Workers Circle History

Over 120 Years of Workers Circle History and making more history every day

A Little Workers Circle History Quiz!

The original name of the Workers Circle was Der Arbeter Ring. What was its original name in English? (hint: it was not Workmen’s Circle)

Why was a Workers Circle member expelled in 1901?

In what US state and why did Workers Circle decline to open a branch in the 1930s? 

When did Boston Workers Circle move from Dorchester to Brookline?

What were the founding principles of our new Boston Workers Circle Shule in 1987?

You can find the answers and more at our newly updated history page!

A few months ago, we noticed that the history page on the Boston Workers Circle (BWC) website had a good description of its earlier years, but the history of the past 35 years since BWC’s rejuvenation in the 1980s was summarized in only a few lines. We have a lot to be proud of in our first 85 years, and our history since then deserves similar treatment! 

The Library / Archive / History Committee got down to work! We are a passionate group with diverse talents and experience, including librarians, historians, activists in the rejuvenation of BWC in the 1980s, and activists today. We zoomed and google doc’ed our way through multiple drafts until we arrived at the current version

There are so many treasured memories that we left out in the interest of keeping to a reasonable length. We wanted to include important names, such as the names of the veteran BWC members in the 1980s who recruited and welcomed a younger generation even though we did not do things the same way. We created a timeline that started in 1892. We wanted to describe more of our activities at our previous center on Beacon Street, including our efforts to renovate and make the building accessible. We saved everything that ended up on the cutting room floor and will add these to other BWC webpages, such as the resource page.

This is a living document and will be updated periodically as we continue to make history. Feel free to send suggestions to Library@circleboston.org. We also invite each BWC committee to include its own origin stories, history, and highlights on your committee’s BWC webpage. 

How can you make tomorrow’s Workers Circle history with us? It’s membership month! Join or renew!

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