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|Title||Anna Louise Strong letter to Anna Roosevelt Boettiger regarding the WPA and the Minneapolis strike, July 20, 1939|
|Author||Strong, Anna Louise (1885-1970)|
In this letter to Anna Roosevelt Boettiger, Anna Louise Strong shares her impressions of the situation in the country from her recent travels. She notes that the farmers of North Dakota are exceptionally grateful to President Roosevelt, and the Works Progress Administration (WPA) in particular, and are much more loyal to the President than to his party .
Strong is "appalled" by the events surrounding the WPA strike in Minneapolis, however, and remarks critically on the threats of raids and criminal prosecution being levied against striking WPA workers. She describes an interview with several women who had been hit with tear gas by police when they had gathered to demonstrate against reduced wages and increased hours at the WPA -- the women begged Strong to tell them whether the President had authorized such actions. Strong notes sadly that "there was nothing I could tell them", and that "the President's own appointees" are acting against the supporters of the New Deal. She feels that there is a "horrible plot to betray the New Deal from within", and notes that it is now a Republican governor and a Republican mayor seeking to protect citizens against a Democratic administration in Washington, D.C. Strong comments bitterly that the state's WPA administrator, "Glotsbach... appears to have been given this post because the was the most brutal of all the District Administrators in the state". She then insists that she won't go into "endless details" but emphasizes that the previous week had "smashed -- I fear permanently -- all trust in the New Deal in this state."
Strong takes a broader view of the country, and tells Boettiger that she is disheartened by the fact that the New Deal has "gone sour" only because it is being administered "by reactionaries who are attempting to discredit it". She relates a story about an "aged couple" recently evicted from their home and left impoverished (without even the opportunity to harvest the crops they'd planted) by a company acting in the name of the Home Owners' Loan Corporation (H.O.L.C.), a New Deal agency. In other places, Strong asserts that the WPA is only hiring Republicans, or else that open supporters of the President are fired by WPA administrators for their political views. She concludes by stating that "the outlook for 1940 is pretty grim".
Anna Louise Strong (1885-1970) was an American journalist and political activist throughout her life. After spending much of the 1910s working as a progressive advocate for child welfare, she became involved in the labor movement in Seattle, and through that movement increasingly identified herself with international communism. This advocacy, along with her work for the Seattle Union Record, connected her to the events surrounding the Seattle General Strike in 1919. Strong later left Seattle, and spent much of the 1920s and 1930s living in the Soviet Union, meeting with men such as Leon Trotsky and Joseph Stalin, and writing books about her experiences for Western audiences in an attempt to build support for the USSR. During World War II, she continued to promote the cause of communism, although her support for the Chinese communist movement ultimately alienated her from the government in Moscow, limiting her to one visit to the Soviet Union in the final two decades of her life. She spent most of those years living in the People's Republic of China, befriending Zhou Enlai and Mao Zedong, and continuing to publish books and articles in support of communism until the end of her life.
Anna Roosevelt Dall Boettiger Halsted (1906-1975) was the daughter of Franklin D. Roosevelt and Eleanor Roosevelt. After her first marriage (to Curtis Dall) ended in divorce, she married Clarence John Boettiger, a journalist. In 1936, her husband was hired by W. R. Hearst to act as publisher of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, and Boettiger herself acted as editor of the woman's page for the Seattle P-I from 1936 to 1943. She left the paper to work as an assistant in the White House during the final years of her father's Presidency, and accompanied him on the trip to Yalta. After divorcing John Boettiger in 1949, she married for a third time to James Halsted, a physician who worked for the Veterans Administration. She spent much of the rest of her life working in public relations for a variety of organizations, particularly academic institutions, labor unions, and non-profit organizations.
Strong, Anna Louise, 1885-1970--Correspondence
Roosevelt, Anna, 1906-1975--Correspondence
New Deal, 1933-1939
Roosevelt, Franklin D. (Franklin Delano), 1882-1945
United States. Works Progress Administration
|Geographic Coverage||United States--Minnesota--Minneapolis|
|Digital Collection||Pamphlet and Textual Documents Collection|
|Digital ID Number||PAM0389|
|Ordering Information||To order a reproduction or inquire about permissions contact: email@example.com. Please cite the Order Number.|
|Repository||University of Washington Libraries. Special Collections Division|
|Repository Collection||Anna Louise Strong papers. Accession No. 1309-001. Box 4/17|
|Physical Description||1 leaf; 28 x 20 cm.|