is giving them. No company-union “machinery” can take the place of a militant, loyal and democratic union leadership.

The demand SWOC makes of U.S. Steel for an increase of ten cents an hour is far too low. The present base pay is 62½ cents an hour. The demand should be for a $1.00-an-hour minimum for a base 30-hour week. All work over 30 hours should be at time and a half rates, with double time for Saturdays, Sundays and holidays. This should hold, of course, not only for U.S. Steel but for all the steel companies.

The miners have a higher wage rate than the steel workers and they are asking an increase. This is correct. The coal industry is beginning to boom again. Holders of coal company stock are sitting by gleefully waiting for the dividends to begin rolling in. Coal output increased in 1940 by 61,000,000 tons over 1939. The output of 1941 will be greater than for 1940.

The steel corporations are making fabulous profits. These profits will increase during 1941. Workers are far too modest in demanding move of the wealth which they create by their sweat and toil. They are too willing to divide up with the boss. The way this works out in practice is for the boss to get the lion’s share although he performs no useful and necessary service. In fact the coupon clippers and those who draw down the big dividends are not entitled to anything.

The Children's Crusade

Police Dogs Attack Demonstrators, Birmingham Protests, © Charles Moore

On May 2, 1963, more than one thousand students skipped classes and gathered at Sixth Street Baptist Church to march to downtown Birmingham, Alabama. As they approached police lines, hundreds were arrested and carried off to jail in paddy wagons and school buses. When hundreds more young people gathered the following day for another march, white commissioner, Bull Connor, directed the local police and fire departments to use force to halt the demonstration. Images of children being blasted by high-pressure fire hoses, being clubbed by police officers, and being attacked by police dogs appeared on television and in newspapers, and triggered outrage throughout the world.

Despite the violence, children continued to march and protest in an organizing action now known as the Children’s Crusade.

HistoryPorn | Image | "American pilots of No.71 "Eagle" Squadron rush to their Hurricanes at RAF Kirton in Lindsey, Lincolnshire, 17th March 1941 [2441x1772]"

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According to Dupont, "In the late 1920s, DuPont was in direct competition with Britain’s recently formed Imperial Chemical Industries. DuPont and ICI agreed in October 1929 to share information about patents and research developments. In 1952, the companies’ alliance was dissolved. The polymer that became polyester has roots in the 1929 writings of Wallace Carothers. However, DuPont chose to concentrate on the more promising nylon research. When DuPont resumed its polyester research, ICI had patented Terylene polyester, to which DuPont purchased the U.S. rights in 1945 for further development. In 1950, a pilot plant at the Seaford, Delaware, facility produced Dacron [polyester] fiber with modified nylon technology."

Dupont's polyester research lead to a whole range of trademarked products, one example is Mylar (1952), an extraordinarily strong polyester (PET) film that grew out of the development of Dacron in the early 1950s.

Polyesters are made from chemical substances found mainly in petroleum and are manufactured in fibers, films, and plastics.

Hinkle Fieldhouse to make NCAA history once again — eight decades later


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INDIANAPOLIS &ndash You could win bar bets by correctly answering these three questions:

>> What was the Indiana Hoosiers&rsquo first undisputed basketball championship?

>> Where did the Hoosiers finish in the Big Ten when they won their first banner?

>> Where did the Hoosiers open play on the way to that first banner?

Answers: 1940 NCAA second place Butler Fieldhouse.

We will get back to the Hoosiers. First, here is the backstory on the only time that Butler&rsquos arena, now Hinkle Fieldhouse, was an NCAA tournament site.

Hinkle Fieldhouse was built in 1928. It was the largest basketball arena in the United States until 1950. (Photo: Matt Kryger/IndyStar)

After 81 years, that changes Friday when No. 7 seed Florida meets No. 10 seed Virginia Tech at Hinkle at 12:15 p.m. (CBS).

Tony Hinkle has been credited with many achievements &mdash it&rsquos how he ended up in the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame &mdash but the Butler coach's role in the evolution of March Madness is not widely known.

The inaugural NCAA tournament in 1939 was such an afterthought that some teams skipped it to play in the more prestigious National Invitation Tournament in New York City. The NCAA title game, won by Oregon over Ohio State, drew 5,500 fans in Evanston, Illinois, only because most had free admission.

It was such a financial failure that the National Association of Basketball Coaches, which ran it in 1939, accepted an offer from the NCAA to take over. In return, the NCAA had to cover the $2,531 shortfall and grant free tickets to NABC coaches at future title games.

Turned out to be the biggest bargain in college sports history.

In 2019, the NCAA earned $1.05 billion from the tournament, representing more than 90% of its annual revenue. In 2010, the NCAA negotiated 14-year, $10.8 billion contracts with CBS Sports and Turner Broadcasting. The deal was extended in April 2016 for an additional $8.8 billion through 2032.

But in 1940, basketball was close to its peach basket roots. The sport was two years removed from the elimination of the jump ball between centers after every made field goal. Basketball was not the enterprise of the 2020s, featuring global audiences, a shot clock and 3-point shots.

For an eight-team tournament, East and West regionals were organized in Indianapolis and Kansas City, Missouri. The NCAA put Hinkle, Marquette&rsquos Bill Chandler and Notre Dame&rsquos George Keogan in charge of selecting teams for the East Region. Butler Fieldhouse was available because the high school state tournament was not on the same weekend.

Purdue had won the Big Ten championship with a 10-2 record, followed by Indiana at 9-3. However, the Hoosiers swept the season series, winning 46-39 at Seventh Street Fieldhouse and 51-46 at Purdue.

Up to then, Purdue had a 51-11 edge in the series. Indiana had never won the Big Ten outright but had shared titles in 1926, 1928 and 1936.

Before analytics, polls, websites or TV sports channels, the selection committee did not comment publicly on choosing Indiana. Supposedly, Purdue coach Piggy Lambert wanted no part of postseason play and rejected an invitation. That&rsquos not what really happened.

Nearly 50 years later, Hinkle told longtime Bloomington sports editor Bob Hammel that the committee was charged with selecting the &ldquomost representative team&rdquo from the Big Ten/Midwest region &mdash and that team was Indiana.

The Dark History Of Eating Green On St. Patrick's Day

Green cupcakes may mean party time in America, but in Ireland, emerald-tinged edibles harken back to a desperate past.

Green food may mean party time in America, where St. Patrick's Day has long been an excuse to break out the food dye. But historian Christine Kinealy says there's a bitter history to eating green that harks back to Ireland's darkest chapter.

During the Irish Potato Famine of the 1840s, mass starvation forced many Irish to flee their homeland in search of better times in America and elsewhere. Kinealy says those who stayed behind turned to desperate measures.

"People were so deprived of food that they resorted to eating grass," Kinealy tells The Salt. "In Irish folk memory, they talk about people's mouths being green as they died."

At least 1 million Irish died in the span of six years, says Kinealy, the founding director of Ireland's Great Hunger Institute at Quinnipiac University in Connecticut. Which is why for Kinealy, an Irishwoman who hails from Dublin and County Mayo, the sight of green-tinged edibles intended as a joyous nod to Irish history can be jolting, she says.

"Before I came to America, I'd never seen a green bagel," she says. "For Irish-Americans, they think of dyeing food green, they think everything is happy. But really, in terms of the famine, this is very sad imagery."

That's not to say that the sight of green-dyed food is offensive to the Irish.

After all, the color green is closely linked with Ireland, known as the Emerald Isle because of its strikingly verdant countryside. In the 19th century, Irish nationalists and republicans adopted the color — as Ireland's The Journal points out, this was likely to distinguish themselves from the reds and blues that were then associated with England, Scotland and Wales.

And Americans have long embraced St. Patrick's Day traditions that might bemuse the folks back in Ireland, where festivities in honor of the nation's patron saint are a lot more subdued, Kinealy notes.

For instance, St. Paddy's Day Parades? Those originated here in the late 1700s. (George Washington was known to give his Irish soldiers the day off so they could join the celebrations, she says.)

And that quintessential dish of the holiday, corned beef — it may be delicious, but it's most definitely not Irish.

As Smithsonian.com noted, in Gaelic Ireland, cows were a symbol of wealth and a sacred animal, kept more for their milk than their meat — which was only consumed once an animal's milking days were over. In the Irish diet, meat meant pork. It wasn't until Britain conquered most of Ireland that Irish "corned beef" came into existence — to satisfy the beef-loving English.

"Ironically, the ones producing the corned beef, the Irish people, could not afford beef or corned beef for themselves," Smithsonian notes.

Funny enough, the Irish didn't learn to love corned beef until coming to America, where they picked up the taste from their Jewish neighbors in the urban melting pot of New York City.

