Douglass Adair is a member of the United Farm Workers of America, AFL-CIO. He joined the union in the summer of 1965, when he was 22 years old. Doug participated in a farm workers movement that was quickly developing right in front of him. He was involved in the grape and lettuce boycott, picketing, and walk outs: he also enjoyed the liberation of working under a union contract. From 1965 to 1970, Doug wrote and edited for the union newspaper, El Malcriado. In the early 1970’s Doug took a break from union activities to finish his master’s degree but returned in August of 1975, where he worked for the union’s legal team in Calexico, Salinas, and Coachella. In 1977, Doug returned to the grape fields and worked under union contract for 10 years with the David Freedman Company. Now Douglass owns and operates an organic date farm in the Coachella Valley.
Douglass Adair’s United Farm Workers Collection was donated by Douglass Adair to preserve the many documents and artifacts that he collected while he was involved with union activities during the late 60’s to the early 80’s. The collection was received in installments from 2010 until May 2011. In May of 2011, Douglass Adair graciously recorded an audio history interview for Special Collections, an audio file and transcripts are available for researchers.
Douglass Adair’s United Farm Workers Collection is comprised of documents from Tenneco-Ducor including grievances, camp committee notes. There is also a large collection of documents from the David Freedman Company including the Collective Bargaining Agreements from 1977 to 1982 and Ranch Committee notebooks. Douglass Adair’s United Farm Workers Collection also has a binder full of union handouts that encouraged people to organize and support the UFW.
A rare and extensive collection of El Malcriado, the union’s newspaper, has been deacidified for preservation. Other than the El Malcriado, a series of union publications: the Texas Farm Workers Newsletter, the Delano Grapevine and St Louis’ What’s Ahead are included in the publication series. The Correspondence series is a collection of all letters and memos to/from Douglass Adair organized in chronological order.
Douglass Adair also donated Rudy Reyes flag and button collection from Tenneco-Duror Camp #1. The flag and button collection were in a small fire and resulted in smoke and water damage. A few other artifacts include a poster for the March to Sacramento, an El Malcriado calendar, and a Boycott Gallo bumper sticker.
To view a complete list of items in Douglass Adair's UFW collection, go to the Finding Aid.
Listen to the audio interview conducted with Douglass Adair on May 24th, 2011: