Shoal Hill Common is a 180-acre (0 what is in meat tenderizer.73 km2) site of woodland and lowland heath located in Staffordshire, England best running water bottle belt, U.K 3 ways to tenderize meat. within the Cannock Chase area of outstanding natural beauty about 1-mile (1.6  wrist pouch for runners;km) from Cannock town centre and 4 miles (6.4 km) from Penkridge It is a local nature reserve.
Shoal Hill Common has been managed by the Shoal Hill Common Joint Committee since 1991, their aim is to replace the traditional practices as far as is possible with other practices such as a programme of bracken, tree and scrub control and heather rejuvenation via rotational cutting to reinstate the open heathland at Shoal Hill Common which was recorded by William Yates in 1775. By doing this they hope to ensure both the survival of a landscape and valuable wildlife habitat which is in major decline, and a diverse number of plants and animals survive both today and for future generations of local people. The Stewardship Agreement with DEFRA shall continue the restoration works at least until 2011.
A number of rare plant, animal, bird and insect species can be found on the heathland including: butterflies (e.g. small heath and green hairstreak), grasshoppers, common lizards, skylarks, and stonechats.
The seventh USS Ranger (CV/CVA-61) was one of four Forrestal-class supercarriers built for the United States Navy in the 1950s. Although all four ships of the class were completed with angled decks, Ranger had the distinction of being the first US carrier built from the beginning as an angled-deck ship.
Commissioned in 1957, she served extensively in the Pacific, especially the Vietnam War, for which she earned 13 battle stars. Near the end of her career, she also served in the Indian Ocean and Persian Gulf.
Ranger appeared on television in The Six Million Dollar Man and Baa Baa Black Sheep, and in the films Top Gun, Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (standing in for the carrier Enterprise), and Flight of the Intruder.
Ranger was decommissioned in 1993, and was stored at Bremerton, Washington until March 2015. She is currently being scrapped in Brownsville.
Ranger was the first American aircraft carrier to be laid down as an angled-deck ship (her elder sisters Forrestal and Saratoga had been laid down as axial-deck ships and were converted for an angled deck while under construction). She was laid down 2 August 1954 by Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock Co., Newport News, Virginia, launched 29 September 1956, sponsored by Mrs. Arthur Radford (wife of Admiral Arthur W. Radford, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff) and commissioned at the Norfolk Naval Shipyard 10 August 1957, Captain Charles T. Booth II in command.
Ranger joined the U.S. Atlantic Fleet on 3 October 1957. Just prior to sailing on 4 October for Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, for shakedown, she received the men and planes of Attack Squadron 85. She conducted air operations, individual ship exercises, and final acceptance trials along the eastern seaboard and in the Caribbean Sea until 20 June 1958. She then departed Norfolk, Virginia, with 200 Naval Reserve officer candidates for a two-month cruise that took the carrier around Cape Horn. She arrived at her new homeport, Naval Air Station Alameda, Alameda, California, on 20 August and joined the Pacific Fleet.
The carrier spent the remainder of 1958 in pilot qualification training for Air Group 14 and fleet exercises along the California coast. Departing 3 January 1959 for final training in Hawaiian waters until 17 February, she next sailed as the flagship of Rear Admiral Henry H. Caldwell, Commander, Carrier Division Two, to join the Seventh Fleet. Air operations off Okinawa were followed by maneuvers with SEATO naval units out of Subic Bay, Philippines. A special weapons warfare exercise and a patrol along the southern seaboard of Japan followed. During this first WestPac deployment, Ranger launched more than 7,000 sorties in support of 7th Fleet operations. She returned to San Francisco Bay 27 July. During the next 6 months, Ranger was kept in a high state of readiness through participation in exercises and coastal fleet operations.
With Carrier Air Group 9 embarked, she departed Alameda on 6 February 1960 for a second WestPac deployment and returned to Alameda 30 August. From 11 August 1961 through 8 March 1962, Ranger deployed to the Far East a third time.
