A digest of This Day in Labor History
July 6, 1892–The Homestead Strike
July 12, 1917–The Bisbee Deportation
July 14, 1877–The Great Railroad Strike
September 9, 1739–The Stono Rebellion
September 17, 1989–The Pittston Strike
October 26, 1676–Bacon’s Rebellion
November 5, 1916–The Everett Massacre
November 9, 1935–Creation of the CIO
November 11, 1919–The Centralia Massacre
November 22, 1909–Uprising of the 20,000
December 2, 1946–The Oakland General Strike
December 5, 1955–Merger of the AFL and CIO
December 28, 1869–Founding of the Knights of Labor
December 30, 1905–Murder of former Idaho Governor Frank Steunenberg
January 1, 1994–NAFTA
January 5, 1970–Murder of UMWA reformer Jock Yablonski
February 6, 1919–The Seattle General Strike
February 11, 1937–The Flint Sit-Down Strike ends.
February 24, 1912–Beating of the women and children at Lawrence
March 25, 1911–Triangle Shirtwaist Fire
April 4, 1968–Assassination of Martin Luther King during sanitation strike in Memphis
April 20, 1914–Ludlow Massacre
April 30, 1894–Coxey’s Army
May 4, 1886–Haymarket Riot
May 9, 1934–Longshoremen strike begins in San Francisco
May 16, 1934–Minneapolis Teamsters Strike
May 19, 1920–Matewan Massacre
May 30, 1937–Memorial Day Massacre in Chicago
June 6, 1943–Detroit Hate Strike
June 20, 1947–President Truman vetoes Taft-Hartley Act
June 26, 1894–Pullman Strike
July 3, 1835–Paterson Textile Strike of 1835
July 4, 1892–People’s Party Convention
July 11, 1892–Miners outside of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho blow up the Frisco Mill.
July 29, 1970–United Farm Workers force growers into the first union contract in the history of California agricultural labor.
August 3, 1981–Air Traffic Controllers go on strike in biggest disaster in organized labor’s history.
August 4, 1942–Creation of the Bracero Program.
August 21, 1831–Nat Turner’s Rebellion.
August 23, 1927–Execution of Sacco and Vanzetti
August 25, 1925–Founding of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters
September 2, 1885–Rock Springs Massacre
September 22, 1946–Tobacco workers win contract in North Carolina, starting CIO’s Operation Dixie campaign.
October 23, 1976–International Woodworkers of America Local 3-101 holds a monthly union meeting.
November 19, 1915–Joe Hill executed in Utah.
November 22, 1887–Thibodaux Massacre
December 6, 1865–Ratification of the 13th Amendment.
December 11, 1886–Creation of the Colored Farmers Alliance
January 17, 1962–President Kennedy issues Executive Order 10988, authorizing collective bargaining for public workers.
January 25, 1941–March on Washington Movement leads to end of official segregation in defense industry.
February 7, 1894–Cripple Creek gold miners strike.
February 8, 1887–Grover Cleveland signs the Dawes Act.
February 13, 1865–Sons of Vulcan win nation’s first union contract.
March 4, 1998–Supreme Court rules in Oncale v. Sundonwer Offshore Services. Same-sex sexual harassment.
March 7, 1932–River Rouge march and repression.
March 23, 1974–Coalition of Labor Union Women holds first meeting.
April 8, 1952–Truman nationalizes steel industry.
April 28, 1971–OSHA begins
May 3, 1911–Wisconsin passes first workers compensation law
May 6, 1882–Chinese Exclusion Act.
May 10, 1993–Kader Toy Fire.
May 12, 1902–Anthracite coal miners strike in Pennsylvania begins, TR mediates.
May 26, 1937–Battle of the Overpass.
June 7, 1913–Paterson Silk Pageant. Addendum here.
June 11, 1925–Davis Day
June 16, 1918–Eugene Debs arrested for violating Espionage Act.
June 21, 1877–Molly Maguires executed in Pennsylvania.
July 2, 1822–Denmark Vesey executed for planning slave revolt in South Carolina.
July 17, 1944–Port Chicago explosion
August 1, 1917–Frank Little lynched in Butte.
August 3, 1913–Wheatland Riot
August 9, 1910–invention of electric washing machine transforms women’s unpaid domestic labor.
August 14, 1935–FDR signs Social Security Act.
August 22, 1945–Air Line Stewardesses Association, first flight attendant union, forms.
August 25, 1921–Battle of Blair Mountain
September 9, 1919–Boston police go on strike, crushed by Massachusetts governor Calvin Coolidge.
September 10, 1897–Lattimer Massacre
October 1, 1910–Iron Workers bomb Los Angeles Times building.
October 10, 1917–Closing of Storyville, New Orleans’ red light district.
