This Day in History

Sept. 29, 1943: Lewisburg Federal Penitentiary Hunger Strike

Time Periods: Prosperity, Depression, & World War II: 1920 - 1944
Themes: African American, Democracy & Citizenship, Wars & Related Anti-War Movements

Conscientus Objectors 1943 | Zinn Education Project

We have observed the sufferings of the prisoners, first hand, and we see no alternative but to go on fasting indefinitely, in as friendly and humble a spirit as we can, so as to bring the seriousness of the situation to your attention.

On Sept. 29, 1943, six conscientious objectors began a hunger strike at Lewisburg Federal Penitentiary in protest of censorship of the mail. They were Paton Price, Jack Dixon, Dave Dellinger, Tom Woodman, Bill Kuenning, and Bill Lovett.

In August, other conscientious objectors had begun a work strike against the racial segregation of prisoners.

Read more on these actions (including the forced tube feeding by the prison hospital) in this 1943 appeal for support with a letter from the prisoners. The appeal was issued by the Fellowship of Reconciliation and the War Resisters League.

Follow stories on Democracy Now! of prisoner (and prison guard) strikes today.