Tag: Walter Reuther

Celebrating the Life of Walter Reuther

Today we celebrate the 114th anniversary of the birth of UAW President Walter Reuther with a look back at his remarkable life and his lasting impact on the American labor movement:

Walter Reuther: September 1, 1907 – May 9, 1970

Today marks the 51st anniversary of the tragic loss of UAW President Walter Reuther and his wife, May. Take a look back at Reuther’s life and his lasting impact on the American labor movement:

Good Jobs, Healthy Planet

Now an International event, Earth Day has been celebrated since April 22, 1970 and its origins are here in the United States. In fact, this annual celebration wouldn’t exist without legendary UAW leader Walter Reuther. In 1970, environmental protection was gaining momentum as an urgent national issue. Nationwide environmental teach-ins were held in the spring and, with the help of activist Denis Hayes, who coined the name “Earth Day,” more than 20 million people marched in support of protecting the earth from environmental destruction. UAW President Walter Reuther took notice and pledged the UAW’s financial and membership support for the ... Read more

In tribute: Walter Reuther’s Impact Endures and Teaches

Walter P. Reuther is an icon and an American hero of the working class. For those of us at the UAW, there are almost no words powerful enough to describe what he means to this union and our members. And for me, as the current president of the UAW, I am so humbled and inspired by his vision, his life’s work, his tireless fight for human and civil rights and simply put, the example he set as an extraordinary human being.  Today, we mark the 50th anniversary of the plane crash that tragically took the lives of UAW President Walter ... Read more

Remembering Walter Reuther

Upon Walter Reuther’s untimely death in 1970, tributes poured in from around the country. Elected officials, newspapers, and working Americans sent their heartfelt condolences at the loss of one of America’s great labor leaders. We’ve compiled some of the eulogies below as a reminder of the impact Reuther had, and continues to have, on the lives of so many Americans.   “You didn’t have to carry a UAW card to be one of Walter Reuther’s constituents.  You were part of Reuther’s constituency if you were poor, powerless, a consumer, an outdoorsman, if you were old, if you were sick, if ... Read more

Remembering Walter Reuther

May 9th marks the 50th anniversary of the death of the UAW’s longest-serving president, Walter Reuther. Throughout the week, we’ll be celebrating his life and remembering his legacy with photos and videos from the UAW archives. Follow along all week here on UAW.org as well as on our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages.    

Secretary-Treasurer Ray Curry: By the Content of their Character

America’s Black History, which we celebrate this month, offers abundant examples across the centuries of how one person can make a difference, how one person can move an entire people forward. I am lucky enough to have witnessed the results of two such difference makers firsthand, both in my job and in my life. Two men who found each other in their individual fight for human rights, and in doing so, helped shape the future of our nation. So, this February, I would like to pay tribute to that relationship, to two heavyweight champions who fought together for America’s soul, ... Read more

Sign the petition to honor Walter Reuther with a commemorative stamp

Walter Reuther can be said to have done more for more American workers than any other leader in the labor movement. He spent his life ensuring American workers have a voice at the table with management, a voice still exercised today by workers in contract negotiations that will affect millions of working families.  He was president of the United Automobile Workers (UAW) from 1946 to 1970. Born into a West Virginia union family in 1907, he learned at an early age the importance of unions, social justice and political action.   He and his brother Victor joined the auto industry when ... Read more

Honoring Walter and May Reuther

Forty-eight years ago today, the UAW lost a great leader, Walter Reuther, his wife May, and four others in a tragic plane crash near Onaway, Mich., May 9, 1970. In an unprecedented show of respect and solidarity, on the day of Walter and May’s funeral, May 12, UAW members at over 300 plants across the U.S. and Canada turned off their machines and halted assembly lines for three minutes to honor their fallen leader. Below is a digital copy of the June 1970 Solidarity magazine, which honored the life and leadership of Walter Reuther:  

54 Years Later, Martin Luther King’s Speech Speaks Truth in Today’s Torn Times

Today marks the 54th Anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I have a dream” speech. Looking back at the values that motivated Dr. King’s leadership in the civil rights movement and struggle for jobs and justice, it’s clear that Americans are still striving to make this dream a reality. The historic speech is believed to have been written in part at UAW headquarters, Solidarity House in Detroit, Michigan:         Download the full speech