Norman Parks papers, 1934-2015  PDF

Overview of the Collection

Parks, Norman B
Norman Parks papers
1934-2015 (inclusive)
0.36 cubic feet (1 box) including textual materials and artifacts
Collection Number
5967 (Accession No. 5967-001)
Norman Parks Collection on Portland Maritime Labor History and 1934 Pacific Coast Maritime Strike
University of Washington Libraries, Special Collections
Special Collections
University of Washington Libraries
Box 352900
Seattle, WA
Telephone: 206-543-1929
Fax: 206-543-1931
Access Restrictions

No restrictions on access.


Biographical NoteReturn to Top

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.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

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.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Restrictions on Use

Creator's copyrights transferred to the University of Washington Libraries Special Collections.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top

Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top


Container(s) Description Dates
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

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

  • Subject Terms :
  • Labor movement--Oregon--Portland
  • Labor unions--Oregon--Portland
  • Labor--Oregon--Portland
  • Longshoremen's Strike, San Francisco, Calif., 1934
  • Personal Papers/Corporate Records (University of Washington)
  • Strikes and lockouts--Oregon--Portland
  • Strikes and lockouts--Stevedores--California
  • Personal Names :
  • Parks, Norman B.--Archives
  • Corporate Names :
  • Citizen's Emergency League (Portland, Or.)
  • Citizen's Emergency League (Portland, Or.)--Membership
  • International Longshore and Warehouse Union
  • International Longshore and Warehouse Union. Local 8 (Portland, Or.)--History
  • International Longshoremen's and Warehousemen's Union. Local 38-78 (Portland, Or.)--History
  • Form or Genre Terms :
  • Ephemera
  • Other Creators :
    • Corporate Names :
    • Labor Archives of Washington (University of Washington) (creator)