Twenty years ago, LAWCHA started to come together. The field of labor history had been operating for decades without a professional organization in part because of the many state and regional labor history associations already active. But the times demanded something more. The AFL-CIO had made a left turn, and many scholars were looking for ways to bring activism and labor history together. A meeting was called for the October 1998 North American Labor History Conference in Detroit, which approved a constitution and bylaws that had been drafted by Roger Horowitz and Cecilia Bucki. An organizing committee set to work, and a year later LAWCHA held its first official conference and elected officers led by President Jacquelyn Hall and Vice President Joe Trotter.

I have a couple of reasons for flagging this approaching anniversary. First, LAWCHA now has an official archive....

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