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Norman Parks is a retired secretary-treasurer of Portland ILWU Local 8 and a longtime negotiator of west coast longshore contracts, he obtained the coins in his role as local 8 officer in 1979.
Collection of longshore maritime history materials gathered by Norman Parks relating to International Longshore and Warehouse Local 8 (Portland) and its predecessor, International Longshoremen's Association, Local 38-78. Much of the collection relates to the history of the Pacific Coast ILA and ILWU, with an emphasis on Portland and the 1934 Pacific Coast Maritime Strike.
Included are medals minted by the Citizen's Emergency League, based out of Portland, Oregon. The League was a vigilante group started by the Portland Chamber of Commerce to break through picket lines caused by the 1934 maritime strike. According to historian Michael Munk, "CEL members wore the service disks, inscribed 'CEL- for Law and Order' on one side and 'Minute Men, Lexington, Mass., 1776- Portland, Ore., 1934' on the other....they were stamped with the member's number and - together with red, white, and blue armbands bearing the letters C-E-L - were 'to be worn by members in case of being called out as law enforcement officers.'"
The context of the CEL is that many Portland police officers had relatives that were longshoremen and who were a They thought police were coddling longshoremen and passing on intelligence. The employers hired WWI veterans to beat up longshoremen during the strike, housing them on terminal 4. Oral tradition claims that longshoremen would beat the strikebreakers in retaliation for their attacks on strikes and take their coins as mementoes. Other coins in the collection include tokens good for a free meal or trade for strikers at various Portland waterfront bars, restaurants, and businesses including Ericson's Bar, Longshoreman's Social Club, the Portland Seamen's Center, and the Longshoremen's Lunch and Card Room.
Other materials relate to the history of the strike, and an article by on the history and provenance of the vigilante coins and lunch tokens. The collection also includes a roster of post- WWII members kept to document who was registered and entitled to pension.
Creator's copyrights transferred to the University of Washington Libraries Special Collections.
|1/1||"Strike," Hornbeck, Lea. TAMS Journal, vol. 48, no. 5, October 2008 p.152-153||2008|
|1/2||DeBra, Edward Balloch "An Injury to One: The Politics of Racial Exclusion in the Portland Local of the International Longshoremen's and Warehousemen's Union"||1992|
|1/3||Maritime strike tokens and "brass checks"||circa 1934|
|1/4||The ILWU Story||1955|
|1/5||ILWU exhibit catalogs||2008-2009|
|1/6||List of Portland registered longshoremen||1946|
|1/7||Photocopies and digital prints of newsclippings on West Coast maritime history||1934-2012|
|1/8||"Save 28 Innocent ILA Union Men" pin back buttons||undated|