The 1937 Woolworth's Sit-Down

Women Strikers Occupy Chain Store, Win Big

Woolworth's department store was the Walmart of the early 20th century. The women who worked the counters, cash registers, and storerooms were overworked, underpaid, and sexually harassed. This is the inspiring story of how these courageous women fought back against corporate exploitation and oppression, by employing the first successful all female sit-down strike in American history.

About the author

DANA FRANK is a professor of history at the University of California, Santa Cruz. She is the author of Buy American: The Untold Story of Economic Nationalism (Beacon, 1999); Purchasing Power: Consumer Organizing, Gender, and the Seattle Labor Movement, 1919–1929 (Cambridge, 1994); Local Girl Makes History: Exploring Northern California's Kitsch Monuments (City Lights, 2007) and, with Howard Zinn and Robin D.G. Kelley, Three Strikes: Miners, Musicians, Salesgirls and the Fighting Spirit of Labor's Last Century (Beacon, 2001). Her contribution to Three Strikes has been reprinted, with a new introduction, by Haymarket Books as Women Strikers Occupy Chain Story, Win Big (2012). Long active in labor solidarity work, since 2000 she has worked with the US Labor Education in the Americas Project (US/LEAP) in support of the banana unions in Latin America. Since the 2009 military coup her articles about human rights and U.S. policy in Honduras have appeared in The Nation, New York Times, Politico Magazine, Foreign, The Baffler, Los Angeles Times, Miami Herald, and many other publications, and she has testified in both the U.S. Congress and Canadian Parliament.


"Frank does an excellent job of creating articulate arguments out of a complex blend of history, economics, and current events." –– Library Journal

"This sparkling story of intrepid young women is not just a strike narrative of the Great Depression, but echoes down to our own times. Dana Frank is always on the side of those who are willing to fight!" –– Nelson Lichtenstein, Director, Center for the Study of Work, Labor, and Democracy at the University of California, Santa Barbara

"As a historian, Frank has compiled a detailed, well-researched analysis of a carefully defined project." –– Journal of Consumer AFF

"Frank is the kind of smart and funny friend you'd want on any roadtrip." –– Beth Lisick, author of Everybody Into the Pool