The Elsie Parrish decision of the U.S. Supreme Court in1937 is discussed by an article by Helen Knowles in the November issue of the Journal of Supreme Court History. She was a visiting scholar at Whitman College and her article analyzes the coverage of this important case in the press, especially The World.
The Parrish case was the one in which the Supreme Court approved a minimum wage law, reversing its history of striking down New Deal legislation, and taking the steam out of Roosevelt’s attempt to “pack” the court. Knowles’ article points out that local newspaper coverage “focused on human-interest aspects of the story rather than the national political narrative.”
The World carried five articles about Parrish and the case when the court’s decision was announced in March of 1937. Pictures of Elsie, who was a chambermaid at the Cascadian Hotel in Wenatchee, were carried in The World and in two other papers in the state, the Seattle P-I and the Tacoma News-Tribune. The Parrish case indeed made history.