"Historian Joseph A. McCartin concluded that the 1981 strike and defeat of PATCO
was “one of the most important events” in late 20th century U.S. labor history."
Andrew Glass, Politico
Read more about the strike & it's historical impact here on Politico.
Pulled from Joseph McCartin's book Collision Course: Ronald Reagan,
the Air Traffic Controllers, and the Strike that Changed America:
"The struggle that erupted over a tee shirt at Oakland Center
symbolized the rising tension. African American controller Dwayne A. Theadford
defied an order by facility cheif Erwin Buschauer banning any public statement
supporting a strike. Ignoring the order, Theadford donned a tee shirt that was
widely distributed among PATCO activists in preparation for 1981. It depicted the
U.S. government as a bald eagle swooping down, it's talons extended,
about to attack a mouse labeled PATCO. The mouse was depicted as unfazed,
standing on its hind legs, disdainfully raising the middle finger
of its right paw to the eagle in an obscene gesture.
Beneath the tableau was emblazoned, "PATCO, the Last Act of Defiance."
When Theadford refused to remove the shirt, he was suspended for five days."
Grab our original vintage 1981 PATCO strike shirt here on Etsy.