October 16, 1859–John Brown launches attack on federal arsenal at Harpers Ferry, Virginia in order to gather guns to free slave labor.
October 26, 1825–Erie Canal opens after over 1000 workers die building it.
October 30, 1837–Nicholas Farwell’s hand is crushed working on railroad, courts decide in Farwell v. Boston and Worcester Rail Road Corporation that companies have no responsibility for working conditions.
November 13, 1909–Cherry Mine Fire in Illinois kills 259 workers.
November 30, 1999–WTO protests begin in Seattle.
December 8, 1886–American Federation of Labor founded in Columbus.
December 24, 1969–Curt Flood sends letter to Major League Baseball demanding free agency.
December 30, 1969–Federal Coal Mine Health and Safety Act signed.
January 1, 1892–Ellis Island opens.
January 8, 1811–German Coast slave rebellion begins in Louisiana.
January 13, 1874–Tompkins Square Riot.
January 14, 1888–Publication of Looking Backward.
January 15, 1915–Ralph Chaplin writes “Solidarity Forever.”
February 13, 1845–Lowell Female Labor Reform Association organizes and forces Massachusetts to investigate conditions in the Lowell textile mills.
February 15, 1907–Theodore Roosevelt and Japanese government agree to Gentlemen’s Agreement, ends most Japanese immigration to the U.S. after west coast labor protests.
February 26, 1972–Pittston Coal Company slurry dam collapses in Logan County, West Virginia, 125 dead.
March 3, 1931–Davis-Bacon Act signed.
March 4, 1915–LaFollette Seamen’s Act signed
March 5, 1972–Lordstown Strike
March 14, 1954–Salt of the Earth premiers
March 18, 1970–Postal Workers go on strike
March 20, 1854–Founding of Republican Party, free labor ideology
April 11, 1986–Police tear gas strikers at Hormel plant in Austin, Minnesota.
April 12, 1934–Toledo Auto-Lite strike begins.
April 14, 1975–Bunker Hill Mining Company in Idaho announces policy of sterilization for women working in its lead smelter.
May 6, 1935–Works Progress Administration created.
May 8, 1970–Hard Hat Riot
May 10, 1869–Completion of Transcontinental Railroad, treatment of Chinese workers
May 26, 1924–Coolidge signs Immigration Act of 1924
May 29, 1943–Normal Rockwell publishes Rosie the Riveter cover in Saturday Evening Post.
June 23, 1855–Celia, a slave, kills her master when he attempts to rape her Sexual labor of slaves.
June 25, 1938–FDR signs Fair Labor Standards Act
June 27, 1905–IWW founded
June 30, 1983–Phelps-Dodge strike starts in Clifton-Morenci, Arizona, massive union-busting by copper company
July 5, 1935–FDR signs National Labor Relations Act
July 11, 1934–Southern Tenant Farmers Union forms in Tyronza, Arkansas
August 11, 1911–Watertown Arsenal workers strike over Taylorism
August 23, 1912–United States Commission on Industrial Relations formed
September 14, 1959–Eisenhower signs Landrum-Griffin Act
September 22, 1862–Lincoln issues Emancipation Proclamation
September 23, 1969–Richard Nixon announces Philadelphia Plan to desegregate construction industry
October 5, 1886–Henry George accepts United Labor Party nomination for mayor of New York.
October 19, 1935–John L. Lewis punches Carpenters president Big Bill Hutcheson on the floor of the AFL Convention.
October 27, 1948–Donora Fog.
October 28, 1793–Invention of cotton gin.
November 2, 1909–Spokane free speech fight begins.
November 25, 1865–Mississippi institutes its Black Code
December 2, 1984–Union Carbide plant leak at Bhopal, India
December 5, 1894–Alabama repeals child labor law to attract New England textile factories.
December 24, 1913–Italian Hall disaster in Calumet, Michigan
January 5, 1914–Henry Ford announces $5 day for workers who lived a lifestyle of which he personally approved.
January 25, 1984–End of the International Nestle Boycott
February 2, 1848–Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo signed, fate of New Mexican land grant labor
February 23, 1864–Kate Mullaney and Collar Laundry Union go on strike in Troy, New York
February 24, 1908–Muller v. Oregon decided
March 1, 1936. Hoover Dam turned over to government. Labor history of its construction.
March 6, 1886–Knights of Labor begin Great Southwestern Strike against Jay Gould’s railroads.
March 10, 1925–New York Times first reports Radium Girls story.
March 18, 1871–Paris Commune begins
March 22, 1914–Mother Jones arrested supporting Colorado coal strike.
March 25, 1947–Mine explosion in Centralia, IL kills 111 workers.
