Queen Mary Events Park to be renamed after labor leader Harry Bridges
2010-03-05 · By Editor
Queen Mary Events Park will officially be renamed Harry Bridges Memorial Park at the Queen Mary on Friday in honor of the many contributions to the conditions of workers made by the labor leader and founder/president of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU). The renaming ceremony comes in response to City Council’s approval of the request made by councilmembers Dee Andrews, Suja Lowenthal and Robert Garcia on July 14, 2009.
“It is a pleasure to be a part of honoring such a great man that has done so much for our City and coastline. From racial ties to the movement of goods, Harry Bridges will always be a man who’s character I admire,” said Andrews.
In July of 2008, the Long Beach City Council voted to recognize legendary International Longshore and Warehouse Union founding president, Harry Bridges, by proclaiming July 28 as Harry Bridges Day in the City of Long Beach.
On Harry Bridges’ contribution to Long Beach, Lowenthal said, “The history of Long Beach is tied to the port and its workers – generations of local families have worked at the port and contributed to our community. These families owe much of their well-being today to Harry Bridges.”
On July 5th of 1934, Harry Bridges led ILWU through the historic strike of 1934 along the Pacific seaboard, which is known as “Bloody Thursday” because of the two lives that were lost and the blood that was shed on that day. Subsequently, this strike stimulated other organizations and helped raise the standards of living for every man, woman, and child along the coast of California.
Garcia added, “This park is a great memorial to Harry Bridges and his incredible contributions to Long Beach and to the dockworkers at the Port. I’m proud of Long Beach for honoring Harry in this way.”
The park site was part of the parkland mitigation for the development of the Aquarium of the Pacific and Rainbow Harbor as replacement of recreational open space in Shoreline Park funded under the Land and Water Conservation Act. The event site was completed in 1997 and is leased to the Queen Mary operator for outdoor special events.
The Harry Bridges Memorial Park will take place today, Friday, March 5, from noon to 1 p.m. at 1126 Queens Highway, adjacent to the Queen Mary. Councilmembers Lowenthal, Andrews and Garcia will be joined by Rich Dines, President, ILWU Southern California District Council and Representatives from the Queen Mary .