Mary Messenger


Frances Hensley & Barbara Matz



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This interview is one of a series conducted concerning labor union women. This folder contains a transcript of tape # 12 of an series titled "Our Working Lives." The two interviewees are Fannie Garret (a member of the Communications Workers of America) and Mary Messenger (a member of the American Federation of Teachers). They discuss their specific unions and unions in general, as well as detailed information about the communications industry and teachers. This discussion includes--among other topics--their opinions about why people join unions, educational opportunities in unions, union conventions (including one for the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations, a.k.a. the AFL-CIO), the UMW (United Mine Workers), the public's sometimes negative perceptions of unions, how economics affect unions, and much information about the roles of men and women in unions. Women are another important topic, and they discuss the situations women face in businesses. Strikes and picket lines are also discussed, as are social events in the unions and the interviewees' relationships with other members of the union. Politics are an important subject, and they tell us about their own political activities (including voting a police chief out of office who tried to eliminate the Black Panther Party), the Committee on Political Education, and political leaders such as Ronald Reagan, Jim Sprouse (a West Virginia politician), and Jay Rockefeller (whom Mary Messenger had a conversation with). There are numerous other topics in this interview as well, including education in general and summer classes Mary took at West Virginia University. The interview ends with a discussion of equality in pay.

Publication Date






Library of Congress Subjects

Messenger, Mary, -- Autobiography.
Garrett, Fannie, -- Autobiography.
Reagan, Ronald.
Rockefeller, John D. (John Davison), 1937-
American Federation of Teachers.


Interview is included in the Marshall University Oral History Collection. The index number is OH64-429.


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Oral History Interview: Mary Messenger & Fannie Garrett