National Affairs: No Show

No doubt about it, the United Mine Workers' 39th convention was Hamlet without Hamlet. The 2,800 delegates who had journeyed expectantly to Atlantic City blamed it all on fate. Fate had picked convention time to floor indestructible old John L. Lewis with appendicitis—a mischance that left him represented at the convention only by a glowering portrait and harsh words in the mouths of his underlings. From the start, the convention felt lost.

The Lewis words were enough, of course, to carry the business and set the strategy of the four-day meeting. Automatically, the listless delegates racked up some 1,400 resolutions, concerned mostly...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!