Honoring the Founder
During most of Milton Hershey’s lifetime, birthday celebrations were a private affair. Sometimes Mr. Hershey hosted a small gathering of friends. Frequently he was traveling in Europe, New York City or Atlantic City, New Jersey during his birthday. That pattern changed when Milton Hershey turned 80 years old.
1937 had been a tumultuous year in Hershey. In April Hershey Chocolate Factory workers held a sit-down strike, the first job action by the newly formed CIO union. The strike divided the town and devastated Milton Hershey. While labor matters were quickly resolved, the strike rocked the model company town. To let Milton Hershey know that he was still greatly honored by his employees, a celebration was planned.