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A Bracero Enters the United States (with text supports)

In this oral history Alvaro Hernandez describes how he entered the United States, first as an illegal worker and then as a bracero. Mr. Hernandez was born in Jilemes, Chihuahua, Mexico. His father was an agricultural worker and his mother was a [...]

A Migrant Worker Describes the Hard Work in the Northwest

The following is an excerpt of an interview with Guadalupe Gamboa conducted by the Harry Bridges Center for Labor Studies. Gamboa describes the difficult life of migrant farmworkers on the west coast that kept workers isolated and made it difficult [...]

Item Type: Oral History
A Worker Recalls Her Time at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory

In this oral history conducted by historian Joan Morrison, Pauline Newman told of getting a job at the Triangle Company as a child, soon after arriving in the United States from Lithuania in 1901. Newman described her life as an immigrant and [...]

A Bracero Enters Four Contracts in the 1950s

Rigoberto Garcia Perez was born in Michoacan, Mexico in 1934. His father lost land in the worldwide depression of the 1930s and became a bracero after the outbreak of World War II created a shortage of agricultural laborers in the United States. As [...]

Item Type: Oral History
A War Worker Finds New Independence on the Job

When Los Angeles resident Beatrice Morales Clifton went to work at the Lockheed Aircraft plant in Burbank, California, she was a married mother of four children. In this excerpt from a longer interview, Morales Clifton, the daughter of Mexican [...]

"Life in the Shop": The Story of an Immigrant Garment Worker

Clara Lemlich ignited the 1909 walkout of shirtwaist makers with her call for a general strike. This piece was first published in the New York Evening Journal, November 28, 1909.

A Mexican Bracero's Identification Card

Between 1942 and 1964, millions of Mexican agricultural workers entered the U.S. to work as surplus farm laborers during the government-sponsored Bracero Program. Working for lower wages than domestic farm workers, the Braceros were often victims of [...]

A Reformer Deplores the Poverty Caused by Industrial Progress

Henry George was a reformer and utopian whose 1886 New York City mayoral campaign as the Workingman's Party candidate had the makings of a popular uprising. Although George finished second, behind Democrat Abram S. Hewitt and ahead of Republican [...]

A Chinese Immigrant Recalls the Dangers of Railroad Work

From the 1860s to the 1880s, thousands of Chinese immigrants found work in railroad construction in the West, notably on the Central Pacific line of the First Transcontinental Railroad, which was built primarily by Chinese. The extreme danger of [...]

A Railroad Titan Explains Why the Chinese are Good for White Workers

The "divide-and-conquer" tactics used by bosses pitted different ethnic groups against one another and native-born workers against all immigrants. It often worked out better for white workers than for Asians. Charles Crocker, one of the "Big Four" [...]

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