Moe Foner was interviewed for the Oral History Research Office in 1985 and 1986 by Robert Masters, with an addendum in 2001 by Dan North. Masters, who held a degree in history from Princeton University, worked with Foner in Local 342 of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union in the cultural program where Foner served as consultant after his retirement from Local 1199 of the Health and Human Service Union. Masters has since gone on to become an organizer for the Communications Workers of America. North was the longtime editor of 1199 News and was suggested by Foner as an interviewer when Foner decided, at the urging of his many friends, to turn the interview into a published autobiography (Not for Bread Alone: A Memoir), and it was clear that to do so the original interview had to be supplemented and brought up to date. The introduction to the published autobiography explains in some detail the origins of the interview, but this posting offers an excellent introduction to the differences between interviewing for the archive and interviewing for publication. At that time, a version of the interview was posted on the Web and that is the version presented here. It varies slightly from the version available at the Oral History Research Office.
In 1945, Moe Foner became education director of Department Store Local 1250. He ran the union's cultural programs, which included a musical about department-store workers called "Thursdays 'Til Nine." Listen to Foner describe how the arts were an integral part of union activities.
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