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Sam Sweet Papers

 Collection
Identifier: LP000841
Part 1: The papers of Sweet reflect his activities as Education Director of various UAW Locals, and the co-editor of Local newspapers.

Important subjects covered in the collection are: Anti-Communism Civil Rights Housing Political Action Progressive Party, 1948 UAW Factionalism, 1946-1950 Workers' Safety and Health

Among important correspondents are: Nick-Di Gaetano Emil Mazey

Series Description: Series I, Local 51, 1938-1942, and 1945-1950: Reports, articles, correspondence and other materials concerning education and other subjects Sweet was interested in as Education Director of Local 51. These subjects include civil rights, Chrysler strikes, UAW factionalism and political action.

Series II, Local 742, 1943-1945: Correspondence, housing applications, leaflets and other items collected by Sweet while Education Director of Local 742. Some of the subjects covered are housing, civil rights, World War II, and the political action of the UAW.

Series III, Progressive Party, 1948-1952: Newsletters, leaflets, and convention materials relating to the presidential campaign of the Progressive Party in 1948 in which Local 51's leadership was actively involved.
Part 2: Materials from the 1940s in Part II of the Sam Sweet Papers supplement those in Part I, with additional documents from the 1950s to 1980s representing his involvement with union retiree committees and other senior citizens’ issues, such as housing and substance abuse.

Important Subjects: Senior citizens UAW Education Department UAW politics Union retiree committees

Important Correspondents: Albert Kahn

Dates

  • 1938 - 1989

Creator

Language of Materials

Material entirely in English.

Access

Collection is open for research.

Use

Refer to the Walter P. Reuther Library Rules for Use of Archival Materials. Refer to the Walter P. Reuther Library Rules for Use of Archival Materials. Restrictions: Researchers may encounter records of a sensitive nature – personnel files, case records and those involving investigations, legal and other private matters. Privacy laws and restrictions imposed by the Library prohibit the use of names and other personal information which might identify an individual, except with written permission from the Director and/or the donor.

Extent

5 Linear Feet (8 MB, 1 SB)

Abstract

An activist in the early labor movement, Sam Sweet aided in the organization of the Flint General Motors workers and the Briggs workers in Detroit, and served as Education Director for United Auto Workers (UAW) Locals 155, 51, and 742. Granted citizenship in 1946, Mr. Sweet faced repeated government attempts to revoke his citizenship due to alleged Communist affiliation.

Part I of Mr. Sweet’s papers primarily relate to his activities as Education Director of various UAW locals and as co-editor of Local newspapers. Materials from the 1940s in Part II of the Sam Sweet Papers supplement those in Part I, with additional documents from the 1950s to 1980s representing his involvement with union retiree committees and other senior citizens’ issues, such as housing and substance abuse.

History

Sam Sweet was born in Poland in 1911, moved to the United States in 1930, and was granted citizenship in 1946. After working in various jobs, Sweet found employment in the auto industry in the mid-1930's. He helped in organizing the Briggs workers in Detroit, and the GM workers in Flint in the early days of the United Auto Workers. He moved on to UAW Local 155, where he worked on organizing small auto plants on Detroit's east side, and in 1937 he became Education Director of the Local. In 1938, he moved on to become the Education Director for Plymouth Local 51, and served in that capacity until 1950, except for two years during World War II, 1943-1945, when he became the Education Director of Briggs Local 742 and the Co-editor of its newspaper. In the late 1940's, Sweet also served as Co-editor of Local 51's newspaper, the Beacon. From 1946 to the early 1950's, Sweet had to fight repeated attempts by the government to remove his citizenship because of alleged Communist affiliations. In addition to his work with the UAW, Sweet also served as Housing and Education Director for the Greater Detroit and Wayne County CIO Council in 1945.

Arrangement

Part 1: Arranged in 3 series – Series 1 (Boxes 1-4), Series 2 (Boxes 5-7) and Series 3 (Box 8). Folders are arranged alphabetically.
Part 2: Folders are listed by their location within each box. They are not necessarily arranged, so any given subject may be dispersed throughout the entire collections.

Acquisition

Part 1: The papers of Sam Sweet were placed in the Archives of Tabor and Urban Affairs in August and December of 1977 by Sam Sweet.
Part 2: The Sam Sweet Papers were placed in the Reuther Library on July 15, 1993.

Transfers

Part 1: Approximately 15 photographs of Local union leaders and newspaper mats have been placed in the Archives Audiovisual Collection. Numerous books concerning labor history and economics, pamphlets concerning workers' safety, education, and UAW convention proceedings, and newspapers from Local 51, other UAW Locals, and other union--such as the United Electrical Workers and the Farm Equipment Workers--are available in the Archives library.
Part 2: Five photographs and small envelope of negatives transferred to Reuther Archives Audiovisual Department.

Processing History

Part 1: Processed and finding aid written by Walter P. Reuther Library in May 1982.
Part 2: Finding aid written by Aimee Ergas on August 2, 2010.
Title
Guide to the Sam Sweet Papers
Status
completed
Author
Processed by Walter P. Reuther Library.
Date
1982-05
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English

Repository Details

Part of the Walter P. Reuther Library Repository

Contact:
5401 Cass Avenue
Detroit MI 48202 USA