by Lindsay Beyerstein
How our blog got its name
Sidney Hillman was a powerful national figure during the Great Depression, a key supporter of the New Deal, and a close ally of President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
When the rumor spread that President Roosevelt ordered his party leaders to “clear it with Sidney” before announcing Harry S. Truman as his 1944 running mate, conservative critics turned on the phrase, trumpeting it as proof that the president was under the thumb of “Big Labor.”
Over the years, the phrase lost its sting and became a testament to Hillman's influence.
It's hard to imagine a labor leader wielding that kind clout today, but we like the idea—and we hope Sidney would give thumbs up to our blog.
Sidney Winner John Branch Wins Dart Award for "Punched Out"
John Branch of the New York Times has won the 2012 Dart Award for Excellence in Coverage of Trauma for his series "Punched Out: The Life and Death of a Hockey Enforcer," which chronicles rise and fall of Derek Boogaard, an enforcer who fought his way to the heights of the National Hockey League, but died of an overdose before his 30th birthday, after a prolonged struggle with cognitive decline, substance abuse, and depression.
Branch won the January 2012 Sidney Award for this series, which cast a critical eye on NHL-sanctioned fighting and post-concussion syndrome in hockey.
[Photo credit: John Branch accepting the Sidney Award from Hillman Executive Director Alexandra Lescaze. By Lindsay Beyerstein, all rights reserved.]