It’s Worker Wednesday! This series will feature news and photographs from the publications of Higgins Industries.
At the suggestion of an employee, beginning in late 1941, Higgins began to publish a newsletter written by and for its growing workforce. By 1943 Higgins would employ more than 25,000 workers in 8 plants across the New Orleans area. The monthly workers’ initially entitled The Eureka News Bulletin, was intended to inform, educate, stimulate production and build morale. In late 1943, the newsletter evolved into the weekly, The Higgins Worker. Andrew Jackson Higgins wanted the newsletter to be current. As quoted in Jerry Strahan’s book Andrew Jackson Higgins and the Boats that Won World War II, Higgins stated: “if something happens on a Thursday and the paper comes out on a Friday, goddamit I want the thing that happened on Thursday to be printed in the paper that comes on the press the next day.” The newsletters featured announcements of plant-sponsored events such as blood or bond drives, shop news, jokes, cartoons and the scores from the numerous sports teams populated by Higgins employees.
Our series begins with the August 17th, 1945 “Victory Edition” of The Higgins Worker. The front page features many of the Higgins products which helped bring about Allied Victory including the LCVP and LCPL landing craft, the PT-boat, and the airborne lifeboat (center).
The Eureka News Bulletin and The Higgins Worker provide a porthole into shipbuilding, labor history, socio-economic aspects of wartime production and also offer a glimpse of New Orleans during the war.
This entry by Curator Kimberly Guise with research assistance by Kali Martin.