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Sewell Avery opposed War Time control of his company

Sewell Avery opposed War Time control of his company

This is Sewell Avery, chairman of Montgomery Ward & Co. and a vocal opponent of the New Deal. Avery had refused to comply with government labor regulations, earning Roosevelt’s wrath. With national elections coming in the fll of 1944, FDR needed the labor vote. He issued an executive order (one of many during his tenure) to take over MW’s corporate offices “for the successful prosecution of the war.” Soldiers with fixed bayonets stormed the Chicago headquarters and when Sewell refused to leave, carried him out of the building. The incident became the subject of an iconic photograph.

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