In late 2016 and throughout 2017, a unique confluence of organized labor milestones will be recognized through a public awareness effort called, “Building the Engine: Auto and Labor, 1932-1937.”

Through a slate of informative programs, publications and events, regional partners including the MotorCities National Heritage Area and the Michigan Labor History Society will be presenting the story of how these events laid the foundation for organized labor in the auto industry and beyond.

Events being recognized as part of “Building the Engine,” include the following:

  • 80th anniversary, 1936 Kelsey Hayes Sit-Down Strike – Dec. 14, 2016
  • 80th anniversary, 1936-37 Flint Sit-Down Strike and first UAW-GM contract – Dec. 30, 2016-Feb. 11, 2017
  • 85th anniversary, 1932 Ford Hunger March – March 7, 2017
  • 80th anniversary, 1937 Battle of the Overpass – May 26, 2017
  • 80th anniversary, 1937 Lansing Labor Holiday – June 7, 2017

The collective outcomes of these events created a sea change in the industrial workplace – the impacts of which are still felt today.

Special publications, events, educational programming and more will be presented under the identity of “Building the Engine,” including a series of blog posts featured on the MotorCities website. Other information about the program will be listed on as well as the Michigan Labor History Society website at

For more, visit the website at