Twentieth Century Radicalism in Minnesota Oral History Project: Interview with Eino Niemela
Part 1


Part 2


Description BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION: Eino Niemela came to Michigan from Finland at four years old, in 1913. His father was a lumberjack. 1933 Niemela moved to Gilbert, Minnesota. There were many Finns in Gilbert, and also Slavs and Croatians, who were mostly miners. He also lived in Crosby and Virginia, Minnesota. He worked at the International Work People's Coop in Crosby, which had 400 members of all heritages at the time. He also served in the DFL on the county level in Crosby in mid 1930s. SUBJECTS DISCUSSED: Focus of the interview is on cooperative general stores, a movement of the time, and his activities as a manager of one. Disputes on how coops should work: informational or labor-supportive, how to share profit. Wholesalers in Superior: Coop Central Exchange (CCE). Purpose of Coops: cohesive force, participatory, learning place. Duties as manager of coop: education committee, meetings with other coops, recruitment of new members, discussion of legislation and policy. Unity Alliance: wholesale office that also taught classes in bookkeeping and held meetings that discussed class struggle, planned platform suggestions, tried to get social security and unemployment insurance passed, held rallies, formed unemployment councils. CP membership in Cook county. Desire to improve Farmer-Labor party. Foreclosures prior tol FDR's moratorium. Movement to stop private grocers. Social activities: plays, athletic clubs, orchestras, chorus, and women's club. COMMENTS ON INTERVIEW: More opinions than facts are given in the interview. The transcript has only been partially edited, and the spelling of many names is approximate. RESTRICTIONS ON USE: Interview cannot be quoted directly for publication.
Quantity 1.5 hours sound cassette
27 pages transcript
Format Content Category: sound recordings
Content Category: text
Measurements 01:24:49 running time
Creation Interviewee: Niemela, Eino
Interviewer: O'Connell, Thomas
Interviewer: Trimble, Steve
Holding Type Oral History - Interview
Identifiers OH 30
Accession Number AV1990.228.71
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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