This week, we take an in depth look at the 1919 Boston Police Strike and ensuing riots. In the post-WW1 inflation of the summer of 1919, Boston police officers were earning wages set in 1857. Around the country, workers were striking, while the upper classes feared a Bolshevik-influenced revolution. When 72% of the police force walked off the job, lawlessness ruled in Boston for several days. Governor Calvin Coolidge sent in the state militia, and emerged a hero, paving his way to the White House. Listen to the story!
On a hot summer’s night in 1834, rumors swirled around a Catholic girls’ school in Charlestown. Catholicism was a frightening, unfamiliar religion, and Catholic immigrants were viewed with great suspicion. People said that the nuns were being held in slavery, or that Protestant children were being tortured and forcibly converted. A crowd gathered, and violence flared. When the sun rose the next morning, the Ursuline Convent lay in smoking ruins. Thirteen men were tried, but none served time. What deep seated biases led Yankee Boston down this dark road? Listen to this week’s episode to find out!
How did early Boston “celebrate” on November 5th each year? By drinking, brawling, and burning effigies of the Pope, of course. Listen to this week’s episode to find out more!