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Scripto strike records

Identifier: L2003-01

Scope and Content of the Records

The records, 1963-1968, 1996, 1999 consist of legal and union documents from the 1960s relating to the strike, as well as newspaper articles and photographs. Transcripts of interviews with strike participants and supporters make up the 1996 part of the collection. An article written for Atlanta History is from 1999. Also included is a videotape on the strike and a microcassette copy of a Hosea Williams interview from 1996.


  • 1963-1968, 1996-1999

Restrictions on access

Unrestricted access.

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

To quote in print, or otherwise reproduce in whole or in part in any publication, including on the Worldwide Web, any material from this collection, the researcher must obtain permission from (1) the owner of the physical property and (2) the holder of the copyright. Persons wishing to quote from this collection should consult the reference archivist to determine copyright holders for information in this collection. Reproduction of any item must contain the complete citation to the original. All requests subject to limitations noted in departmental policies on reproduction.

Historical Note

In the early 1960s, Scripto was one of the United States' leading pen and pencil manufacturers, and one of Atlanta's largest employers. In 1963, the International Chemical Workers Union began the process of organizing Scripto's workers, and on June 9, 1964 the National Labor Relations Board granted the Chemical Workers Union a Certification of Representation. On the day before Thanksgiving, 1964, Scripto employees walked off the job, demanding more equitable pay for skilled and non-skilled workers. (As it stood, non-skilled workers were receiving $400 a year below the federal poverty level).

Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. sympathized and supported the strikers, many of whom were black, and members of King's church. The Reverend C.T. Vivian believed an alliance between civil rights groups and the union would help the strikers reach their demands. With the help of King and Vivian, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and the Chemical Workers Union combined efforts to increase pressure on Scripto. They planned a national boycott, in which over half a million leaflets were distributed to unions asking them to boycott all Scripto products. As the strike progressed, it increasingly took the form of a civil rights initiative. The strike heightened the negative feelings some Atlanta leaders had toward Martin Luther King, Jr.. By Christmas 1964, Scripto and the Union reached their first agreement: The union would drop the boycott, if Scripto gave the striking workers their annual Christmas bonuses. On January 9, 1965, the Scripto strike came to an end. The workers received a 4 cent across-the-board increase each year for the following three years, and Scripto was forced to re-hire 155 strikers and retain the replacement workers they had hired to maintain production during the strike. After the strike, racial tensions eased at the Scripto plant.

Due to international competition, the Atlanta Scripto plant closed in 1994.

"The Scripto Strike. Martin Luther King's "Valley of Problems": Atlanta, 1964-1965." Atlanta History, Fall 1999.


0.42 Linear Feet (in 20 folders)

Language of Materials



The collection documents the strike (1964-1965) at Atlanta's Scripto Corporation manufacturing plant. The records of the Scripto strike, 1963-1968, 1996, 1999 consist of contemporary legal and union documents, newspaper articles, and photographs. Transcripts of interviews conducted in 1996 and a published article round out the collection.

Acquisition Information

Donated by Hartwell and Susan Hooper, April 2003.

Related Materials

Related Materials in This Repository

  1. Charles Mathias papers, L1973-51
  2. Lane Brothers photograph collection, Corporate bodies

Processing Information

Processed by Angela Lefebvre at the file level, August 2003.
The Scripto Strike:
A Guide to Its Records at Georgia State University Library
Georgia State University Library
August 2003
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Revision Statements

  • February 2006: Finding aid edited by William Hardesty.

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Repository

100 Decatur St., S.E.
Atlanta, Georgia 30303
404-413-2881 (Fax)