Exhibit, symposium mark steel anniversaries

Photograph of U.S. Steel Ohio Works in 1983.

U.S. Steel Ohio Works, 1983

The Youngstown Historical Center of Industry and Labor hosts an exhibit and a symposium this week to commemorate two significant events – the 75th anniversary of the Little Steel Strike and the 35th anniversary of Black Monday.

A new exhibit titled “Labor and New Deal Art” will open at the museum at 5 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 20. Attorney and activist Staughton Lynd will give a keynote address at 6 p.m. on the topic titled “The Little Steel Strike and the Steel Mill Shutdowns.”

The exhibit features artwork produced during the New Deal which focuses on different aspects of workers and work. Images from the Massillon Museum, Butler Institute of American Art and the Columbus Museum of Art are included in the exhibit.

The symposium, “Crucibles of Change: New Perspectives on Labor During the Great Depression and World War II,” will be held at 9 a.m. Friday, Sept. 21 at the museum.

The plenary speaker is Brigid O’Farrell, author of “She Was One of Us: Eleanor Roosevelt and the American Worker.” Henry Adams, professor of Art History at Case Western Reserve University, will give the luncheon address, “Issues of Labor and Social Conflict in American Mural Painting of the 1930s.”

The exhibit opening and labor symposium are free and open to the public. There is a $15 charge for lunch at the symposium. Make lunch reservations by calling 330-941-1314 by Sept. 18.

In addition, the museum’s permanent exhibit, “By the Sweat of Their Brow: Forging the Steel Valley,” will be open, as will two student-developed traveling exhibits: “Warren 100: Making Steel History” and “Forged in Battle: Remembering the 1937 Little Steel Strike.”

The Labor and New Deal Art exhibit, Little Steel Strike exhibit and the symposium were partly funded by a grant from the Ohio Humanities Council.  Co-sponsors include the Friends of the Youngstown Historical Center of Industry and Labor, the Massillon Museum and Youngstown State University’s Center for Applied History.

The 1937 Little Steel Strike saw major confrontation in the Mahoning Valley. Black Monday is the day that LTV announced the closure of the Youngstown Sheet and Tube’s Campbell works, triggering a wave of steel mill closings not only in the Mahoning Valley but throughout the industrial east and Midwest.

The Youngstown Historical Center of Industry and Labor is located at 151 W. Wood Street in Youngstown.  For more information, contact Donna M. DeBlasio, YSU professor of History, 330-941-3158.