LABOR: Thirty-Day Truce

While big John Lewis and the soft-coal operators jousted in a cloud of cigar smoke, the nation's soft-coal miners went to the polls. They voted, under the Smith-Connally Act, on what John Lewis disdainfully called a trick question: "Do you wish to permit an interruption of war production in wartime as a result of this dispute?" Their answer: yes, 208,797; no, 25,158. John Lewis could now legally shut down the mines.

Then in stepped Secretary of Labor Frances Perkins as a mediator. In a new black grosgrain hat, a long black coat, a mink neckpiece and with a new sparkle in...

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