The next seven months were filled with intensive training along the western seaboard in preparation for operations in Southeast Asia. Ranger departed Alameda on 9 November for brief operations off Hawaii, thence proceeded, via Okinawa, to the Philippines. She steamed to the South China Sea 1 May 1963 to support possible Laotian operations. When the political situation in Laos relaxed 4 May, she resumed her operations schedule with the 7th Fleet. Arriving at Alameda from the Far East 14 June 1963, she underwent overhaul in the San Francisco Naval Shipyard 7 August 1963 through 10 February 1964. Refresher training out of Alameda commenced 25 March, interrupted by an operational cruise to Hawaii from 19 June to 10 July.
In May 1964, Ranger was deployed near French Polynesia in the Pacific Ocean to monitor the French nuclear tests on Moruroa, a task made possible by launching and recovering a Lockheed U-2 from its flight deck. Work on modifying the U-2 for carrier landing and take-off started in late 1963, and one accident occurred during the carrier landing operation when the aircraft piloted by test pilot Bob Schumacher crashed.
Ranger again sailed for the Far East on 6 August 1964. This deployment came on the heels of the Gulf of Tonkin incident. Ranger made only an eight-hour stop in Pearl Harbor on 10 August, then hurried on to Subic Bay, then to Yokosuka, Japan. In the latter port on 17 October 1964, she became the flagship of Rear Admiral Miller, who commanded Fast Carrier Task Force 77. In the following months, she helped the 7th Fleet continue its role of steady watchfulness to keep sea lanes open and stop Communist infiltration by sea.
General William Westmoreland, commanding the Military Advisory Command in Vietnam, visited Ranger on 9 March 1965 to confer with Rear Admiral Miller. Ranger continued air strikes on enemy inland targets until 13 April when a fuel line broke, ignited and engulfed her No. 1 main machinery room in flames. The fire was extinguished in little over an hour. There was one fatality. She put into Subic Bay 15 April and sailed on the 20th for Alameda, arriving home on 6 May. She entered the San Francisco Naval Shipyard 13 May and remained there under overhaul until 30 September 1965.
Following refresher training, Ranger departed Alameda on 10 December 1965 to rejoin the 7th Fleet. She and her embarked Carrier Air Wing 14 received the Navy Unit Commendation for exceptionally meritorious service during combat operations in Southeast Asia from 10 January to 6 August 1966.
Ranger departed the Gulf of Tonkin on 6 August for Subic Bay, then steamed via Yokosuka for Alameda, arriving on the 25th. She stood out of San Francisco Bay 28 September and entered Puget Sound Naval Shipyard two days later for overhaul. The carrier departed Puget Sound on 30 May 1967 for training out of San Diego and Alameda. On 21 July 1967, she logged her 88,000th carrier landing.
From June until November, Ranger underwent a long and intensive period of training designed to make her fully combat ready. Attack Carrier Air Wing 2 (CVW-2) embarked on 15 September 1967, with the new A-7 Corsair II jet attack plane and the UH-2C Seasprite rescue helicopter, making Ranger the first carrier to deploy with these powerful new aircraft. From carrier refresher training for CVW-2, Ranger proceeded to fleet exercise “Moon Festival”. From 9 to 16 October, the carrier and her air wing participated in every aspect of a major fleet combat operation.
Ranger departed Alameda on 4 November 1967 for WestPac. Arriving at Yokosuka on 21 November, she relieved Constellation and sailed for the Philippines on the 24th. After arriving at Subic Bay on 29 November, she made final preparations for combat operations in the Gulf of Tonkin. The Commander, Carrier Division 3, embarked on 30 November as Commander, TG 77.7, and Ranger departed Subic Bay on 1 December for Yankee Station.
