Twentieth Century Radicalism in Minnesota Oral History Project: Interview with Richard J. Parish
Part 1


Part 2


Description BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION: Richard Parish was born in St. Louis County, Minnesota, in 1914, the son of a Methodist minister. He grew up on the Iron Range, and graduated from Hamline University (St. Paul) in 1935. He then served as supervisor of workers' education for the Works Progress Administration in Duluth from 1936-1939, before moving to Minneapolis to work for the Railroad Retirement Board. During the Second World War, Mr. Parish joined the U.S. Navy, and afterwards earned a law degree from the Minneapolis College of Law. Starting in 1949 he held a number of public offices: School Board of District #281, 1949-1958; Metropolitan Suburban School Board Association, 1956-1958; Metropolitan Planning Commission, 1957-1958. In 1958 he was elected to the Minnesota House of Representatives, and served two terms there before being elected to the state senate in 1962. He served one term in the senate. At the time of the interview, Mr. Parish had retired to Pine City, Minnesota. He was married, with three daughters and one son. SUBJECTS DISCUSSED: Development of the workers' education program in northern Minnesota. Differences between the American Federation of Labor and the Congress of Industrial Organizations, and their relative influences in northern Minnesota, 1930s. Political sympathies of the various ethnic groups on the Iron Range. Attitudes of the AF of L leaders towards worker education. Anecdotes about workers' education teachers and classes. Charges of radicalism leveled against the worker education project. Taconite amendment to the Minnesota constitution, 1964. Fraternity among state legislators from the Iron Range, 1960s. Anti-union tactics of the steel companies, 1910s and 1920s. On the untranscribed portion of the tapes, the subjects are as follows: Memories of the. Great Depression on the Iron Range and Duluth. Evaluations of the New Deal programs. Philosophy behind the worker education movement. Opinions of the future of organized labor, 1989. Definitions of radicalism. Parish family background. General political commentary and opinions. Social gospel of the Methodist Church, and its influence on Mr. Parish. COMMENTS ON INTERVIEW: The interview is rather superficial. The second half of the interview broke little new ground, and was not transcribed. The interviewer, Mr. Bruce, also supervised in the worker education project during the 1930s. A separate interview with him is in the Minnesota Historical Society.
Quantity 1 hour sound cassette
11 pages transcript
Format Content Category: sound recordings
Content Category: text
Measurements 00:52:10 running time
Creation Interviewee: Parish, Richard J.
Interviewer: Bruce, Douglas Alan
Made in Pine City, Pine County, Minnesota, United States
Subjects Made in Pine City, Pine County, Minnesota, United States
Dates Creation: 03/08/1989
Holding Type Oral History - Interview
Identifiers OH 30
Accession Number AV1990.228.30
More Info MHS Library Catalog
Related Collections Oral History - Project, MHS Collection, project: 'Twentieth Century Radicalism in Minnesota Oral History Project'

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