The Bread and Roses Hall of Fame award is given annually to the individual or institution who has made a noteworthy contribution to the history of the 1912 Bread and Roses Strike of Lawrence, Massachusetts, and its legacy for the present and the future.

It recognizes distinguished contributions from social justice and union activists who contribute to the well-being of today’s workers and immigrants of Lawrence and New England.

The award created by Hartley Pleshaw was first presented in 2006 to Carmela Teoli and accepted by her daughter, Josie Catalano.


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Martín Espada


Born in Brooklyn, New York, Martín Espada has published more than twenty books as a poet, editor, essayist and translator. His new book of poems from Norton is called Floaters. Other books of poems include Vivas to Those Who Have Failed (2016), The Trouble Ball (2011), The Republic of Poetry (2006) and Alabanza (2003). He is the editor of What Saves Us: Poems of Empathy and Outrage in the Age of Trump (2019). He has received the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, the Shelley Memorial Award, the Robert Creeley Award, an Academy of American Poets Fellowship, the PEN/Revson Fellowship and a Guggenheim Fellowship. The Republic of Poetry was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. The title poem of his collection Alabanza, about 9/11, has been widely anthologized and performed. His book of essays and poems, Zapata’s Disciple (1998), was banned in Tucson as part of the Mexican-American Studies Program outlawed by the state of Arizona, and reissued by Northwestern. A former tenant lawyer in Greater Boston, Espada is a professor of English at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. 

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Katherine Paterson

Katherine Paterson is an American author born in China best known for children’s literature.  A resident of Vermont, she has won two Newbery Medals and two National Book Awards, among many other high honors.  She served as the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature at the Library of Congress in 2010 and 2011.  She recently received the E. B. White award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters for her lifetime achievements in children’s and young adult literature.  Katherine Paterson’s efforts to promote literacy in the U.S. and abroad are also a great accomplishment.

Her long list of over 30 books, includes Bridge to Terabithia, Lyddie,--the story of a mill girl in Lowell, Massachusetts, in the 1840s--, and today’s focus for the award, Bread and Roses, Too, the story of Lawrence’s 1912 strike told from young people’s point of view. 

More than any other author, Paterson has brought the experiences of mill workers and their struggles for social justice alive for young readers, not only in Lawrence, but all over the world.  Her book was inspired by the history and experience of the children of the Lawrence strikers hosted by families in Barre, Vermont, during the strike. 

The Bread and Roses Heritage Committee is proud to present the 2019 Bread and Roses Hall of Fame Award to Katherine Paterson for her outstanding contributions to the legacy of 1912 and its importance for young people of many cultures and traditions. 

Katherine Paterson will present at the Lawrence History Live speakers’ tent at 2:35 p.m.  She will sign books.  The award ceremony is at 4:00 p.m.


Bruce Watson

While becoming a writer, Bruce Watson worked as a factory hand, a journalist, a bartender, and office temp, a Peace Corps volunteer, and an elementary school teacher in Lawrence.

He is a frequent contributor to Smithsonian and has also written for The Los Angeles TimesThe Boston GlobeAmerican HeritageNewsweek, Yankee, Sky and Telescope, and The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2003. Watson's writing often focuses on neglected aspects of American history.

Watson's 2005 book Bread and Roses - Mills, Migrants, and the Struggle for the American Dream, was the first full-length narrative of the notorious "Bread and Roses" textile strike of 1912 in Lawrence, Massachusetts. He spent months researching the Strike at the Lawrence History Center and the Lawrence Public Library.  The book made a pathbreaking contribution by reviving the memory of the 1912 strike, in Lawrence and among all of today's workers.

The New York Times called Bread and Roses "fast paced, well researched ... an exciting read." The New York Public Library chose Bread and Roses as one of "25 Books to Remember for 2005."

Bruce Watson is also the author of several other acclaimed books, including Sacco and Vanzetti and Freedom Summer.

Watson has published e-biographies of Jon Stewart (Jon Stewart: Beyond the Moments of Zen) and Stephen Colbert (Stephen Colbert: Beyond Truthiness). His latest book is: Light: A Radiant History from Creation to the Quantum Age.

Watson holds a Master's Degree in American History from the University of Massachusetts and lives with his wife in Western Massachusetts.

The Bread & Roses Labor Day Heritage Festival is honored to present its 2017 Hall of Fame award to Bruce Watson.


Dexter Arnold

Dexter Arnold is a labor historian, an accomplished scholar on the 1912 Bread & Roses strike and later strikes, a life-long union member, a labor educator and labor organizer. Dexter comes from a union family and grew up in Nashua, NH.
His career combines labor activism and history in public history projects in Wisconsin and New England. He was a teacher and activist at the University of Wisconsin Madison where he completed his dissertation on ethnicity and working class activism in four Merrimack Valley mill towns from 1912-1922. He was Communications Director at the New Hampshire AFL-CIO and now teaches Labor Studies as a visiting Lecturer at the University of Illinois in the Global Labor Studies Program.

Since returning to New England, he has continued his research on the Lawrence textile strikes and public history. His recent work with the Lawrence History Center on the 1912 trial of Joseph Ettor, Arturo Giovannitti, and Joseph Caruso offers important insights.

His efforts to mark the graves of the workers killed during the 1912 Lawrence struggles is notable.  After visiting the cemetery and discovering that only one of the graves was marked, Dexter talked with IBEW Local 2321 Assistant Business Manager Dave Morris who took charge of placing the headstone on Anna Lopizzo’s grave. Later, Jonas Stundza placed a stone on Jonas Smolskas’s grave and a Bread and Roses marker next to John Ramey’s family gravestone.

He also has worked to honor the memory of the 1912 Textile strike by serving on the steering committee of the 1912 Strikers' Monument and playing a very active role in this successful campaign to memorialize the crucial events on the Common.  

We are honoring Dexter Arnold for his outstanding contributions to the history of textile workers in the Merrimack Valley, his activism in reviving the memory of the strike and its relevance to labor education and today's work force issues.

The Bread & Roses Labor Day Heritage Festival is honored to present its 2016 Hall of Fame award to Dexter Arnold.


Phyllis Tyler


Robert Forrant


Ignatius R. J. Piscitello


Chet Briggs and Karen Lane


Eartha Dengler


Ralph Fasanella


Angelo Rocco


John Ramie


Paul Cowan


Carmela Teoli

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