Arriving on station on 3 December 1967, Ranger commenced another period of sustained combat operations against North Vietnam. During the next five months, her planes hit a wide variety of targets, including ferries, bridges, airfields, and military installations. Truck parks, rail facilities, antiaircraft guns, and SAM sites were also treated to doses of Air Wing 2’s firepower. Bob Hope’s Christmas Show came to Ranger in the Gulf of Tonkin on 21 December. Another welcome break in the intense pace of operations came with a call at Yokosuka during the first week of April. Returning to Yankee Station on 11 April, Ranger again struck objectives in North Vietnam.
At the end of January 1968, Pueblo was seized by North Korea. Ranger turned north and proceeded at full speed from the tropical waters off Vietnam to the frigid waters off North Korea. The ship had been on the combat line in Vietnam for one month and was due to for rest and recreation. At the conclusion of the North Korea deployment, the ship had been at sea for 65 days. The carrier stopped at the small Japanese port of Sasebo for several days, then proceeded back to combat operations.
After five months of intensive operations, Ranger called at Hong Kong on 5 May 1968 and then steamed for home. There followed a shipyard availability at Puget Sound that ended with Ranger‘s departure 29 July for San Francisco. Three months of leave, upkeep and training culminated in another WestPac deployment 26 October 1968 through 17 May 1969.
She departed Alameda on yet another WestPac deployment in October 1969 as the flagship for Rear Admiral J.C. Donaldson, Commander, Carrier Division Three, and Captain J football uniforms design your own.P. Moorer as commanding officer, and remained so employed until 18 May 1970. During this time, the ship spent at least two extended periods on Yankee Station, the longest being 45 days, due to mechanical problems with the carrier that was to relieve her. A pleasant break in the lives of Ranger‘s crew came with the arrival of the Bob Hope show on 24 December 1969. Upon leaving Yankee after one tour and on the way to Sasebo, Ranger was ordered to stand off the coast of Korea for three days due to North Korea forcing down a US C-130 and holding the crew. Initially, Ranger was to leave the line on Yankee Station for a week of R&R in Subic Bay while offloading supplies, then to Japan and on to Australia and home. A day before Ranger was to leave the line she was ordered to hold on station and fly the first sorties on Cambodia. Finally leaving Yankee Station, Ranger made a fast three-day offload in Subic Bay and a two-day port call in Sasebo and back to Alameda, arriving 1 June. Ranger spent the rest of the summer engaged in operations off the west coast, departing for her sixth WestPac cruise in late October 1970. On 10 March 1971, Ranger, along with USS Kitty Hawk, set a record of 233 strike sorties for one day in action against North Vietnam. During April, the three carriers assigned to Task Force 77 – Ranger, Kitty Hawk, and USS Hancock – provided a constant two-carrier posture on Yankee Station. Hours of employment remained unchanged, with one carrier on daylight hours and one on the noon to midnight schedule. Strike emphasis was placed on the interdiction of major Laotian entry corridors to South Vietnam. She returned to Alameda 7 June 1971, and remained in port for the rest of 1971 and the first five months of 1972 undergoing regular overhaul.
On 27 May 1972, she returned to West Coast operation until 16 November, when she embarked upon her seventh WestPac deployment, which had been delayed four months after Navy fireman E-3 Patrick Chenoweth dropped a heavy paint scraper into a main reduction gear, disabling one of the engines. Chenoweth was charged with “sabotage in time of war”, and faced 30 years imprisonment, but was acquitted by a general court-martial. Ranger suffered around two dozen acts of sabotage between 7 June 1972 and 16 October 1972, including the damage to the main reduction gear which caused $800,000 ($4.53 million in 2016) in damage and delayed the ship’s return to duty off Vietnam. On 18 December 1972, Linebacker II operations were initiated when negotiations in the Paris peace talks stalemated. Participating carriers were Ranger, Enterprise (CVN-65), Saratoga (CV-60), Oriskany (CV-34), and America (CV-66).
