Advance Notice: Briefs

On this day in 1932: 4 killed during Ford Hunger March

By: - March 7, 2019 12:38 pm

The Ford Hunger March was carried out on March 7, 1932, during the Great Depression. It’s sometimes called the Ford Massacre, as five people eventually died.

At least 5,000 unemployed metro Detroiters protested joblessness, hunger and poor living conditions.

The march, which began in Detroit and ended at Dearborn’s Ford Motor Company’s Rouge Plant, was led by several progressive political organizations, including the Detroit Unemployed Council and the Auto, Aircraft and Vehicle Workers of America.

Four workers were fatally shot by the Dearborn Police Department and security guards employed by the Ford Motor Company. More than 60 people were injured. Three months later, a fifth worker died as a result of injuries sustained.

The march was considered an important step to unionizing auto plants.

One of the march organizers was Dave Moore. He later became a founding member of the United Automobile Workers Local 600 and one of the first African-Americans to hold union office.

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Ken Coleman
Ken Coleman

Ken Coleman covers Southeast Michigan, economic justice and civil rights. He is a former Michigan Chronicle senior editor and served as the American Black Journal segment host on Detroit Public Television. He has written and published four books on black life in Detroit, including Soul on Air: Blacks Who Helped to Define Radio in Detroit and Forever Young: A Coleman Reader. His work has been cited by the Detroit News, Detroit Free Press, History Channel and CNN. Additionally, he was an essayist for the award-winning book, Detroit 1967: Origins, Impacts, Legacies. Ken has served as a spokesperson for the Michigan Democratic Party, Detroit Public Schools, U.S. Sen. Gary Peters and U.S. Rep. Brenda Lawrence. Previously to joining the Advance, he worked for the Detroit Federation of Teachers as a communications specialist. He is a Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metropolitan Detroit advisory board member.