Nov. 13, 1938: The founding convention of the Committee for Industrial Organization took place at the Islam Grotto, North Side. Its president, John L. Lewis, issued several proposals and criticisms, including blaming the American Federation of Labor with which the CIO would merge in 1955 for creating discord. Much of the tension arose in light of a poor performance of Democrats in congressional elections the previous week.
But as Richard Lamb of the Pittsburgh Press reported, the convention took on an international tone, too, as Lewis used the platform to lambast the attacks on Jews in Nazi Germany.
The article quoted Mr. Lewis: “In Germany, labor unions first were wiped out, their leaders sent to concentration camps,” and the attacks on Jews followed.