In 1929, the city of Gastonia erupted into a bitter struggle between textile factory owners and workers. Employees at the Loray Mill walked off the job when Fred Beal, who had been organizing a strike, was fired. Violence quickly broke out and in the ensuing weeks Police Chief W. O. Aderholt and strike leader Ella May Wiggins were killed. During the night the one-hundred black cars roamed Gastonia's streets looking for strikers to assault. A trial was held regarding Aderholt's murder. Several of those convicted of the crime fled to Russia seeking asylum. The Loray strike is a tragic episode in Gastonia's history.