Lloyd MacLaggen MacAloon (1899-1980) was a member of the Minneapolis Citizens’ Alliance who gained notoriety in the 1930s for becoming one of the organization’s most ardent union busters and for providing the U.S. Army with intelligence on many Farmer Labor and union leaders.
Early in his working life, MacAloon was both a superintendent for the Minneapolis Steel Machinery Company and a private detective. In 1926, he started working for the Minneapolis Citizens’ Alliance, doing surveillance, and he quickly gained influence within the organization, becoming its leader when it came to intelligence gathering. By 1936, he was receiving a salary as the organization’s vice president and had taken on the leadership role in the organization’s handling of the Strutwear Strike.
MacAloon left the Citizens’ Alliance in 1937 to start his own organization, taking with him several important clients of the Citizens’ Alliance (particularly retailers like the Dayton Company), but he still continued to work in opposition to unions in an effort to keep Minneapolis an open-shop town. MacAloon used many different strategies to undermine union efforts, including surveilling union leaders in an attempt to paint them as socialists or communists, and therefore subversives. While these strategies were not always successful for MacAloon when it came to damaging the efforts of unions, he developed a close working relationship with U.S. military intelligence. The files created by MacAloon and military intelligence reappeared over the next several decades – MacAloon’s red-baiting might not have worked in all of his initial efforts, but they proved dangerous for his opponents as national fears about communism heightened.
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