Archive Record

Object Name Clipping, Newspaper
Catalog Number 2016.004.033.a-r
Collection Chattanooga News-Free Press Collection
Description Series of newspaper clippings from June 1953 related to the Coca-Cola Bottling plant strike and the events that followed.

a1,2) Article, June 4, 1953: "Police Seek Attackers of 2 Store Men Hauling 'Cokes'," subtitle: "Folkner, McDonald Assaulted after Passing Pickets." James E. Folkner, produce buyer for Homes Stores, Inc., and Frank McDonald, Home Store's general manager, were attacked by four men after crossing a picket line at the Chattanooga Coca-Cola Bottling Company. Folkner and McDonald bought 300 cases of soft drink and were attacked after at the Home Stores warehouse at 1214 Broad Street. Both men went to Erlanger hospital. The violence was the first reported in relation to the strike at the Coca-Cola bottling company by Local 79 of the International brewery, Flour, Cereal, Soft Drinks and Distillery Workers of America over wage increase negotiations. There is an editorial to the right of the article, "Rule by Law or Thuggery?" b) is a second copy of this editorial.
c1,2) Article,Chattanooga News-Free Press, June 4, 1953: "Coke Strike: Truck Driver Arrested after Two Men Slugged." The article features the arrest of one of the men involved in the attack described above. It has a "Continued on page 4" line which refers to c2). A second story below the first: "2 Blind Men Continue Sale of Coca-Cola" and describes people disagreeing with the striking.
d) Article, June 4, 1953: "Two Attacked After Getting Load of Cokes," details the account of the attack again. This article indicates that the Local 615 of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Chauffeurs, Warehousemen and Helpers were responsible for the strike, over the same wage increase. The strike had been going for 3 weeks as of the date of the article, but that picketing had not begun until after that. The article details the police investigation, the wage negotiations, and the major players in the story.
e) Article, June 5, 1953, "2 Blind Men Continue Sale of Coca-Cola," details two stands operated in public buildings by blind men who thought the strike was harmful to the local economy. Some Coca-Cola was shipped in from Georgia. Shows 2 images of picketers. Car barns in background.
f1,2) Editorial and article, June 5, 1953. Editorial at top: "YOU Can Stop Labor Union Gangsterism," argues that public arousal or outcry would stop "labor union gangsterism." The editorial argues that the Ku Klux Klan did not exist in the Chattanooga community because of public outcry, but that was unfortunately inaccurate on the writer's part. Article: "4 Men Try to Halt Delivery of Cokes: Atlanta Trucker Says Threatened with Beating if Cargo Unloaded," article details that story as well as the June 4th attack, and details of the strike.
g1) Article, June 6, 1953, main headline cut off. Three articles. Subtitled article, "Hyatt Vows to Stop Terrorism in City: Police Commissioner Threatens to Fire Detectives Who Lag on Job," in response to the violence from the strike at the Coca-Cola plant. Subtitled article, "Drivers Union Denies Part in Violence" describes a statement given by the driver-salesmen of the Chattanooga Coca-Cola Bottling Company on June 5th. Subtitled article "Mrs. Folkner Vacates Homes After Threat" describes an incident in which the wife of James E. Folkner, one of the men who was attacked for buying Coca-Cola for Homes Stores, received a threatening call from an unknown caller. She did not feel she was in danger, but she and her ill 2 year old went to stay with a friend after the phone kept ringing with hang up calls to her house on the same evening. g2) clipping of the same article as last described in g1).
h) Article, June 8, 1953, "Editorials Stir Threat To Bomb Free Press," by Tom Gilliland. First line of article summarizes: "A threat to 'blow up The News-Free Press' because of its editorial criticism last week of violence connected with a union truck drivers' strike at the Chattanooga Coca-Cola Bottling Company was received last night in an anonymous phone call." It was evidently in response to the editorial regarding labor union gangsterism (see 2016.004.033.a).
i) Article, June 9, 1953, " Bill Hartman Questioned in Coke Dispute: Police Seeking 3rd Suspect in Attack on Store Officials," by Tom Gilliland. Hartman was an employee of the Coca-Cola Bottling Company and charged with felonious assault in the attack on Folkner and McDonald. Another man, Raymond Duke, another employee of the bottling company, was also arrested for the same attack.
