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Walter’s bloody face made front pages across the country and drew national attention. This battle was actually the beginning of Harry’s slow demise and the catapult for Walter Reuther’s rise to fame as a union leader.

This Battle of the Overpass photo appeared on the front page of most newspapers. The battle led to Reuther’s rise to fame and Bennett’s eventual demise. Walther Reuther is forefront, right, center.

The ARCHiVES of Labor and Urban AFFAiRS, Wayne State UNiVERSiTY

Henry Ford’s son and president of the company, Edsel, was expected to take his father’s place as chairman when the elder retired. Ford always considered his son weak. In virtually every instance Ford would take Harry’s side over Edsel’s and was continually ridiculing and berating the young man. Edsel sympathized with the workers and wanted to negotiate with the union. After all, GM and the other auto companies had already accepted unionization.

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