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White Fund and NECC Explore The Bread and Roses Strike

Submitted by on September 29, 2014 – 2:37 pm

The October 17 Northern Essex Community College White Fund Lecture will be an interactive theater experience, exploring the Bread and Roses strike of 1912.


Addie Card, a 12-year-old cotton mill worker in Pownal, Vermont.

The presentation, which is free and open to the public, will be held from 1:30 to 3 p.m. at Lawrence High School Performing Arts Center, 70-71 North Parish Road, Lawrence, MA 01843.

Presented by Espresso Theater, American Tapestry: “Immigrant Children of the Bread and Roses Strike” will cover many issues connected with Lawrence’s early industrial years, including the role of women and children in the textile industry at the start of the 20th century and the effects of low wages, long workdays and hazardous living and working environments on immigrant families.

The Bread and Roses Strike occurred in January of 1912, after Massachusetts Labor Law reduced the work week from 56 hours to 54 hours per week and mill owners cut workers’ salaries accordingly. Widely considered to be one of the most effective labor strikes in US history, it united thousands of immigrant workers speaking 25 different languages.

“American Tapestry” explores the Bread and Roses Strike from the perspective of children from immigrant families who worked in the mills and were part of this historic event. It is appropriate for children fifth grade and up and adults. 

For additional information on this lecture, contact Martha Leavitt, director, campus operations & procurement– Lawrence Campus at The White Fund’s purpose is to have a free series of interactive presentations for Lawrence-area adults, youth, and children. The audience is encouraged to seek wisdom, cultural enrichment, and intellectual enhancement by attending and participating.

Funded by a generous financial gift from the Honorable Daniel Appleton White, the White Fund Lecture Series has provided cultural conversation featuring well-known lecturers in fields such as history, literature, travel, the arts, and politics. The White Fund is collaborating with Northern Essex on this series.

For additional information or to be notified of upcoming events in the White Fund Enlightenment Series, call 978-738-7403 or visit

The views expressed in the White Fund Enlightenment Series Presentations are the views of the speaker and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of Northern Essex Community College.