The Linebacker II operations ended on 29 December when the North Vietnamese returned to the peace table. These operations involved the resumed bombing of North Vietnam above the 20th parallel and was an intensified version of Operation Linebacker. The reseeding of the mine fields was resumed and concentrated strikes were carried out against surface-to-air missile and antiaircraft artillery sites, enemy army barracks best running water pack, petroleum storage areas, Haiphong naval and shipyard areas, and railroad and truck stations. Navy tactical air attack sorties under Linebacker II were centered in the coastal areas around Hanoi and Haiphong. During Linebacker II, 505 Navy sorties were carried out in this area . Between 18 and 22 December, the Navy conducted 119 Linebacker II strikes in North Vietnam. Bad weather was the main limiting factor on the number of tactical air strikes flown during Linebacker II.
On 27 January 1973, the Vietnam cease-fire, announced four days earlier, came into effect and Oriskany, America, Enterprise, and Ranger, on Yankee Station, cancelled all combat sorties into North and South Vietnam.
Ranger returned to Alameda in August 1973. She was ordered immediately to refit and repair at Long Beach Naval Base where she was prepared for her next WESPAC Cruise over the next ninety days. Her air wing was lifted aboard by giant crane in Long Beach. She spent two weeks shaking down active duty and Reserve pilots. She returned to Alameda. There were two more two week shake down cruises between January and April 1974. On 7 May 1974 she deployed again to the western Pacific. During this cruise, Ranger was again deployed to Yankee Station to participate in operations significant to the withdrawal of forces involved there. She returned to homeport on 18 October. On 28 May 1976, while on deployment, helicopter crews from HS-4 aboard Ranger, detachments from HC-3 on Camden (AOE-2), Mars (AFS-1) and White Plains (AFS-4), and helicopters from Naval Air Station Cubi Point, Republic of the Philippines, assisted in Philippine disaster relief efforts in the flood ravaged areas of central Luzon. Over 1,900 people were evacuated; more than 370,000 pounds (170,000 kg) of relief supplies and 9,340 US gallons (35,400 l) of fuel were provided by Navy and Air Force helicopters.
On 12 July 1976, Ranger and her escort ships of Task Force 77.7 entered the Indian Ocean and were assigned to operate off the coast of Kenya in response to a threat of military action in Kenya by Ugandan forces in the wake of the rescue of Israeli hostages held at Entebbe Airport in Uganda several days before.
In February 1977, Ranger departed Naval Air Station North Island for the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, Bremerton, Washington, for major overhaul. While in overhaul, she received significant technological upgrades to her command information systems and flight deck gear, and was fitted with Sea Sparrow missile defense systems. Additionally, the main machinery spaces were refitted with more reliable ‘General Regulator’ forced-balance automatic boiler and combustion-control systems. In March 1978, the overhaul was completed and she began several months of shakedown cruises and sea trials for recertifications.Ranger returned to the Philippines after 121 consecutive days at sea. One enlisted man was imprisoned for two months of a three-month sentence for dereliction of duty relating to the fire, but the Navy released him early and reprimanded four officers after an investigation in 1984. The report blamed the fire, which resulted in $1.7 million ($3.88 million today) in damages in addition to the deaths, on engineering officers and their superiors.
In early 1985, some interior filming of the film Top Gun took place on board Ranger. In fact, one of the patches on the flight suit worn by lead actor Tom Cruise shows that his squadron was based on the Ranger. In 1986, filming of Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home took place on board Ranger, in port, with lights and canopies set up to mimic the Enterprise. Filming took about a week.
On 14 July 1987, Ranger started her “Pearl” Anniversary Cruise. During this cruise, Ranger relieved Midway and her carrier group in the Indian Ocean. During this period, Ranger took part in Operation Earnest Will under which the Kuwait tankers were reflagged under US colors.
On 24 July 1987, Tactical Electronics Warfare Squadron 131 (VAQ-131) began the first Pacific Fleet deployment of the EA-6B Prowler equipped with AGM-88 HARM missiles, deployed in Ranger.
