Update Required To play the media you will need to either update your browser to a recent version.
Twentieth Century Radicalism in Minnesota Oral History Project: Interview with Leo Turner
BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION: Leo Turner was of Finnish ancestry, although born in the United States. His parents divorced when he was five or six years old, and his mother died five years later. After that he lived with his grandparents on the Minnesota Iron Range. Turner joined the Young Communist League at age seventeen, and eventually became the state secretary of the YCL. He moved to Duluth and then to Minneapolis in the early 1930s, where he worked with the Unemployed Councils and the labor movement. He left the Twin Cities in the mid-1930s, and made his way to Chicago. For many years he was an organizer for the United Electrical, Radio, and Machine Workers Union there. At the time of the interview he was retired and living in Oakland, California. SUBJECTS DISCUSSED: Turner discusses his work with the Unemployed Councils, particularly his arrest at a demonstration of the unemployed at city Hall in Minneapolis. He tells of a similar arrest in Butte, Montana, at a march against fascism. (He went to Butte as a representative of the YCL.) He describes how he survived as a young, single, marginally employed man in the Depression years, and remembers the labor struggles in which he took part (the Strutwear Knitting Mill strike, the ornamental iron workers' strike, the Albert Lea meat packers' strike). He reflects on the Minnesota Finnish community, and talks about his mother's involvement in the Finnish-language political theater. There is a little information about members of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade, and some anecdotal information about James Bartlett, one-time business agent of Warehouse Workers Local 359 and an FBI informant.
1.5 hours sound cassette
17 pages transcript
Content Category: sound recordings
Content Category: text
01:15:08 running time
Interviewee: Turner, Leo
Interviewer: Salerno, Salvatore
Made in: Oakland, Alameda County, California, United States
|Holding Type||Oral History - Interview|
OH 30 (Library Call Number)
AV1990.228.40 (Accession Number)
MHS Library Catalog
Oral History - Project, MHS Collection, project: 'Twentieth Century Radicalism in Minnesota Oral History Project'