March 28, 1977–AFSCME goes on strike in Atlanta, crushed by mayor Maynard Jackson
April 7, 2000–Workers Rights Consortium founded in New York
April 17, 1905–Supreme Court decided Lochner v. New York
May 18, 1933–Franklin Delano Roosevelt creates Tennessee Valley Authority
May 21, 1968–Poor Person’s March starts its camp construction in Washington DC.
June 1, 1906–Cananea Strike in Mexico, prelude to Mexican Revolution
June 15, 1990–Los Angeles police beat SEIU members in Justice for Janitors march
June 18, 1954–CIA-led Guatemalan coup against Jacobo Arbenz begins with AFL support
June 22, 1922–Herrin Massacre
July 2, 1980–Supreme Court decides Industrial Union Department AFL-CIO v. American Petroleum Institute, limiting OSHA workplace health program
July 9, 1948–International Labor Organization passes Freedom of Association Convention. U.S. never ratifies it.
July 15, 1959–Steelworkers Strike of 1959 begins
July 19, 1972–AFL-CIO refuses to endorse George McGovern for president
August 7, 1978–President Carter declares Love Canal a federal emergency
August 15, 1914–Panama Canal opens, story of its workers
August 20, 1866–National Labor Union demands Congress implement the 8-hour day
August 28, 1963–The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom
September 11, 1851–Christiana Riot, runaway slaves resisting Fugitive Slave Act
September 19, 1977–Black Monday in Youngstown
September 28, 1874–Comanche defeated at Palo Duro Canyon, end of a work history
October 15, 1990–George H.W. Bush signs Radiation Exposure Compensation Act
November 26, 1910–Newark sweatshop fire kills 25 workers
November 30, 1932–AFL endorses federal unemployment insurance, turning its back on history of voluntarism
December 4, 1907–Theodore Roosevelt sends U.S. Army to crush IWW strike in Goldfield, Nevada.
December 10, 1789–Moses Brown hires Samuel Slater to build a modern textile mill in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, beginning the United States’ Industrial Revolution.
December 22, 1988–Assassination of Brazil rubber tapper union leader and environmentalist Chico Mendes
December 28, 1973–Skylab astronauts go on one-day strike
January 16, 1961–Lettuce workers go on strike in Imperial Valley, starts era of farmworker organizing
January 18, 1887–Pinkertons kill 14 year old boy at Jersey City coal wharves’ strike
January 23, 1973–OCAW strike against Shell, assisted by environmental groups
January 24, 1848–Gold discovered in California, idea of white labor in the West
February 17, 1992–Yale graduate students go on strike
March 4, 1933–FDR nominates Frances Perkins to be Secretary of Labor
March 15, 1940–Film adaptation of The Grapes of Wrath released
March 30, 1930–Hawk’s Nest tunnel project in West Virginia starts, leading to mass deaths from silicosis
April 9, 1865–End of the Civil War
April 27, 1944—FDR orders Montgomery Ward to accept union or face government seizure after it refuses to recognize union
May 3, 1965–Land for Drop City purchased, a window into the counterculture and work
May 31, 1889–The Johnstown Flood
June 2, 1924–Child Labor Amendment passes Senate, sent to states where it is not ratified
June 8, 1917–Speculator Mine disaster in Butte, Montana kills 168 workers
June 22, 1896–Leadville Strike
June 25, 1914–Salem Fire and workplace safety
July 2, 1964–Civil Rights Act of 1964, including Title VII
July 6, 1924–The Philippine Scouts, Filipino soldiers in the US occupying army of their homeland, strike
July 28, 1932–Bonus Army encampment burned
August 13, 1887–Newark leathermakers lock out employees to destroy the Knights of Labor
August 16, 1819–Peterloo Massacre in Manchester
August 21, 1791–Haitian slave revolt begins
September 3, 1991–Hamlet, North Carolina chicken factory burns, kills 25 workers
September 5, 1934–North Carolina governor calls out National Guard to bust textile strike
September 6, 1869–Avondale Colliery fire, 110 miners die
September 16, 2004–Farm Labor Organizing Committee signs contract with Mt. Olive Pickles and its contracting farmers
September 21, 1908–Fourth IWW convention begins, Daniel DeLeon’s Socialist Labor Party loses bid to take over organization
September 27, 2002–West Coast ports close because of lockout, George W. Bush invokes Taft-Hartley to open them 10 days later
October 10, 1933–Farmers kill two strikers at Pixley, California
October 25, 1831--Lyon silk weavers revolt
October 31, 1978–President Carter signs the Pregnancy Discrimination Act
November 7, 1861–U.S. Army occupies South Carolina sea islands, start of Port Royal Experiment
November 12, 1928–United Fruit workers in Colombia go on strike, government responds with massacre
