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Writer & Historian

Contact me at ron@ronverzuh.ca

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Podcasts

Sandon – A Podcast About a BC Ghost Town

1
December 17, 2016
Sandon – A Podcast About a BC Ghost Town

There isn’t much to see when you visit the former mining metropolis of Sandon, BC, just east of New Denver in the Slocan Valley. But you can almost smell the labour history as you stroll through what’s left of BC’s version of Deadwood, the US mining town that was so authentically depicted on TV...
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Trail BC’s Fighting Ladies’ Auxiliary – A Podcast

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August 12, 2016
Trail BC’s Fighting Ladies’ Auxiliary – A Podcast

  In June 1944, about thirty women in Trail, BC, were chartered as Ladies Auxiliary Local 131. By 1946 there were 25 such auxiliaries across Canada. Back then, Steel Local 480 was a Mine-Mill union fighting for certification against a company union set up decades earlier by Cominco president S.G. Blaylock. Local 480 was...
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Labour History Moments –Violence on the Line

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April 8, 2015
Labour History Moments –Violence on the Line

Labour history is filled with accounts of murders, massacres and other attacks on workers and their unions over the years. In the United States, labor historians have long cited the Ludlow Massacre in Colorado, the Everett and Centralia Massacres in Washington State, and the lesser-known Italian Hall Tragedy in Michigan among many others. In...
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Labour History Moments – The Importance of Lunch Breaks

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March 5, 2015
Labour History Moments – The Importance of Lunch Breaks

When can a lunch break save your life on the job? Ask a construction crew in Massachusetts that narrowly escaped being hurt or worse when a building collapsed. What saved them? The building crumbled when they were on their lunch break. Lunch breaks are now part of hours of work legislation in many jurisdictions. But...
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Labour History Moments –Winning the Shorter Workday

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January 29, 2015
Labour History Moments –Winning the Shorter Workday

  About a hundred a fifty years ago, working people and their unions fought for the nine-hour workday, a struggle that was at the heart of the newly founded Canadian labour movement. Labour’s Nine-Hour Pioneers, as they were called, launched the fight back in the 1870s, and some went to jail for their attempts...
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The Innocence of Joe Hill – A Radio Labour podcast

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December 5, 2011
The Innocence of Joe Hill – A Radio Labour podcast

Since he was shot by a Utah firing squad on November 19, 1915, people have debated the guilt or innocence of storied protest singer-songwriter Joe Hill. Now, with The Man Who Never Died, a new book by William M. Adler, published by Bloomsbury in New York, we finally have the answer. The innocence of...
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Mine-Mill’s Peace Arch Concerts – A history essay

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July 25, 2011
Mine-Mill’s Peace Arch Concerts – A history essay

When Harvey Murphy, the pugnacious western regional director of the International Union of Mine, Mill and Smelter Workers, learned that his friend and fellow leftist, American opera star Paul Robeson, was not going to be allowed to cross the Canada-United States border to sing at the Vancouver Mine-Mill convention on February 1, 1952, he...
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Robeson Peace Arch Concerts

1
March 22, 2011
Robeson Peace Arch Concerts

Sixty years ago this May 18, an estimated 40,000 music lovers, trade unionists and left-wing politicos gathered at Peace Arch Park near on the United States-Canada border at Blaine, WA, to hear American singing star Paul Robeson. Only a dim public memory, the four annual concerts from 1952 to 1955 are the stuff of...
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Wobbly free speech trek celebrated

4
February 21, 2011
Wobbly free speech trek celebrated

Trade unionists and social activists celebrated the 100th anniversary of a uniquely local moment in United States labour history on Feb. 16, 2011, in the quiet little university city of Eugene, OR.
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British labour historian dies

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February 9, 2011
British labour historian dies

British labour historian Dorothy Thompson died on Jan. 29, 2011, at age 87. Thompson focused her studies on the 19th-century Chartist movement. Her spouse, the late E.P. Thompson, wrote a groundbreaking history called The Making of the English Working Class.  Together they made a formidable team of activist historians, both dedicating themselves to the Campaign for Nuclear...
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Books

Radical Rag by Ron Verzuh Underground Times by Ron Verzuh Selling Labour Down Under by Ron Verzuh Changing Images by Ron Verzuh Feasting With Love by Ron Verzuh Tea Leaves by Ron Verzuh Remembering Salt by Ron Verzuh