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Emma Newcombe

Emma Newcombe has a Ph.D. in American and New England Studies from Boston University. Her research interests include nineteenth century American cultural and literary history, as well as the history of tourism. She is currently a writing instructor and a college advisor in Boston.

Most Americans associate Labor Day with the end of summer. But the holiday was originally a form of worker activism during a period of rapid industrialization. Solidarity, not barbecue, was the buzzword back then.
In 1949, city officials desegregated a popular public swimming pool. The reactions of white citizens led to one of the largest race riots in the city’s history. The aftermath energized desegregation.
Bristol, R. I., has celebrated July Fourth for nearly 240 years, making it “The Most Patriotic Town in America.” Legendary Providence Mayor Buddy Cianci made the festivities not only historic, but infamous.
In 1978, one conservative politician sought to remove gay teachers from California schools. A coalition of protestors, along with local and national politicians, moved swiftly to stop him.
In 1972, the city and King County were determined to build a giant multipurpose, domed stadium in Seattle’s International District. Just as determined to stop it were the Asian Americans who lived there.