On the Anniversary of the AFL-CIO Merger, Listen to How It All Began

On this day 65 years ago, the American Federation of Labor and the Congress of Industrial Organizations, the country’s two leading labor federations, joined together to consolidate working people’s goals and activism in pursuit of a better tomorrow. The AFL-CIO’s first president, George Meany, spoke to the new federation’s first convention in New York on Dec. 5, 1955.

As we look forward to another year of fighting on behalf of the hopes and aspirations of working people, let’s take some time to look back at how it began and keep in mind the many who came before us, those who built the foundation upon which we now stand.

Courtesy of the University of Maryland, we can listen to Meany’s speech at that first convention, presented in two parts: