EVERETT (Nov. 2, 2016) — A number of events are planned beginning this week to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the Everett Massacre and to remember the hundreds of brave workers who sailed from Seattle to Everett on Nov. 5, 1916, to support striking shingle workers and their right to free speech. Five of them never made it back after the bloodiest battle in Pacific Northwest labor history.
Among the events planned are:
The Everett Massacre: Remembering through Song and Story — To commemorate the centennial, acclaimed folk duo Rebel Voices will bring the events of November 1916 to life in a performance that mixes history and music. Susan Lewis and Janet Stecher will perform from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 3 at the University of Washington’s Bagley Hall in Seattle. Click for details.
100 Years Ago Tomorrow — This event of music and reflection on the centennial eve of Everett’s bloodiest day will begin at 8 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 4 at the Historic Everett Theatre, 2911 Colby Ave. Local songwriter, Jason Webley, has invited a group of national and local musicians to look at this infamous event. Two years ago, Webley sold out the same theater with “Margaret,” a show that looked at the life of one of Everett’s founding daughters through a mix of music and historical storytelling.
This Friday’s all-ages event promises to be a similarly unforgettable performance, featuring Webley with Tomo Nakayama, Johanna Warren, Bradford Loomis, Kevin Murphy, Kate Copeland, Jawbone Puppet Theater and the Mill Town String Quartet. Tickets are $15 and available at Cafe Zippy (2811 Wetmore), the Historic Everett Theatre box office, or online here. Learn more at the Facebook event page.
“Verona” screenings — Join director Denise Ohio for the premiere of “Verona: The Story of the Everett Massacre.” Using stunning historical footage, expert analysis, and compelling animation, Verona gets to the meaning behind the bloodshed: the drive to right social wrongs versus the desire for security; the acceptance of duty versus the struggle to survive — essential issues that continue to shape U.S. culture today.
The first screening will be Saturday, Nov. 5 at 1 p.m. at the Everett Public Library, 2702 Hoyt Ave. in Everett. Then on Sunday, Nov. 6, Verona will be shown at 2 p.m. and at 7 p.m. at the Historic Everett Theater, 2911 Colby Ave. Tickets ($20) are available here.
Free Public Event — An Everett Massacre Centennial Commemoration sponsored by the Pacific Northwest Labor History Association and the Snohomish County Labor Council, AFL-CIO will be held next Saturday, Nov. 12 from noon to 2:30 p.m. at the Milltown Sailing Association, 410 14th St. in Everett. It will include a program, entertainment and refreshments.
Commemorative Sailing — The Virginia V will sail from Seattle to Everett on Saturday, Nov. 12 with the PNLHA and the SCLC. Unfortunately, this is sold out and tickets for this event are no longer available.
On Nov. 5, 1916, hundreds of men from the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), though not part of the AFL like the shingle weavers, felt the need to help their fellow workers get a decent wage. As they landed in Everett, they sang, “Hold the Fort for we are coming, Union hearts be strong…”
The business leaders of Everett, fearful of the IWW’s revolutionary rhetoric, had the sheriff and some 200 “deputized” and armed men confront the union men at the docks. Undeterred by hundreds of guns pointed at them, they prepared to disembark. A shot rang out from somewhere. Then another. Then chaos erupted. When the shooting stopped, five men from the IWW lay dead, as did two deputies. Many more were wounded. When the IWW members returned to Seattle, they were arrested and charged with murder, but no one was convicted and eventually all the charges were dropped.
Learn more about the Everett Massacre here.