Twentieth Century Radicalism in Minnesota Oral History Project: Interview with Glenn Pearson
Part 1


Part 2


Description BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION: Glenn Pearson was born in Duluth in 1914. By age sixteen he was chairman of the Duluth Junior Farmer-Labor Party. After graduating from Denfeld High School he went straight to work at the Coolerator Company, making refrigerators. He led its organizing drive and was fired, only to be reinstated after their first successful strike. Through Local 1096 of the United Steelworkers of America, he helped organize other Duluth unions, notably other steelworkers, Diamond Caulk and Horseshoe Company, and newspaper workers. He was elected president of Local 1096 several times. Pearson served in the military from 1942-45, stationed in Texas. When the Coolelator plan closed in 1951, he went into business for himself cleaning curtains and blinds. Before retiring he also worked as a sales representative and an excavator. He was married to Leata Pearson, and had two sons and five daughters. SUBJECTS DISCUSSED: Views of his parents, Ernest and Maney Pearson. Working conditions in the 1920s and 1930s. Strike at the Duluth Herald-News and Tribune led by the American Newspaper Guild (1938). Activities in the Farmer-Labor Party. Congressional campaigns of John T. Bernard. Impressions of John L. Lewis. Attempt by the united Steelworkers' International to dissolve Local 1096. Presidential campaign of Henry A. Wallace (1948). Closing of the Coolerator Company. Pearson's subsequent work at American Manufacturing and Cleaning, the unit Step Company, and as an excavator. Unrest on the Red Lake Reservation (1970s). Opinions and views on the labor movement since 1955. Memories of labor figures Pat McGraw, Glenn Peterson, and Herman Griffith. Wartime military service. Harassment from the Federal Bureau of Investigation. COMMENTS ON INTERVIEW: The interview wanders in places, and Pearson occasionally misspeaks himself. His memory is generally clear, however, and he is quite forthcoming about his radical connections. The recording was apparently made in a restaurant, so there is much background noise. The transcriber had trouble distinguishing between the voices of the two interviewers, so speaker identification may be inaccurate in places.
Quantity 1 hour sound cassette
26 pages transcript
Format Content Category: sound recordings
Content Category: text
Measurements 01:01:52 running time
Creation Interviewee: Pearson, Glenn
Interviewer: Frenkel, Susanna
Interviewer: Hyvarinen, Virginia - Duluth Public Library
Made in Duluth, Saint Louis County, Minnesota, United States
Subjects Made in Duluth, Saint Louis County, Minnesota, United States
Dates Creation: 04/19/1988
Holding Type Oral History - Interview
Identifiers OH 30
Accession Number AV1990.228.32
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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