Thomas Carney, 1927-2016, was the legendary hero of the highways known as "Blue Max". He is credited with saving countless lives and helping hundreds of accident victims in his 28 years as a big rig, nationwide truckdriver. He has been called "the truckdriver's greatest hero". After retiring and living in Seekonk, MA, he was honored by the City of East Providence for his work with youth and heroic acts he had performed for fire victims.
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Daniel F. Longstreet (1850-1937) was a Gilded Age pioneer in labor-management-customer relations on the Providence street railway system. He later invented improvements for streetcars and helped to establish some of the national managerial organizations in the public transit industry.
Longstreet participated in the Civil War by joining the Fourth Rhode Island Infantry at age 15 (more than one-hundred of his wartime letters are catalogued at Brown University).
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|Luther, Seth, 1795-1863|
Seth Luther was the most memorable figure in the pioneering days of the Rhode Island labor movement. When he died in 1863, a Providence Journal obituary said that the “had considerable talent for both writing and speaking, but he was too violent, willful and headstrong to accomplish any good.” The editors then added, for good measure, that he had “just closed his worse than useful life.” Nothing could be farther from the truth.
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Edward J. McElroy, a former social studies teacher in Warwick, rose through union ranks to become national president of the 1.3 million member American Federation of Teachers (AFL).
Ed started his labor career in the 1960s lobbying for passage of the Michaelson Act, which provided Rhode Island educators with the right to collective bargaining. Read more >
Lawrence Spitzof Sun City, Arizona, formerly of Providence and Woonsocket was a pioneer labor leader who was a strong advocate for the workingman. He became one of the State's most effective iconoclasts, drafting its first labor relations act, and helping to gain major legislation for fair housing and worker representation at Blue Cross. Read more >
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