Seventy-five years ago Friday, longshoremen Richard Parker and John Knudsen were shot dead by private guards during a port-worker strike that had shut down L.A.'s harbor. They would soon be followed by four other men — two of whose deaths in San Francisco ignited that city's historic general strike. The “Big Strike of 1934” led to the formation of the International Longshore Workers Union.
The ILWU probably has the best institutional memory of any union and has never forgotten the sacrifices made by Parker and Knudsen. Friday, the union will commemorate the two with a three-mile march that begins 10 a.m. at Harry Bridges Boulevard
and Neptune Avenue in Wilmington (the site of the 1934 shootings), and continues to San Pedro's John S. Gibson Park, at Fifth Street and Habor Boulevard, where a new plaque will be unveiled at the ILWU monument.