When Local 25 called its meeting, then, few in the labor movement were prepared to take the demands of ladies’ garment workers seriously, despite the fact that they made up over 80% of the workforce (75% of whom were also Jewish). Debate went on for hours, with the mostly-male union leadership endorsing a strategy of patience and negotiation against the workers’ demands for a general strike. The meeting seemed destined to result in a stalemate when a teenage worker named Clara Lemlich, active in Local 25 and considered a troublemaker by many, took the stage. “I am a working girl, one of those striking against intolerable conditions,” she announced in Yiddish. “I am tired of listening to speakers who talk in generalities. What we are here for is to decide whether or not to strike. I offer a resolution that a general strike be declared--now!” The response of the crowd was tremendous, and Lemlich’s resolution was quickly seconded. The union leadership was entirely unprepared for the massive response in the garment trades. 20,000 workers,or more, left their shops and joined the pickets. Relief centers were hastily set up to support the striking workers, most of whom were women. Union leaders gained a new-found appreciation of the capacities of women picketeers, as women were beaten by police and “gorillas”(thugs hired by the employers to menace the strikers) yet returned to the pickets once they were freed from jail and their wounds had healed. The strike ran through the winter until mid-February, when it was settled with a reduced work-week (52 hours) and some improvement of conditions, but without the union recognition that the workers had hoped for. The resolution of the strike was considered a defeat by many of the workers at the time, but laid the foundations for future victories. Local 25 emerged from the strike with a membership of 10,000--the first Local in the country to amass such high membership rolls. Inspired by the success of this largely unplanned and unprepared strike, the mostly-male Cloakmakers’ Union went out on strike later in the year, with 60,000 workers leaving their shops and bringing the garment industry to a virtual standstill. This strike was resolved with the industry-wide “Protocol of Peace”, which outlined a system of union-employer relations that greatly increased the accountability of the bosses to their employees (though, as is always the case in American labor history, it was never enough...). Most importantly, the Uprising of 20,000 established the importance of Jews and women--and particularly Jewish women--to the labor movement. Though they still had to struggle to control the conditions of their resistance (as with the conditions of their labor), women and Jews could no longer be ignored by any union claiming to represent the worker.
Our windows are considered some of the finest in the world. There are 75 windows – more than any other church of any denomination in America. Zettler crafted the windows in Munich, Germany at the Royal Bavarian Art Institute (the firm and its secret for exquisite stained glass were destroyed during World War II). Mr. Zettler was a chemist who was known for his unique ability to craft beautiful colors and dyes. With monumental effect, Zettler oversaw 50 artisans who worked to craft our windows. In 1912 the total cost of the 75 windows were $34,000. Today, just one transept window would cost over $500,000.
Italian Gothic cathedrals use lots of colour, both outside and inside. On the outside, the facade is often decorated with marble. On the inside, the walls are often painted plaster. The columns and arches are often decorated with bright coloured paint. There are also mosaics with gold backgrounds and beautifully tiled floors is geometric patterns. The facades often have an open porch with a wheel windows above it. There is often a dome at the centre of the building. The bell tower is hardly ever attached to the building, because Italy has quite a few earthquakes. The windows are not as large as in northern Europe and, although stained glass windows are often found, the favorite way of decorating the churches is fresco (wall painting).