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Walter Reuther was elected president of the UAW on this day in 1946. Actively involved with the Flint Sit-down Strike in 1936, Reuther also gained recognition when he was beaten by Ford security guards at the Battle of the Overpass in 1937. He narrowly unseated 8-year president, R.J. Thomas by just 125 votes during a convention that was fraught with fist fights and demonstrations. Surviving two subsequent assassination attempts, Reuther served as the UAW’s president until his untimely death in a plane crash in 1970.