The School of Social Sciences Brown Bag Lecture Series welcomes Kathleen Noonan, History, as she presents her work "Gasoline and Unrest: Bayonne Refinery Strikes," on April 15, noon to 1 p.m., in Stevenson 2011. All are invited.
This study looks at the connection between two deadly strikes in Bayonne, NJ and the construction of the nation's first garden-style apartment complex as housing for the employees of Standard Oil. The strikes drew national attention, drawing in prominent labor organizers from the IWW and professional strikebreakers.
The socialist, John Reed, author of Ten Days the Shook the World, reported on the strike for The New York Tribune. The violent strikes launched a crusade within Standard to find a new model of labor relations management as an alternative to the company's long-standing, anti-union policies.
The construction of employee housing was seen not just as a way to cool labor hostilities, but to education and civilize the immigrant working class.
Kathleen Noonan is a professor of history and faculty member at SSU since 2000. A specialist in early modern British and Irish history, Professor Noonan has published on ethnicity and identity in the seventeenth century.
With this project she is adapting her scholarly expertise on local and community history, heretofore focused on Britain and Ireland, to a topic in recent U.S. history.