j1,2) Article, June 11, 1953, "CLU Denounces News-Free Press; 'Typically Unfair,' McDonald reply," the Chattanooga Central Labor Union (CLU) felt the editorial in question was an attack on all organized labor, and the full statement is in this article. Owner of the newspaper, Roy McDonald, replied that the CLU's statement was unfair and that the News-Free Press was not attacking all unions; his full statement follows.
k) Article, June 11, 1953, "Notes on Violence...N-FP Hit by CLU; McDonald says 'Gangsterism' Unjustified," and the contents are similar to j).
l1,2) Article, June 12, 1953, "2 Coca-Cola Drivers Bound Over in Assault on Home Stores Men," by Tom Gilliland. Article details the preliminary trial in city court. The charged men's attorney requested reduced charges but the Assistant City Attorney, Gene Tatum, objected. The article describes some of the police investigation. There were three witnesses; four people 'identified' Hartman and Duke; Folkner and McDonald's memories were somewhat unclear; and the fingerprints found on the truck were sent to the FBI but results were not yet revealed.
m) Duplicate of l1,2) but includes an extra photograph of attorney Al Barger trying to block the camera person from taking images of the defendants. Additional portion only scanned.
n) Article, June 12, 1953, "CLU Asks Hyatt to Apologize; Specific Facts Cited in Reply," and describes the letter sent by the CLU Presidents to Police Commissioner Hyatt, requesting an apology regarding the gangsterism comments made. Includes the commissioner's response.
o1,2) Article, June 22, 1953, "Cokes Delivered Despite Pickets," by J.B. Collins and Tom Gilliland. Article details the first deliveries of Coca-Cola, with police escorts, since the strike began six weeks prior, and indicated that many businesses turned down the offer because of the protesting and threat of violence. The article mentions the reason for the strike, the incidents with Homes Stores as well as the attempted assault at the A&P in North Chattanooga. The end of the article highlights the ongoing conversation between the plant and the union to come to an agreement over wages and compensation.
p) Article, June 23, 1953, "Firm Reported Seeking New Truck Drivers: Coke Officials Mum on Rumor; Deliveries Continue Second Day," by Tom Gilliland. Article indicates that Coca-Cola plant would not confirm that report; details deliveries made in the last 2 days; and communications between company officials and union representatives.
q1,2) Article, June 25, 1953, "Coke Delivers Drinks as Strike Ends: Terms of Settlement Not Disclosed by Union or Company," by Tom Gilliland. Article described in title.
r) Editorial clipping, June 26, 1953, "News-Free Press Forum: N-FP Attacked," letter to the editor, from M.L. Stephens, a local electrician with the Local Union 175. The letter is in response a cartoon published in the News-Free Press on June 5 that depicted a gangster and others "listening to the advice of a labor man." The writer was defending unions in general. There is an Editor's Note at the bottom clarifying the contents of the cartoon in question.
Date 1953
Dates of Creation June 4 - June 26, 1953
Extent of Description a1) 16.50" x 11.63"
a2) 11.25" x 1.87"
b) 6.75" x 5.87"
c1) 13.00" x 6.00"
c2) 23.00" x 6.25"
d) 22.00" x 9.50"
e) 13.25" x 5.87"
f1) 12.50" x 5.87"
f2) 8.75" x 2.00"
g1) 21.50" x 8.00"
g2) 15.75" x 2.38"
h) 8.63" x 4.13"
i) 13.75" x 2.50"
j1) 16.25" x 3.87"
j2) 5.87" x 4.00"
k) 15.75" x 4.00"
l1) 11.00" x 5.75"
l2) 9.25" x 2.00"
m) 19.50" x 5.87"
n) 19.87" x 4.00"
o1) 16.63" x 16.25"
o2) 22.75" x 7.75"
p) 11.50" x 2.00"
q1) 10.25" x 2.00"
q2) 3.00" x 2.00"
r) 8.50" x 4.13"
Accession number 2016.004