On 19 October 1987, Ranger took part in Operation Nimble Archer, an attack on two Iranian oil platforms in the Persian Gulf by US Navy forces. The attack was a response to Iran’s missile attack three days earlier on the MV Sea Isle City, a reflagged Kuwaiti oil tanker at anchor off Kuwait. The action occurred during Operation Earnest Will, the effort to protect Kuwaiti shipping amid the Iran-Iraq War. Air cover was provided by William H. Standley, two F-14 Tomcat fighters, and an E-2 Hawkeye from Ranger.
On 3 August 1989, Ranger rescued 39 Vietnamese refugees, adrift for 10 days on a barge in heavy seas and monsoon rains in the South China Sea, about 80 miles (130 km) from NAS Cubi Point. SH-3s Sea Kings from HS-14 assisted. An A-6 Intruder from VA-145 spotted the barge, which had apparently broken loose from its mooring near a small island off the coast of Vietnam with 10 men on board. Twenty-nine other refugees from a sinking refugee boat climbed aboard the barge when it drifted out to sea. After examination by medical personnel, all were flown to NAS Cubi Point for further processing.
President George H. W. Bush addressed the nation on 16 January 1991 at 9 pm EST and announced that Operation Desert Storm had begun. The Navy launched 228 sorties from Ranger and Midway (CV-41) in the Persian Gulf, from Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71) en route to the Persian Gulf, and from John F. Kennedy, Saratoga, and America in the Red Sea. In addition, the Navy launched more than 100 Tomahawk missiles from nine ships in the Mediterranean Sea, the Red Sea, and the Persian Gulf.
An A-6E Intruder from Ranger was shot down two miles off the Iraqi coast by antiaircraft artillery on 18 January 1991, after laying MK36 naval mines on a waterway linking the Iraqi naval base of Umm Qasr with the Persian Gulf. The pilot, LT William Thomas Costen and the navigator/bombardier, LT Charlie Turner, were killed.
On 26 January, an EA-6B Prowler from Ranger spotted two large tankers in a waterway northeast of Bubiyan Island. A package of two Ranger´s A-6Es hit one of them with an AGM-123 Skipper missile on the starboard side.
On 6 February, an F-14A Tomcat from VF-1, off Ranger, piloted by LT Stuart Broce, with CMDR Ron McElraft as Radar Intercept Officer, downed an Iraqi Mi-8 Hip helicopter with an AIM-9M Sidewinder missile. At 9 pm EST on 27 February, President Bush declared Kuwait had been liberated and Operation Desert Storm would end at midnight.
On 21 April 1992, in harmony with other World War II 50th-anniversary festivities, Ranger participated in the commemorative re-enactment of the Doolittle Raid on Tokyo, Japan. Two World War II-era B-25 bombers were craned on board, and over 1,500 guests (including national, local and military media) were embarked to witness the two vintage warbirds travel down Ranger’s flight deck and take off. In June, Ranger made an historic port visit to Vancouver, British Columbia, in conjunction with her final phase of predeployment workups.
Fully combat ready, Ranger began her 21st and final western Pacific and Indian Ocean deployment on 1 August 1992. On 18 August, she entered Yokosuka, for a six-day port visit and upkeep. Ranger entered the Persian Gulf on 14 September by transiting the Straits of Hormuz. The next day, Ranger relieved Independence (CV-62) in an unusual close-aboard ceremony and along with her embarked air wing, Carrier Air Wing 2, immediately began flying patrol missions in support of the United Kingdom and United States-declared “No Fly” zone in southern Iraq: Operation Southern Watch.
While in the Persian Gulf, former Cold War adversaries became at-sea partners as Ranger, British, and French naval forces joined with the Russian guided missile destroyer Russian destroyer Admiral Vinogradov for an exercise involving communication, maneuvering, and signaling drills. During joint operations, a Russian Kamov Ka-27 “Helix” helicopter landed aboard Ranger. It was the first such landing on a US Navy aircraft carrier.
