Place matters. In analyzing historical events and rights movements, we need to pay close attention to the divergent locales where they happened. This article focuses on one such event, the lettuce workers’ strike of 1936, as it played out in Salinas, California. The setting of Salinas made a difference in labor relations and race relations, both in the way the strike came about and, just as importantly, in how and why it was ended. Strikers and their adversaries (growers and labor contractors) were multiracial and multiethnic but shared a common bond in their deep attachment to the city of Salinas. They knew one another intimately and had every incentive to heal the breach.

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