[Marxism] Mildred Solem obituary

Alan Ginsberg ginsberg.alan1 at gmail.com
Sat Jan 25 13:01:05 MST 2020

Letter to the editor
The Militant
Feb. 3, 2020

Mildred Solem, a member of the Socialist Workers Party in the 1940s and
’50s, died this month in Minneapolis. She was 105 years old.

As a young woman Millie moved from Hallock, Minnesota, a small town near
Canada, to Flint, Michigan, where autoworkers were fighting for a union,
and then to Minneapolis where she got a job as an office worker downtown.
Her first contact with the communist movement came when a protest by
unemployed workers passed by her workplace and she came out to join them.

She soon met her husband, Chester Johnson, an electrician who was a
founding member of the SWP and had helped lead a sympathy strike in the
building trades for Teamsters during the historic 1934 strikes that made
Minneapolis a union town.

Millie maintained her membership in the SWP until a stroke incapacitated
Chester and left her to care for him and their three small children. Over
the years Millie contributed money to the SWP and opened her house to party
members who needed a place to stay.

In 2015 a plaque was placed in the old warehouse district of Minneapolis
commemorating the 1934 Teamster strikes. A photo captures Millie, then 100
years old, at the event with her fist raised in the air.

Bill Scheer
Minneapolis, Minnesota


[scroll down to Letter from lifelong partisan of the ‘Militant’ for her
recollections, published in 2003

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