Ranger left the Persian Gulf on 4 December 1992 and steamed at high speed to the coast of Somalia. Ranger played a significant role in the massive relief effort for starving Somalis in Operation Restore Hope. The Ranger/CVW-2 team provided photo and visual reconnaissance, airborne air traffic control, logistics support, and on-call close air support for Navy and Marine amphibious forces. Throughout Operations Southern Watch and Restore Hope, Ranger took 63 digital photographs which were sent by International Marine Satellite to the Navy Office of Information within hours of being taken. This was the first time digital pictures were successfully transmitted from a US Navy ship at sea.
On 19 December 1992, Ranger was relieved on station by Kitty Hawk and began her last journey homeward to San Diego.
Since the late 1980s defense cuts, Ranger did not undergo the Service Life Extension Program (SLEP) modernization process as did her three sisters and the later Kitty Hawk-class ships, and by the early 1990s, her material condition was declining. Both the outgoing Bush and incoming Clinton administrations recommended cuts to the defense budget, so the retirement of Ranger, along with her sisters Forrestal and Saratoga, was put forth. Ranger was decommissioned on 10 July 1993 after 36 years of service, and is at the Naval Inactive Ship Maintenance Facility, Bremerton, Washington. This decommissioning came instead of a refit scheduled for the same year. Such an extension would have extended Ranger‘s life into 2002, requiring a reauthorization in 1994. In September 2010, the not-for-profit USS Ranger Foundation submitted an application to Naval Sea Systems Command proposing the donation of Ranger for use as a museum ship and multipurpose facility, to be located on the Columbia River at Chinook Landing Marine Park in Fairview, Oregon. However, in September 2012, NAVSEA rejected the foundation’s proposal, and redesignated the ship for scrapping. Preparations for disposal Ranger were completed 29 May 2014.
In August 2014, a new attempt began to convince the Navy not to scrap the ship. A petition on Change.org attracted over 2500 signatures. The hope was that Ranger could be located in Long Beach harbor as a museum. However, when asked by the Long Beach Press-Telegram, NAVSEA stated that Ranger was no longer available for donation and was slated to be scrapped in 2015.
On 22 December 2014, the U.S. Navy paid one cent to International Shipbreaking of Brownsville, Texas, to tow and scrap Ranger. International Shipbreaking will pay to tow her around South America, through the Straits of Magellan, as Ranger is too big to fit through the Panama Canal. The tow began on 5 March 2015 from the inactive ships maintenance facility, Bremerton, Washington, to Brownsville. International Shipbreaking is expecting to make a profit from Ranger after the costs of the tow and the actual dismantling of the ship.
On April 7, 2015, ex-Ranger was seen anchored about three miles offshore at Panama City, Panama, attracting a lot of wild speculation as President Obama was scheduled to arrive two days later, for the 7th Summit of the Americas. Newspapers went so far as to repeat the local speculation that the ship was there to provide security to Obama. On July 12, 2015, the Ranger arrived at her final resting place in Brownsville.
Ranger earned 13 battle stars for service during the Vietnam War.
Walter Philip Reuther (/ˈruːθər/; September 1, 1907 – May 9, 1970) was an American labor union leader, who made the United Automobile Workers (UAW) a major force not only in the auto industry but also in the Democratic Party and the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO) in the mid 20th century. He was a socialist in the early 1930s and worked closely with the Communist Party in the auto industry in the middle and late 1930s. He was a leader in removing communists from the offices in UAW and CIO in the 1940s. By 1949 he had become a leading liberal and supporter of the New Deal coalition, working to strengthen the labor union movement, raise wages, and give union leaders a greater voice in state and national Democratic party politics. During the 1960s he was a major supporter of the civil rights movement.
