June of ’71: Western Union workers strike

A national walkout of Western Union workers in 1971 included 12 employees in Duluth and about 13 more from around the region. According to the Duluth Herald of June 1, the United Telegraph Workers and the Communications Workers of America had walked off the job over wage and job security issues. The average CWA wage at the time was $3.47 per hour.

The paper was light on local news and photography on this day, so we turn to the advertisements to fill out this look at life 50 years ago.

An ad for First American National Bank highlighted the community service work of John Dickerson, vice president of the bank’s legal department.

Caption: John Dickerson has served the Duluth Playhouse in several capacities, as actor, play director (1960-1966) and as a member of the board of directors. He is shown here with Paul Kending, director, during a recent rehearsal of the “Man in the Dog Suit.”

Caption: John Dickerson looks at a musical score with Joseph Hawthorne, conductor of the Duluth Symphony. John has been a mainstay of the Symphony, having served on its board of trustees, and also as president (1969-1971).

The Duluth Theater, today known by its original name, the West Theater, delved into “devil worship” with its screening of The Mephisto Waltz, a horror/mystery movie about an occult murder. The show starred Alan Alda, Jacqueline Bisset, Barbara Parkins, Bradford Dillman and Curd Jürgens.

1 Comment


about 4 months ago

The Mephisto Waltz trailer sets the tone well for a month looking back on 1971. And for a film made long before CGI, I found the dog with a human head effect surprisingly convincing.

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