LEARN NC was a program of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Education from 1997 – 2013. It provided lesson plans, professional development, and innovative web resources to support teachers, build community, and improve K-12 education in North Carolina. Learn NC is no longer supported by the School of Education – this is a historical archive of their website.

postcard of Loray Cotton Mill

Postcard view of Loray Cotton Mill in Gastonia, c. 1908. About the illustration

In 1928, the National Textile Workers Union sent organizers to Gastonia, North Carolina, to organize workers at the Loray Cotton Mill into a union. The following spring those workers went on strike. Mill owners refused to negotiate and threw striking workers out of their mill-owned housing. The strike turned violent, and Gastonia’s police chief was killed. In this chapter, we’ll explore the events and experiences of the strike through contemporary newspaper coverage.