- Goldmine: Root
- Oral History Collections
- Charlotte Regional Oral History
- LeGette Blythe oral history interview 2, circa 1976
LeGette Blythe oral history interview 2, circa 1976
Author and former Charlotte Observer reporter LeGette Blythe shares his eyewitness account of the 1929 Loray Mill strike approximately forty-five years after the event took place. Mr. Blythe describes how the chaotic strike atmosphere escalated into hostility and violence. He notes that reporters from several well-known newspapers flocked to the area as word of the turmoil became widespread and the strike attracted national attention. Mr. Blythe discusses the violence that he endured at the hands of the Gastonia authorities and "thug deputies" that the mill had hired. He recounts how a Gastonia policeman confused him with union leader George Pershing during a mass protest with several hundred strikers, and describes how the officers beat him and knocked him unconscious. In addition, Mr. Blythe describes the trial in which Gastonia National Textile Workers Union members stood accused of murdering police Chief Orville Aderholt. Mr. Blythe recounts solicitor John G. Carpenter's use of courtroom theatrics to sensationalize the events surrounding Chief Aderholt's murder. Specifically, he recalls the solicitor's dramatic display of emotion to appeal to jurors and convince them of the union members' guilt. Throughout the interview, Mr. Blythe references a series of articles he wrote for a magazine called Plain Talk in which he described his experiences during the strike.