This is the Insurgent Radio Kiosk for Thursday, September 19th
On this day in Labor History the year was 1977.
That was the day that is remembered in Youngstown, Ohio as “Black Monday.”
The Youngstown Sheet & Tube Company announced plans to close its doors laying off more than 4,000 workers.
Youngstown was a steel town.
During the first half of the twentieth century, plants were booming.
Youngstown was a union town, a stronghold for the United Steelworkers by the 1940s.
But by the 1970s the once booming steel industry was going bust in Youngstown.
More and more jobs moved overseas and to states with less union protections.
Black Monday began a devastating series of plant closings.
Two years later Brier Hill Mill closed, followed in 1980 by US Steel.
In 1985 it was Republic Steels’ turn.
By the early 1990s, the steel industry, which had once employed 40,000 people only had 1,000 workers left in Youngstown.
William Lawson, the Executive Director of the Mahoning Valley Historical Society, recalled the impact of the closings.
“Over the course of my high school career, many boys and girls I had known in grade school left—some in the middle of school years, most during the summers—as their parents accepted transfers…to work in other plants around the country, or lost their jobs and went out in search of employment elsewhere.”
In 1997, the Jeanette Furnace at the shuttered Briar Hill plant was dynamited, despite preservationists’ efforts to save it.
Bringing down the “Sweet Jennie” furnace became symbol of Youngstown’s economic ruin, memorialized in Bruce Springtseen’s song Youngstown.
Labor History in Two Minutes is brought to you by a partnership between the Illinois Labor History Society and the Pennsylvania-based Rick Smith Show. All opinions are those of the speaker.
It’s today’s Action Calendar!
A South Madison Community Impact Session will be held this evening from 6 to 7:45 p.m. at the Catholic Multicultural Center, 1862 Beld Street. The session offers an opportunity for southsiders to provide input on issues ranging from transportation, businesses and redevelopment to housing and land use. Childcare will be available, as well as both Spanish and Hmong interpreters. For more information, visit the event website at cityofmadison.com/southmadisonplan. Or, phone 266-4635.
A firefighter recruitment open house will be held this evening from 6 to 8 p.m. at Fire Station #7, 1810 McKenna Boulevard. The Madison Fire Department will be accepting applications for entry-level firefighters/EMTs on October 1st, 2019. Come to the open house to learn about the hiring process, tour the firehouse and ask questions about a career at the Madison Fire Department. For more information, visit cityofmadison.com/fire.
All are invited to an 89.9 Social Club Pop-up Party this evening from 6 to 8 p.m. at The Come Back Inn, 508 East Wilson Street. The Come Back Inn offers traditional and non-traditional bar food. Vegetarian options are available The Pop-Up party will feature the acoustic bluegrass, folk and Americana music of the group Gin Mill Hollow. The 89.9 Social Club provides an opportunity for WORT volunteers to visit with one another, and for curious listeners to meet WORT volunteers and get a sense of what WORT is all a bout. For information, email email@example.com.
The Kiosk is available online at wortfm.org/kiosk.
This has been the Insurgent Radio Kiosk heard weekdays at 5:00, 6:30 and 9:00 AM and at 2:00 PM. I’m Greg Geboski.
Submit announcements at least ten days in advance of the event at wortfm.org/kiosk/announcements.