But these days, even the Irish back in the homeland have made accommodations for this Irish-American dietary quirk, Kinealy says. As tourist season revs up and Americans visitors come to celebrate St. Paddy's Day, she says "a lot of pubs in Ireland will offer corned beef because they know the tourists like it. It's come full circle."

A Guide to the United States’ History of Recognition, Diplomatic, and Consular Relations, by Country, since 1776: Uruguay

Uruguay became independent of Spain in 1811 and was annexed by Brazil until 1825. Following a three-year federation with Argentina, Uruguay became an independent nation in 1828. Thirty years later, the United States established diplomatic relations with Uruguay and the two nations have since maintained close ties.


U.S. Recognition of Uruguayan Independence, 1836 .

The United States recognized the independent state of the Oriental Republic of Uruguay on January 25, 1836, by the issuance of an exequatur to John Darby , as Consul General at New York.

Diplomatic Relations

Establishment of Diplomatic Relations, 1867 .

Diplomatic relations were established on October 2, 1867, when American Minister Resident Alexander Asboth presented his credentials to the Government of the Oriental Republic of Uruguay. Asboth was also accredited to Argentina and resident at Buenos Aires.

Establishment of the American Legation in Montevideo , 1870 .

The American Legation in Montevideo opened on July 6, 1870, under Minister Resident John L. Stevens.


The Bailiwick of Guernsey consists of the Islands of Guernsey, Herm, Sark and Alderney, plus the smaller islands of Lihou, Jethou and Brechou.

The Channel Islands came under the British crown when William, Duke of Normandy invaded England in 1066. To this day, the Queen’s official title in the Bailiwick of Guernsey is that of the Duke of Normandy. The link between Britain and France still survives today in Norman Law, surnames and Guernesaise, the local language. Nowadays Guernsey, its capital St Peter Port and the smaller islands are a favourite tourist destination.

During 1940 – 1945, the islands were the only British soil occupied by German troops and huge numbers of defensive positions were built as part of Hitler’s Atlantic Wall. Of the population of 40,000, 17,000 were evacuated to England.

The materials and effort spent on the Atlantic Wall was totally disproportionate to the strategic importance of the islands but Hitler was convinced that the British would try to recapture them. However the British Government had already decided in 1940 that the islands could not be defended without huge loss of life. By 1943 over five thousand foreign slave workers were working on Guernsey, many of whom lost their lives from exhaustion and starvation. They were guarded by a garrison of 13,000 German troops.

After the D-Day Normandy landings in 1944, the islands became cut off from the rest of Europe and food and fuel supplies dried up. Life became steadily worse with both the occupying forces and islanders suffering from starvation.

The cold winter of 1944 made life almost unbearable. However by the end of December, a life saving Red Cross ship, the SS Vega, docked at St Peter Port with much needed supplies and was to make several more trips up to May 1945. Finally on 9th May 1945 the German Commander surrendered and the first British Troops landed in St Peter Port from HMS Bulldog.

Many reminders of the German occupation remain. Fortress Guernsey is a conservation programme started in 1993 and has been responsible for the restoration of several German watch towers and bunkers which are now open to the public. The story of the Nazi occupation is told at the Occupation Museum located near the airport.

Every year islanders celebrate their freedom on Liberation Day, 9th May, a public Bank Holiday.

Liberation Day is also a Bank Holiday in the other Channel Islands: Jersey on 9th May and Sark on 10th May. Alderney celebrates Homecoming Day on December 15th.

How to get here

Guernsey is easily accessible by both air and ferry, please try our UK Travel Guide for further information.

Related Links:

Occupation Society: www.occupied.guernsey.net Liberation Monument commemorating the islands freedom May 9th 1945.

German Occupation Museum, Forest, Guernsey GY8 0BG. Tel: 01481 238205 The museum gives a picture of life in Guernsey during the German Occupation, 1940 -1945. It includes: authentic Occupation Street, unique audio visual experience, tearoom and garden and fortifications.

German Military Underground Hospital Rue Des Buttes, St Andrews. Tel: 01481 239100 Hewn out of solid rock by slave workers of many nationalities under the control of the German Occupying Forces 1940 – 1945. Originally intended as shelters for large numbers of troops, these tunnels are virtually complete. The hospital was equipped with an operating theatre, kitchen, cinema, staff quarters and wards for 500 patients. Open March – November.