Item no. 28057
Occupation: Mining
Collection: Wagner Labor Archives

“CIO Songs” is a collection of union songs published in 1942 by the Birmingham Union Council on behalf of the Congress of Industrial Organizations, a federation of unions that organized millions of industrial workers beginning in 1935. The cover includes a photograph of John L. Lewis, the innovative and controversial founder of the CIO and leader of the United Mine Workers (UMW). Lewis took the UMW out of the union that year and called strikes in the coal industry. The text on the cover reveals how integral labor was to the war effort, as workers were viewed, or viewed themselves, as an army, a singing one.

This image accompanies the audio recording of "Sit Down," two of twenty songs you can listen to in the exhibit Labor Sings! Songs from the 1930s and 1940s, featuring highlights from the extraordinary compact disc collection by Ron Cohen and Dave Samualson, Songs for Political Action.

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View other items in the thematic set 1940s