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Moe FonerMoe Foner
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in that tradition and that she would be happy to work with it again, and that anybody who opposes this is an enemy of hospital workers. You see? She was scheduled to come, and all of a sudden a telegram comes to Henry Nicholas, saying that, because of the problems inside the union and other problems, she does not want to be involved in this convention. What had happened is that Doris had gotten rank and file members to write and call her, to tell her how terrible things were. They were rank and file people, and she was going to stay away from it. She sent him a message saying that she was not going to do it. They (the Turner forces) had the message, they had the telegram, and we had the telegram.

The next day she was scheduled. Ossie was scheduled to speak that day, and Ossie was coming into Philadelphia. He can never just come to Philadelphia to speak at the union, he has to go to the Philadelphia schools to do a couple of things, talk with students. So I had left a message for Ossie that no matter what time he came in, he should call me. I told Ossie what had happened, and I wanted Ossie to know that there was a dispute here. He knew about the dispute, the dimensions of it, and how it had affected Mrs. King, and that, if he was to speak, he ought to know. He said, “Don't worry about me.”

I was putting calls in to Mrs. King, who was traveling, and finally, at 5:30 in the morning--I'm sharing a room with Jesse Olson--the phone rings, and it's Coretta King. She says, “What's the matter, Moe?” I laced into her. Jesse was there and he couldn't believe it.

I said, “Coretta, how could you do this? How could you do this without even calling me. Without even checking with me? You've done a disservice to the union and to yourself.”

She wanted to know more about it, and I started to tell her more. “Well, I didn't know. I didn't understand, and maybe I shouldn't have done it, but now I have.”

I said, “Coretta, it can't be left that way. You remember the Scotto case? I went out on a limb on that. I was prepared to put myself on the line. It's up to you now. What do you want to do?”

She says, “What do you think I should do?”

I said, “Well, I think it's impossible for you to come here now.”

She said, “No, I wouldn't come.”

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