Recalling the City’s Garbage Strike of 1968 [VIDEO]

Posted on: January 21st, 2013 at 10:27 am by
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Some 7,000 city sanitation workers went on strike for nine days in early February of 1968, leaving behind a wake of messy politics and accumulating garbage. Once-clean sections of New York became “slums,” as the New York Times reported at the time. And even the sanitation union president – John Delury – was jailed. The situation became so dire that Mayor Lindsay asked Governor Nelson Rockefeller to call in the National Guard to clean the streets. Other unions threatened to strike if this happened, and the politicians ultimately backed down.

We recall this brief history lesson as the forty-fifth anniversary of the strike approaches. A Great Big City unearthed this cool, ever-so brief vintage clip from 1968, in which the street reacts to the strike. Bonus points to the dude with the cigar dangling from the corner of his mouth…

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