Labor and Radicalism in early 20th century Tampa

Tour curated by: Zoe Lennox, Timothy Ward, Kylan Cameron, Ricardo R. Gonzalez Valenzuela, and the Tampa Historical Team

Tampa has a rich history of labor activism and radical politics. This tour explores the history of labor radicalism, unionization, and strikes in the city, with a particular focus on West Tampa and Ybor City. This tour was produced by USF history students in Dr. K. Stephen Prince's Spring 2019 seminar, "Tampa History as U.S. History."

Locations for Tour

In 1878, the 10-year long War for Cuban Independence had come to an end, leaving the country in political and economic ruin. The increased hostility and tariffs that Cubans faced in the direct aftermath of the war caused many to flee the country in…

The struggle between factory owners and factory workers was constant in the early 20th century. In Tampa, immigrant workers were educated through lectores, or readers in their factory, and sought to gain more leverage and recognition by joining…

The Cigar Makers International Union announced its push for recognition at the Labor Temple on 8th Avenue, on June 29, 1910. Angelo Leto, a Union member, declared that the manufacturers were forcing cigar makers to strike by not recognizing their…

Long before the first cigar factories were established in Ybor city, a long-lasting oral tradition had cemented itself as a part of the cigar factory culture -- the tradition of the factory reader, or lector. Lectors read from variety of printed…