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Carolina Story: Virtual Museum of University History

Professor and Activist

Button from Gastonia, 1929

As assistant professor of history at Chapel Hill, Graham became a very popular teacher. He also threw himself into campaigns for the expansion of the state's public libraries and for worker compensation laws. When violence broke out in Gastonia during the 1929 strike at the Loray Cotton Mill, Graham sought legal help for the workers and drafted an Industrial Bill of Rights, which endorsed workers' rights to join unions and advocated stronger protection for women and children in factories.