This Week: History Museum looks at big farm labor trial

Published: Monday, Jun. 24, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 1B

History Museum looks at big farm labor trial

The Great Depression was a period of labor unrest in the United States, as unions sought to organize workers and businesses fought – sometimes violently – to prevent it. Fears that Communist radicals were fomenting revolution also ran high.

In Sacramento, the labor and political struggles of the day came to a head in the 1935 criminal trial of 18 farm labor organizers accused of trying to overthrow the government. The story of this trial, the biggest of the decade in Sacramento, will be told through an exhibit of documents and photographs that opens Friday at the Sacramento History Museum, 101 I St.

The accused men and women were affiliated with the Cannery and Agricultural Workers Industrial Union, which had won 21 of 24 strikes it had conducted around the state to get better wages and benefits for farmworkers.

Eight defendants eventually were convicted and sentenced from one to 14 years in prison. Their convictions were overturned on appeal, but big agriculture "broke the back of the Communist-led union which had been so successfully on the offensive since early 1933," wrote historian Kevin Starr in his book "Endangered Dreams."

– Mary Lynne Vellinga

FOR MORE IN THE NEWS, SEE PAGE B7Pony Express riders to arrive in Old Sac

The Pony Express, that legendary postal service of the Old West, is coming back to life this week as horseback riders making the 1,966-mile trek from St. Joseph, Mo., are scheduled to arrive in Old Sacramento about 10:30 a.m. Thursday (although the re-enactors can be anywhere from two hours ahead to two hours behind schedule.)

Behind the news: The riders who gained fame delivering mail from St. Joseph to Sacramento operated from April 1860 to November 1861. At the time, the Central Overland and California Pikes Peak Express Co. was demonstrating to the federal government – in the hopes of winning a mail-carrying contract – that a route through Salt Lake was passable year round.


Library to screen 'A Place at the Table'

The Sacramento Central Library, 828 I St., is hosting a free screening of the documentary "A Place at the Table," which examines hunger in America. The 5:30 p.m. screening Tuesday will be followed by a panel discussion with experts from Soil Born Farms, the Sacramento Food Bank and California Emergency Foodlink.

Behind the news: Actor Jeff Bridges narrates the film, released last year, which asserts that 50 million Americans suffer from "food insecurity" – not knowing where their next meal is coming from.



Yolo to host summit for small businesses

Small business owners from throughout Yolo County will gather Wednesday at the UC Davis Conference Center for the Yolo County Small Business Resource Summit. Event organizers said it will feature resources available to assist small business owners and entrepreneurs within Yolo County. Representatives of numerous regional companies will be on-site from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Breakout sessions will focus on business funding in today's economy, taxes, marketing and how to gain more customers. The event is free and open to the public.


org/2304655445, or call (530) 669-6316.

Black Expo offers concert, workshops

The 25th annual Sacramento Black Expo gets under way Friday with a 7 p.m. concert by soul and R&B singer Freddie Jackson at the Clarion Hotel (formerly the Red Lion Inn), 1401 Arden Way in Sacramento. The event continues Saturday and Sunday with a series of panels and workshops on topics ranging from the Affordable Care Act to minorities in real estate.


SacTweetUp hosts mixer at Citizen Hotel

SacTweetUp is hosting its 41st mixer at the Citizen Hotel's Scandal Bar, 926 J St. in Sacramento, at 6 p.m. Wednesday. Billing itself as "the place where Sacramento and Twitter meet," the group offers professionals of all stripes – entrepreneurs, small business owners, techies – an opportunity to mingle face to face. The event is free and you don't have to have a Twitter account to attend.


Equine medical center opens in Penryn

The Loomis Basin Equine Medical Center will host grand-opening festivities for its new facility and a horse health fair Sunday in Penryn. The event will be from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 2973 Penryn Road. It will showcase the center's range of services, including experts talking about equine rescue, training, tack and equipment. Experts in horse health care also will be presenting information. Food and entertainment will be on-site. The center is moving from a smaller facility in Loomis.

Info: or call (916) 652-7645.

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