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March 7, 1932 - 85th Anniversary
Posted 03.7.2017

WHAT: On March 7, 1932, thousands of unemployed auto workers gathered at the Fort Street Bridge in southwest Detroit with the intent of marching on the Ford Rouge Plant. Their plan was to march directly to Henry Ford at the famed Rouge Factory and present a list of 14 demands which included higher pay and better working conditions.

When the group reached the Dearborn border, they were met by local police and a skirmish ensued with protesters throwing rocks, bottles and clumps of dirt. When they reached the Rouge Plant, they were met with more deadly force with police and Ford security firing upon the crowd.

The confrontation resulted in dozens of injuries and 5 deaths. Four of the Hunger Marchers are buried in the famous Woodmere Cemetery in southwest Detroit.

WHO: Unemployed factory workers from the Ford Motor Co. Henry Ford was the last holdout to recognize union labor.

Preserving the story of the Hunger March

The MotorCities National Heritage Area, working with a large and diverse group of partners, want to create an urban park and memorial to the 1932 Hunger March near the original gathering point of this historic event.

Called the Fort Rouge Gateway Project, the park will be located in the shadow of the Fort Street Bridge in southwest Detroit. Planners will feature interpretive signage and memorials dedicated to Hunger Marchers.

To learn more or to donate to this project, contact MotorCities at 313-259-3425.

Related Content:
WDET CuriosiD: What was the 1932 Ford Hunger March?


file 20170214190918 Building the Enginefile 20170213194403 Building the EngineIn 2017, a unique confluence of organized labor milestones will be recognized through a public awareness effort called, “Building the Engine: Auto and Labor, 1932-1937.”

With informative programs, publications and events, regional partners including the MotorCities National Heritage Area and the Michigan Labor History Society will present the story of how these events laid the foundation for organized labor in the auto industry and beyond.

To navigate labor anniversaries being commemorated as part of this effort, click on the links below.

80th anniversary, 1936 Kelsey Hayes Sit-Down Strike – Dec. 14, 2016

80th anniversary, 1936-37 Flint Sit-Down Strike and first UAW-GM contract – Dec. 30, 2016-Feb. 11, 2017

85th anniversary, 1932 Ford Hunger March – March 7, 2017

80th anniversary, 1937 Battle of the Overpass – May 26, 2017

80th anniversary, 1937 Lansing Labor Holiday – June 7, 2017

Special publications, events, educational programming and more will be presented under the identity of “Building the Engine,” including a series of blog posts featured on the MotorCities website. Other information about the program will be listed on as well as the Michigan Labor History Society website at