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Bloody Friday: Group wants plaque to mark shootings at 1934 Mpls. protest


The Warehouse District of Minneapolis is relatively quiet these days, but 81 years ago, it was the site of a deadly clash that changed the course of the American labor movement.

The "Remember 1934 Committee" wants to place a plaque on the site to commemorate the event, which took place on July 20, 1934, and is remembered as "Bloody Friday."

That day, police, acting on orders to take "drastic measures," shot at striking truckers who had stopped traffic in protest of the city's anti-union policies, according to the Committee's fundraising site.

Nearly 70 people were wounded and two protesters died; the Committee says they were unarmed and found to have been shot in the back.

The following month, the truckers reached a deal with their employers and were represented by the Teamsters union, according to the Minneapolis Regional Labor Federation.

The group, which is affiliated with the AFL-CIO, says Bloody Friday is the catalyst that made Minneapolis a "union town," and adds that it also helped "prod" the U.S. Congress into passing the National Labor Relations Act of 1935.

Nonetheless, the event has seemingly faded into historical obscurity.

"There hasn't been any recognition of this. There's nothing physical in the whole city," Keith Christensen of the Remember 1934 Committee told MPR News.

The station says the proposal for the porcelain enamel and stainless steel plaque, which would sit at the "so-called Sherwin-Williams building" at 701 North 3rd St., will go before the Minneapolis Heritage Preservation Commission next week.

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