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Twentieth Century Radicalism in Minnesota Oral History Project: Interview with Rosalind Matusow Belmont
BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION: Rosalind Matusow was born in New York in 1917. Her mother, a Russian immigrant and a single parent, worked as a milliner, and was active in the Hat, Cap, and Millinery Workers Union. Rosalind came to the University of Minnesota in 1934 hoping to become a doctor. Instead, she was swept into the student peace movement of the time. Since the dream of being a doctor seemed beyond her reach, and there was so much to do in the radical political world, she dropped out of school after a year and a half and became an organizer for the Hotel and Restaurant Employees Union Local #665. She helped to build the union and contributed to its early successes. In the late 1930s Ms. Matusow returned to the University and became a public health nurse. Following her graduation she moved to California. There she met and married Alfredo Belmont, and raised a family. She also pursued a career in public health nursing. At the time of the interview she was semi-retired. SUBJECTS DISCUSSED: Socialist activity in Russia, early 1900s; Russian immigrant experience in New York; student peace activities at the University of Minnesota, 1930s; student response to the 1934 Minneapolis truck drivers' strike; Bulgarian-Macedonian Workers' Club, Minneapolis; impressions of George Naumoff, Swan Assarson, and Leslie Sinton; descriptions of hotel workers, 1930s: ethnic backgrounds, duties, working conditions that led to unionization; memories of organizing chamber maids and kitchen workers in Minneapolis hotels, late 1930s; meetings of Local 665; relations between Local 665 and 458, and the loss of 665's charter; memories of organizing cafeteria workers in Minneapolis, late 1930s and early 1940s, especially Miller's Cafeteria; Miller's Cafeteria strike, 1941; impressions of Gunhild Bjorklund; sexism within the union and the union's record on equal pay; impressions of Roy Wier; African Americans in Local 665; impressions of William Mauseth; memories of the formation of the united Electrical, Radio, and Machine Workers' Union and of miscellaneous labor struggles in the late 1930s; opinions of labor leaders; lessons learned from union organizing, COMMENTS ON INTERVIEW: The interview is unusually rich in detail and in personal descriptions of the leadership of Local 665.
3 hours sound cassette
39 pages transcript
Content Category: sound recordings
Content Category: text
02:12:20 running time
Interviewee: Belmont, Rosalind Matusow
Interviewer: Ross, Carl
Made in: San Francisco, San Francisco County, California, United States
|Holding Type||Oral History - Interview|
OH 30 (Library Call Number)
AV1990.228.47 (Accession Number)
MHS Library Catalog
Oral History - Project, MHS Collection, project: 'Twentieth Century Radicalism in Minnesota Oral History Project'