‘We fed those men free of charge until the strike ended. Whenever we saw one of the striking men coming, one of us would say, “Here comes another poor boy.”
-Bennie Martin

The famous po’boy sandwiches of New Orleans, Louisiana, are said to have started in 1929 during the city’s transit strike.
Former streetcar conductors Bennie and Clovis Martin had opened Martin Brothers’ Coffee Stand and Restaurant in the French Market in 1922. When the transit strike began on July 1, 1992, the brothers wanted to do something for their former co-workers in the street railway employees’ union. To show support, they made up big roast beef sandwiches on French bread, and told their employees to give them free to the “poor boys” on strike.


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