Pier Park’s Douglas-Firs

In this episode, the sounds of The Jack Benny Show, a speech by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, and the music of Woody Guthrie and Cisco Houston take us back to 1934. On the morning of July 11th, the Douglas-fir trees of North Portland’s Pier Park acted as shields, witnesses, and later symbols to one of the most dramatic and violent scenes of Portland’s labor history known as “Bloody Wednesday.” This podcast is an abridged version of a research paper written by Ryan Wisnor.

Host: Ryan Wisnor
Research: Ryan Wisnor
Voice of Matthew Meehan: Bruce Rash
Voice of Julia Ruuttila: Lara Lee Ingram

Audio Samples:
JB 1934-07-20 Who Killed Mr Stooge #5 – OTR Jack Benny
Worried Man Blues – Cisco Houston/Woody Guthrie
National Recovery Administration 1934 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt

Image Source:
1934 Longshore strikers on railroad tracks near Pier Park and N Columbia Blvd, City of Portland Archives, Oregon A2004-002.9377

Further Reading:
“4 Train Pickets Shot by Police,” Morning Oregonian, July 12, 1934, City Edition.

Bigelow, William and Norman Diamond. “Agitate, Educate, Organize: Portland, 1934,” Oregon
Historical Quarterly 89, no. 1 (1988): 4-29.

Buchanan, Roger. Dock Strike: History of the 1934 Longshore Strike in Portland, Oregon. Everett,
Washington: The Working Press, 1975.

City of Portland, City Council Minutes, July 11, 1934, p.478

“City Quiz of Clash Launched,” Oregon Journal, July 11, 1934, Evening Edition.

Egan, Michael. “‘That’s Why Organizing Was So Good” Portland Longshoremen, 1934: An Oral
History.” Bachelor of Arts thes, Reed College, 1975.

“Four Longshoremen Injured at Terminal No. 4 When Police Use Shot Guns and Revolvers.” Oregon
Labor Press, July 13, 1934, p. 1.

Hardy, David Robert. “The 1934 Portland Longshoremen’s Strike.” Bachelor of Arts thes, Reed
College, 1971.

Hauser, Susan G. Pickets, Pistols, and Politics: A History of the Portland Police Association.
Portland: Portland Police Association, 1996.

Munk, Michael. The Portland Red Guide: Second Edition. Portland: Ooligan Press, 2011.

Munk, Michael. “Portland’s ‘Silk Stocking Mob’: The Citizens Emergency League in the 1934
Maritime Strike,” Pacific Northwest Quarterly 91, no. 3 (2000) 150-160.

“Police Shots Wound Four Strikers; Train Test Causes Battle,” Oregon Journal, July 11, 1934,
Evening edition.

Polishuk, Sandy. Sticking to the Union: An Oral History of the Life and Times of Julia Ruuttila.
New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003.

St. Johns Heritage Society. St Johns Heritage, Volume 5. Portland: St. Johns Heritage Society,

“Turmoil Now Rules Along Waterfront,” Morning Oregonian, July 12, 1934, City Edition.


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