AFSCME: 75 Years of History
The history of AFSCME began in 1932, as the country suffered through a severe economic depression, when a small group of white-collar professional state employees met in Madison, Wisconsin, and formed what would later become Wisconsin State Employees Union/Council 24. The reason for the group’s creation was simple: to promote, defend and enhance the civil service system. They also were determined to help spread the civil service system across the country. Read More »
Photo Credit: Richard L. Copley
On April 3, 1968, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. traveled to Memphis to support AFSCME sanitation workers. That evening, he delivered his famous “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop” speech to a packed room of supporters. The next day, he was assassinated.
- In Memphis: A Special Report from the Southern Regional Council
- 1968 AFSCME Memphis Sanitation Workers' Strike Chronology
- Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on Labor
- “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop” by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
- Union Members Help Swell Freedom Marchers’ Ranks (September 1963)
- Memphis Strikers Stand Firm (March 1968)
- Walter P. Reuther Library The Walter P. Reuther Library at Wayne State University has been the official repository for AFSCME since 1974. Since that time, it has collected the records of the union's international headquarters and some locals, as well as the personal papers of prominent union members.