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The Willmar 8 Bank Strike

For nearly two years, eight female employees of Willmar's Citizens National Bank, dubbed the Willmar 8, picketed in front of their downtown workplace seeking pay equity. They never got pay increases, they never got strike-related compensation, and after the strike, only one woman returned to work at the bank for more than a few months. But for the women's movement, the 1977-1979 strike was a resounding success. It was a chink in the armor of the institutional sexism women faced in the workplace.

Poster advertising the Farmers' Holiday Association including a photograph of marchers

Farmer's Holiday

Farmer's Holiday Association poster featuring a photograph of Grant County farmers marching to the State Capitol, c.1935.

photograph of a group of men gathered around a desk in the State Office Building

Farmers Holiday Association conference, State Office Building, St. Paul

Farmers Holiday Association conference, State Office Building, St. Paul. January 1938. Photograph by Brown & Fenny.

photograph of Farmer's Holiday Association representatives with Harry L. Hopkins

Administration head Harry L. Hopkins to discuss drought relief

Farmers Holiday Association representatives meet with Works Progress Administration head Harry L. Hopkins to discuss drought relief, 1936. Photograph by the St. Paul Daily News.

photograph of crowd on St. Paul capitol building steps

Farmers storm Capitol to demand relief

Farmers storm Capitol to demand relief, March 22, 1933. Photograph by the St. Paul Daily News.

Photograph of marchers on a St. Paul street under a Farmers' Holiday sign

Farmers Holiday Association marching from Capitol to demand relief.

Farmers Holiday Association marching from Capitol to demand relief, March 22, 1933. Photograph by the St. Paul Daily News.

Photograph of John B. Bosch

John B. Bosch

John B. Bosch, leader of the Farmers' Holiday Association in Minnesota, c.1915.

Grant County farmers among the marchers to the State Capitol.

Grant County Farmer's Holiday Association among the marchers to the State Capitol, 1935. Photograph by George E. Luxton.

Farmers' Holiday Association in Minnesota

The Farmers' Holiday Association was formed in 1932. The Midwestern organization successfully fought against farm foreclosures with novel strategies like penny auctions, but unsuccessfully lobbied Congress for a federal system that would pay farmers for their crops based on the cost of production.

Sean Kershaw

Sean Kershaw

Sean Kershaw is the current Citizens League executive director and has held the office since 2003

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