Norman Parks papers, 1934-2015

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: 2065431929
Fax: 2065431931
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

Custodial History

According to Parks, many of the materials in this collection were salvaged when the union local sold its old building and moved to new one. The old hall was at 17th and Glissan and was previously a Swedish Church. During the move union member found a hidden room while rewiring, including materials relating to Local 8 and its history. Parks rescued the materials, which were in the process of being thrown away. Significant materials include a telegram from the 1934 Pacific Coast Maritime Strike and a minute books from Peabody, an early secretary of ILA in 1888 in Portland.

Separated Materials

Material Described Separately:

These papers came with a group of books that will be cataloged separately.


Munk, Michael. "Portland's 'Silk Stocking Mob': The Citizens Emergency League in the 1934 Maritime Strike." The Pacific Northwest Quarterly, Vol. 91, No. 3 (Summer, 2000), pp. 150-160

Related Materials

Albert H. Farmer papers, 1926-1981 , University of Washington Libraries, Special Collections

Oral history interview with Frank Jenkins , University of Washington Libraries, Special Collections

Ronald Magden papers , University of Washington Libraries, Special Collections

Shaun Maloney papers , University of Washington Libraries, Special Collections

Ottilie Markholt papers , University of Washington Libraries, Special Collections

George Starkovich ephemera collection , University of Washington Libraries, Special Collections

International Longshoremen's Association, Local Pacific Coast District records, 1934-1945 , University of Oregon Libraries, Special Collections and University Archives

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)