Reuther was born on September 1, 1907 in Wheeling, West Virginia, the son of Anna (Stocker) and Valentine Reuther, a socialist brewery worker who had emigrated from Germany. Throughout his career he was close to his brothers and co-workers Victor Reuther and Roy Reuther. Reuther joined the Ford Motor Company in 1927 as an expert tool and die maker. He was laid off in 1932 as the Great Depression worsened. His Ford employment record states that he quit voluntarily, but Reuther himself always maintained that he was fired for his increasingly visible socialist activities. He and his brother Victor went to Europe and then worked 1933–35 in an auto plant (GAZ) at Gorky in the Soviet Union, which was being built with the cooperation of Henry Ford. At the end of the trip he wrote, “the atmosphere of freedom and security, shop meetings with their proletarian industrial democracy; all these things make an inspiring contrast to what we know as Ford wage slaves in Detroit. What we have experienced here has reeducated us along new and more practical lines.” Reuther returned to the United States where he found employment at General Motors and became an active member of the United Automobile Workers (UAW).
Reuther was a Socialist Party member. He may have paid dues to the Communist Party for some months in 1935–36, and he has been reported as attending a Communist Party planning meeting as late as February 1939. Reuther cooperated with the Communists in the later 1930s—this was the period of the Popular Front what is in meat tenderizer, and they agreed with him on internal issues of the UAW, but his associations were with anti-Stalinist socialists.
Reuther remained active in the Socialist Party and in 1937 failed in his attempt to be elected to the Detroit Common Council. However, impressed by the efforts by President Franklin D. Roosevelt to tackle inequality, he eventually joined the Democratic Party.
In 1936 he became president of United Automobile Workers Local 174 (with 100 members), which on paper had responsibility for 100,000 auto workers on the west side of Detroit, Michigan. Reuther led several strikes and in 1937 and 1940 was hospitalized after being badly beaten by strikebreakers. He survived two assassination attempts, and his right hand was permanently crippled in an attack on April 20, 1948 reusable 2 liter bottles.
He had a highly publicized confrontation with Ford security forces on May 26, 1937, also known as the Battle of the Overpass. By this time, thanks to the sit-down strikes, UAW membership had exploded and Local 174 was a power inside the UAW. As a senior union organizer, Reuther helped win major strikes for union recognition against General Motors in 1940 and Ford in 1941.
He is remembered for a famous exchange with a Ford executive when Ford was automating its production lines. Leading Reuther into a great hall filled with machines, with just one or two human workers programming them, an executive joked, “How do you plan to get these boys to pay your union dues, Walter?” Reuther looked around bag waterproof cover, shook his head, and said, “How do you plan to get them to buy your cars?”
After the bombing of Pearl Harbor, Reuther strongly supported the war effort and refused to tolerate wildcat strikes that might disrupt munitions production. He worked for the War Manpower Commission, the Office of Production Management, and the War Production Board. He led a 113-day strike against General Motors in 1945–1946; it only partially succeeded. He never received the power he wanted to inspect company books or have a say in management, but he achieved increasingly lucrative wage and benefits contracts.
In 1946 he narrowly defeated R. J. Thomas for the UAW presidency, and promptly he purged the UAW of all communist elements. He was active in the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO) umbrella as well, taking the lead in expelling 11 communist-led unions from the CIO in 1949.
As a prominent figure in the anti-communist left, he was a founder of the Americans for Democratic Action in 1947. He became president of the CIO in 1952, and negotiated a merger with George Meany and the American Federation of Labor immediately after, which took effect in 1955. In 1949 he led the CIO delegation to the London conference that set up the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions in opposition to the communist-dominated World Federation of Trade Unions. He had left the Socialist Party in 1939, and throughout the 1950s and 1960s was a leading spokesman for liberal interests in the CIO and in the Democratic Party.
Reuther delivered contracts for his membership through brilliant negotiating tactics. He would pick one of the “big three” automakers, and if it did not offer concessions, he would strike it and let the other two absorb its sales. Besides high hourly wage rates and paid vacations, Reuther negotiated these benefits for his union: employer-funded pensions (beginning in 1950 at Chrysler), medical insurance (beginning at GM in 1950), and supplementary unemployment benefits (beginning at Ford in 1955). Reuther tried to negotiate lower automobile prices for the consumer with each contract, with limited success.
