Untold Stories continues with labor-history events in May

history-tourUntold Stories, the Friends of the St. Paul Public Library’s annual labor-history series, continues in May with its lineup of events focused on the struggles facing workers in the past and how they influence the issues of today.

The free, public programs began last month and will wrap up May 14. A full programming guide is available online.

May events include:

• “Rails and Buses: The Central Corridor Then and Now.” Saturday, May 3, 1 p.m., Union Depot, 214 4th St.

This is your opportunity to tour the Central Corridor, University Avenue, by bus, exploring the history and future of the vital link between St. Paul and Minneapolis. Rail and transit veterans Phil Epstein and Dave Riehle will lead the tour, as bus driver Diane Ruud travels to lost and forgotten places and routes, exploring the history of mass transit, architecture, commerce and the communities central to this re-engineered corridor.

Call The Friends at 651-222-3242 to reserve your seat on the bus, as space is limited (Bus is ADA-compliant.)

• “Whiteness in Plain View.” Wednesday, May 7, 7 p.m., Merriam Park Library, 1831 Marshall Ave.

Author, professor and filmmaker Chad Montrie will introduce his new documentary project, “Whiteness in Plain View,” about racial exclusion in American towns and suburbs. Edina and Austin, Minn., serve as case studies.

Following this film segment, Montrie will discuss his research into the historical, legal, customary and traditional practices among organized labor and business owners invested in keeping suburbs and towns all-white throughout most of the 20th century.

• “Jobs, Freedom and the Forgotten History of Civil Rights.” Monday, May 12, 7 p.m., Camphor Memorial United Methodist Church, 585 Fuller Avenue, St. Paul

The successes of the civil rights movement, including passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, were built on sustained, grassroots organizing, linked to women’s groups, unions and churches across the country. University of Wisconsin Professor William P. Jones offers insight into the people who undertook this struggle in his book, “The March on Washington: Jobs, Freedom and the Forgotten History of Civil Rights.”

Jones will give a presentation complemented by music and related readings on race, class and work.

• “Why Not St. Paul? The 1934 Teamsters Strike.” Wednesday, May 14, 7 p.m., Merriam Park Library, 1831 Marshall Ave.

On the 80th anniversary of the 1934 Teamsters’ strikes in Minneapolis, historian Mary Wingerd will explore how different politics and labor relations in Saint Paul meant the bloody battle did not spread to the other side of the river, and what that suggests about class relations in the Capital City.

Wingerd is the author of “Claiming the City: Politics, Faith, and the Power of Place in Saint Paul” and “North Country: the Making of Minnesota,” as well as the introduction to the new edition of Charles R. Walker’s “American City: A Rank-and-File History.”

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