Ole Hanson, Mayor of Seattle

In 1920, Clarence Darrow defended twenty members of the Communist Labor party who were charged with violating an Illinois statute that made it unlawful to advocate reformation or overthrow of the existing form of government by violence or other unlawful means. The defendants were convicted and their convictions were upheld by the Illinois Supreme Court. Ole Hanson was one of the main witnesses against the defendants in regard to a general strike in Seattle February 6, 1919. The strike was composed of members of the Metal Trades Council and the Central Labor Council of Seattle and according to the Illinois Supreme Court opinion about the case the goal of the strike was to ?tie up transportation and the supply of food, light, heat, and other necessities, thereby compelling the civil authorities to surrender the government of the city of Seattle to this committee; that the body proposed to organize a soldiers', sailors', and workingmen's council to take over the city government; that the Union Record was the official newspaper of organized labor in Seattle, and that it carried propaganda of this character; that about 20,000 circulars entitled, ?Russia Did It.?? People v. Lloyd, 136 N.E. 505 (Ill. 1922).
Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, LC-USZ62-100790.