(WASHINGTON) – Laird Evans, the retired principal officer of Teamsters Local 568 in Shreveport, La., recently made the first of several contributions to the International Brotherhood of Teamsters Labor History Research Center at the George Washington University in Washington, D.C. The Laird Evans collection contains numerous one-of-a-kind donations as well as historically significant materials and documents.
“I’ve known Laird for many years and can’t thank him enough for this tremendous donation to the union’s archives,” said James P. Hoffa, Teamsters General President. “His donation will help our members to learn about their union and researchers to better understand the Teamsters moving forward.”
“Personally, I can’t think of anywhere else this collection should be,” said Laird Evans. “This era depicts a particular time in American history that forced a tremendous shift in the American labor movement. I’m thankful to Jim Hoffa, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters and the George Washington University for making it available to the members and the public for years to come.”
The Laird Evans collection is a tangible representation of the Teamsters involvement in the freight industry from the late 1960s through 2001. The collection includes 53 model trucks depicting a wide range of freight companies that were represented by Local 568 during that time period. Recognizable freight carriers such as PIE, Yellow, Red Ball Motor Freight, Roadway, McLean and Lee Way are in the group, as well as special edition models and harder to find trucks from companies such as Campbell Express, Jones Truck Lines, Graves Freight, East Texas Motor Freight (ETMF) and Moyer Packing Company.
The collection also includes more than 35 framed prints and photos of trucks and drivers on the job from the 1950s through the 1980s. In addition, there are 70-plus cassette tape recordings of contract negotiations and arbitrations from the 1970s and 1980s with various companies that were represented by the local, such as LeBus, Witco, ETMF, Libby and American Linen.
Evans also included two large vintage silk logo banners dating from the founding of the local in 1934; ledger books containing notes and minutes from general membership meetings; various materials from local election campaigns and Local 568 memorabilia such as signs, placards and plates.
“We are so grateful to Laird Evans for donating his rich personal collection to the International Brotherhood of Teamsters Labor History Research Center,” said Geneva Henry, University Librarian and Vice Provost for Libraries at the George Washington University. “His collection, compiled over decades of dedicated work for the Teamsters local in Shreveport, is an excellent addition to the Center’s holdings which document and preserve the crucial role that labor has played in American history. The personal papers of passionate local labor leaders like Mr. Evans often contain materials of great academic research value and we look forward to continuing to expand our holdings in this area in support of researchers around the world.”
Evans, who is currently working on a memoir of his three decades with the Teamsters, is working with the union to complete the donation over the next several months.
“We are excited to receive the Laird Evans collection for the archive,” said Karin Jones, coordinator of the Teamsters history project. “The trucks in particular show the breadth of the companies covered by Local 568 contracts. The other materials, including membership meeting notes and minutes give us a rare opportunity to understand the issues, concerns and goals of the union from the rank-and-file perspective.”
Founded in 1903, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents 1.4 million hardworking men and women throughout the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. Visit www.teamster.org for more information. Follow us on Twitter @Teamsters and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/teamsters.