The IWW history is long and colorful. Many factual books as well as fictional novels have been written about the One Big Union and its. Few of them do it justice.
Perhaps the most glaring oversight is the incompleteness of most historical accounts of the IWW. Sectarian leftist historians tend to end their study of the IWW in 1917 or 1918, at the time of the Bolshevik take over of the Russian Revolution (thus furthering the debatable thoery that the Bolsheviks are a natural evolution of the IWW).
Others end their histories of the IWW at 1921 or 1924. Such histories are an injustice to the IWW, particularly following 1924. As you can see by reading this chronology, the One Big Union has enjoyed a more or less continuous existence since its establishment in 1905.
This listing of IWW events is not official, nor is it complete. Many details about IWW activities outside of the US are missing, and the period from 1945 – 1971 is also lacking in many details. Furthermore, the events discussed here are not necessarily the official position of the IWW.
Special thanks is due to Fellow Worker Michael Hargis, for his diligent work in compiling this chronology, and the hard working crew at Anarcho-Syndicalist Review for publishing it.
- 1904 – 1911 – From Establishment to the Strike at American Locomotive.
- 1912 – 1915 – The Magonistas to the Murder of Joe Hill.
- 1916 – 1920 – The Everett Massacre to the Palmer Raids.
- 1921 – 1931 – Red Trade Union International to the Boulder Dam Strike.
- 1932 – 1944 – Grey’s Harbor to U.S. Vanadium.
- 1945 – 1971 – Bleak Years for the IWW.
- 1972 – 1977 – Revival and Rejuvenation
- 1978 – 1983 – The Founding of the IOC and its Rank & File Opposition.
- 1984 – 1990 – The People’s Warehouse to Redwood Summer
- 1991 – 1995 – Redwood Summer to Stevenson College
- 1996 – 1997 – From Borders Books to the Neptune Jade.
- 1998 – 1999 – From Applebees to Tosco.
This chronology will be updated as time passes, of course!
For a detailed chronology of IWW activity outside of the united states, see A Brief History of the IWW Outside the United States of America – by FN Brill (1999).