Toward the end of his life, when he took the UAW out of the AFL-CIO for a short-lived alliance with the Teamsters union, and marched with the United Farm Workers in Delano, California, Reuther seemed to be dissatisfied, looking for the ability to challenge the injustices that had made the union movement so vital in the 1930s. He strongly supported the Civil Rights movement with union organizers and finances, and his own continuing personal involvement. Reuther participated in both the March on Washington for Freedom and Jobs (August, 1963) and the Selma to Montgomery March (March, 1965). He stood beside Martin Luther King Jr. while he made the “I Have A Dream” speech, during the 1963 March on Washington. Although critical of the Vietnam War, he supported Lyndon Johnson and Hubert Humphrey in 1968, and met weekly with President Johnson during 1964–65. He was instrumental in mobilizing UAW resources to minimize the threat that George Wallace would win more than ten percent of union votes (Wallace won about nine percent in the North).
In his prime, Reuther was influential and powerful enough to frighten conservatives. In 1958, later presidential candidate Barry Goldwater declared Reuther a “more dangerous menace than the Sputnik or anything Soviet Russia might do to America.”
Reuther played a role in a historic episode during the early 1960s, known as the Chicken War. France and West Germany had placed tariffs on imports of U.S. chicken. Diplomacy failed and in January 1964, two months after taking office, President Johnson imposed a 25 percent tax (almost 10 times the average U.S. tariff) on potato starch, dextrin, brandy, and light trucks. Officially, the tax targeted items imported from Europe as approximating the value of lost American chicken sales to Europe.
In retrospect, audio tapes from the Johnson White House thermos bottles for coffee, revealed a quid pro quo unrelated to chicken. In January 1964, President Johnson attempted to persuade Reuther not to initiate a strike just prior to the 1964 election and to support the president’s civil rights platform. Reuther in turn wanted Johnson to respond to Volkswagen’s increased shipments to the United States.
The Chicken Tax directly curtailed importation of German-built Volkswagen Type 2 vans in configurations that qualified them as light trucks—that is, commercial vans and pickups. In 1964 U.S. imports of “automobile trucks” from West Germany declined to a value of $5.7 million—about one-third the value imported in the previous year. Soon after, Volkswagen cargo vans and pickup trucks, the intended targets, “practically disappeared from the U.S. market.” As of March 2013, the Chicken tax remains in effect.
On May 9, 1970, Walter Reuther, his wife May, architect Oscar Stonorov, Reuther’s bodyguard William Wolfman, the pilot and co-pilot were killed when their chartered Gates Learjet 23 crashed in flames at 9:33 p.m. Michigan time. The plane, arriving from Detroit in rain and fog, was on final approach to Pellston Regional Airport in Pellston, Michigan, near the union’s recreational and educational facility at Black Lake, Michigan. The National Transportation Safety Board discovered that the plane’s altimeter was missing parts, some incorrect parts were installed, and one of its parts had been installed upside down.
Reuther had earlier survived an April 1948 incident in which he was hit by a shotgun blast through his kitchen window. Reuther happened to turn towards his wife, and was hit in the arm instead of the chest and heart. The crime was never solved.
Walter Reuther appears in Time magazine’s list of the 100 most influential people of the 20th century.
President Bill Clinton awarded Reuther the Presidential Medal of Freedom posthumously in 1995.
Walter Reuther is the namesake for the largest labor archives in the United States, home to over 75,000 linear feet of original documents related to the labor movement. The Walter P. Reuther Library, Archives of Labor and Urban Affairs is located in Detroit and is part of Wayne State University.
Interstate 696 In Metro Detroit is named the Walter P. Reuther Freeway.
A hospital in Westland, Michigan, is named for him.
Reuther Middle School, part of the Rochester Community Schools in Rochester Hills, Michigan, is named for him.
Walter Reuther Central High School in Kenosha, Wisconsin is named for him, thanks to the UAW’s significant presence at the city’s former American Motors Corporation and Chrysler plants.
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