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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Wilkes-Barre in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

John L. Lewis Speech

 
 
John L. Lewis Speech Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By William Fischer, Jr., January 11, 2021
1. John L. Lewis Speech Marker
Inscription.  

President of the United Mine Workers of America,
addresses the Bituminous Coal Operators' Negotiating Committee,
April 10, 1946, at the National Bituminous Coal Conference
in the Shoreham Hotel, Washington, D.C.:

"For four weeks we have sat with you; we attended when you fixed
the hour; we departed when weariness affected your pleasure.

"Our effort to resolve mutual questions has been vain; you
have been intolerant of suggestions and impatient of analysis.

"When we sought surcease from blood-letting, you professed indifference.
When we cried aloud for the safety of our numbers you answered:
'Be content --'twas always thus!'

"When we urged that you abate a stench you averred that your nostrils were not offended.

"When we emphasized the importance of life you pleaded the priority of profits;
when we spoke of little children in unkempt surroundings you said: 'Look to the State!'

"You aver that you own the mines; we suggest that, as yet, you do not own the people.

"You profess annoyance at our temerity; we condemn your imbecility.

"You are smug in your complacency;

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we are abashed by your shamelessness.
You prate your respectability; we are shocked at your lack of public morality.

"You scorn the toils, the abstinence and the perils of the miner; we uphold
approval of your luxurious mode of life and the nights you spend in merriment.

"You invert the natural order of things and charge to the public the pleasures
of your own indolence; we denounce the senseless cupidity that withholds from
the miner the rewards of honorable and perilous exertion.

"To cavil further is futile. We trust that time, as it shrinks your purse,
may modify your niggardly and anti-social propensities."


 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Civil RightsIndustry & CommerceLabor Unions. A significant historical date for this entry is April 10, 1946.
 
Location. 41° 14.666′ N, 75° 53.275′ W. Marker is in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, in Luzerne County. Marker is on Franklin Street, on the left when traveling north. Marker is at the entrance to Capin Hall, on the Wilkes University campus. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 165 South Franklin Street, Wilkes Barre PA 18766, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Weckesser Hall (within shouting distance of this marker); Veterans Memorial Court (within shouting distance of this marker); Slattery Home Site
John L. Lewis Speech Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By William Fischer, Jr., January 11, 2021
2. John L. Lewis Speech Marker
On wall, partially obscured by columns
(within shouting distance of this marker); Stark Hall (within shouting distance of this marker); E. S. Farley Library (within shouting distance of this marker); John Wilkes (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Sordoni Art Gallery (about 300 feet away); Chase Hall (about 400 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Wilkes-Barre.
 
Also see . . .
1. UMWA: The Promise of 1946. (Submitted on January 20, 2021, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
2. Guide to the United Mine Workers of America, District #2 Papers, 1927-1950. (Submitted on January 20, 2021, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
3. Capin Hall, Wilkes University.
The building served as the District 1 Headquarters of the International Union of the United Mine Workers before Wilkes purchased the structure in 1969.
(Submitted on January 20, 2021, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.) 
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on January 20, 2021. It was originally submitted on January 20, 2021, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 108 times since then and 13 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on January 20, 2021, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.

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May. 20, 2024