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1934 Funeral March

"I was there..."

by Mike Quin, from The Big Strike

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July 9, 1934 funeral march by Bits Hayden

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Coffin carrying murdered strikers is carried up Market Street, July 9, 1934

Photo: ILWU Archives

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Funeral March, July 9, 1934, on Market Street.

Photo: The Big Strike

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Funeral March July 9, 1934

Photo: San Francisco History Center, San Francisco Public Library

Slowly—barely creeping—the trucks moved out into Market Street. With slow, rhythmic steps, the giant procession followed. Faces were hard and serious. Hats were held proudly across chests. Slow-pouring like thick liquid, the great mass flowed out onto Market Street. Streetcarmen stopped their cars along the line of march and stood silently, holding their uniform caps across their chests, holding heads high and firm. Not one smile in the endless blocks of marching men. Crowds on the sidewalk, for the most part, stood with heads erect and hats removed. Other watched the procession with fear and alarm. Here and there well-dressed businessmen from Montgomery Street stood amazed and impressed, but with their hats still on their heads. Sharp voices shot out of the line of march: "Take off your hat!" The tone of voice was extraordinary. The reaction was immediate. With quick, nervous gestures, the businessmen obeyed. Hours went by, but still the marchers poured onto Market Street, until the whole length of the street, from the Ferry Building to Valencia, was filled with silent, marching men, women, and children. Not a policeman was in sight throughout the whole enormous area. Longshoremen wearing blue armbands directed traffic and presided with an air of authority. No police badge or whistle ever received such instant respect and obedience as the calm, authoritative voices of the dock workers. Labor was burying its own.

from "The Big Strike" by Mike Quin, Olema Publishing Company, 1949


The mass parade on July 9, 1934 in honor of the dead is described by Harry Hay.

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video: Harry Hay on the Funeral March

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Funeral March, July 9 1934

Photo: San Francisco History Center, San Francisco Public Library

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Mourners turn from Steuart to Market Street, July 9, 1934.


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