Children's Identification Card
This identification card would have been fixed to the lapel of children leaving Lawrence during the strike. To highlight the oppressive conditions in Lawrence and to attract public attention to their cause, many striking families sent their children to sympathetic families in other American cities. Can you imagine how scary it must have been as a child being sent away to live with a strange family? Public officials required that children being sent away have the proper signed permission from their guardians. The strike committee created these identification cards for that reason.
This is a great example of how advanced and organized the strike committee was. Even though there were over twenty languages spoken amongst the strikers, they brought a sophisticated level of organization to the strike. This unity and strength in organizing in the face of adversity allowed the strikers to win their demands.
From Ardis Cameron’s Radicals of the Worst Sort:
“Alliances between generations of women, formed in the performance of customary tasks, were activated and made visible throughout the strike…By marching together older women and young girls called attention to issues not specifically defined as wage related.”
“While almost 24 nationalities were represented in the strike, the vast majority of female activists came from ‘new’ immigrant groups, especially Lithuania, Poland, Russia, Italy and Syria. Most worked in the mills, yet each national group contained small proportions of unpaid housewives who battled alongside working neighbors, their offspring frequently in tow.”