November 17, 1968–New York State Education Commissioner reasserts state control over Ocean Hill-Brownsville school district, ends major conflict over the Ocean Hill-Brownsville teachers strike led by Albert Shanker over black community control
November 27, 1937—-opening of Pins and Needles at ILGWU Labor Stage
December 19, 1907–Darr Mine fire in Pennsylvania kills 239 workers
December 21, 1919–Emma Goldman deported
December 30, 1970–Hurricane Creek Mine Disaster kills 38 miners near Hyden, Kentucky
January 1, 1935–Carl Mackley Homes, housing development created by the Hosiery Workers’ Union, opens in Philadelphia
January 6, 1909–Oral arguments before SCOTUS conclude in Moyer v. Peabody that state National Guard can imprison citizens without habeas corpus
January 20, 1920–Oahu Sugar Strike begins
February 11, 1903–Japanese Mexican Labor Association forms
February 13, 1837–Loco Foco rally leads to Flour Riot
February 14, 1940–Navajo appeal against livestock reduction program
March 1, 1932—Norris-LaGuardia Act passes Senate
March 24, 1934–Tydings-McDuffie Act signed, granting the Philippines independence because Californians were angry that these workers were marrying white women
March 28, 1959–Mexican government arrests and imprisons railroad strike leaders
March 29, 1951–Julius and Ethel Rosenberg convicted
April 1, 1929–Loray Mill Strike in Gastonia, North Carolina begins
April 2, 1937–Hershey sit-down strike begins
April 9, 1923–Supreme Court decides Adkins v. Children’s Hospital, striking down federal minimum wage for women
May 1, 1899–Florence Kelley begins her work with the National Consumers League
May 8, 1959–Local 1199 begins hospital workers strike in New York
May 10, 1837–Panic of 1837 begins
May 12, 1878–Catharine Beecher, author of Treatise on Domestic Economy, which created ideological framework for modern housework, dies
May 17, 1933–National Industrial Recovery Act introduced into the House
May 29, 1941–Disney cartoonists go on strike
May 30, 1741–Slaves executed as part of New York Slave Conspiracy
June 2, 1920–Civilian Vocational Rehabilitation Act approved by Congress
June 5, 1976–Teamsters for a Democratic Unionism formed
June 10, 1917–Workers at Rodolfo Crespi cotton mill in Sao Paulo demand 25 percent wage increase, refusal leads to Sao Paulo general strike
June 17, 1936–Steel Workers Organizing Committee formed
June 17, 1864–Washington Arsenal explosion kills 20 workers
June 21, 1935–Three timber workers killed in Eureka, California during Great Strike of 1935
July 16, 1931–Ralph Gray, communist and leader of Croppers and Farm Workers Union in Tallapoosa County, AL murdered by white mob
July 20, 1891–Tennessee forces surrender to miners during Coal Creek War to keep convict laborers from competing with miners
July 23, 1892–Alexander Berkman shoots Henry Clay Frick
August 20, 1976–Grunwick Strike begins in England, defeat of which started the Thatcherite attack on unions
August 26, 1970–NOW leads Women’s Strike for Equality
September 15, 1845–Pittsburgh textile strike begins
September 18, 1873–Panic of 1873 begins
September 19, 1945–24 fired women picket the Lindstrom Tool and Toy Company in Bridgeport, CT after they are fired from their wartime jobs because they are women
September 25, 1891–Two are killed in Lee County, Arkansas during battle between Colored Farmers Alliance members and other cotton workers
September 29, 1917–Col. Brice Disque named to lead Spruce Production Division, a government effort to send soldiers to Northwesters forests as loggers and destroy the IWW
October 1, 1833–Baltimore seamstresses go on strike, discussion of white women workers in the antebellum period
October 4, 1978–Prisoners at Ellis Prison in Texas refuse to pick cotton for no wages
October 11, 1979–OSHA fines American Cyanamid $10,000 for coercing women into sterilization, followed by OCAW lawsuit
October 15, 1914–Woodrow Wilson signs the Clayton Act
October 19, 1980–Amalgamated Clothing and Textile Workers Union forced JP Stevens to sign a contract for the first time in the Carolinas and Alabama, ending 17-year campaign
October 23, 1995–AFL-CIO Convention begins that leads to victory of John Sweeney, revitalizing the federation
November 8, 1970–Congress approves the Reorganization Acts Amendment that lay the groundwork for the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency, how EPA helps working people.
November 11, 1887–Illinois executed four innocent men for the Haymarket bombing
November 23, 1903–Colorado governor sends militia to crush Cripple Creek strike
December 23, 1872–Battle in Clearfield County, Pennsylvania over an attempt to break a coal strike, a vision into the early coal mines and miner culture
December 25, 1831–Baptist War in Jamaica, slave rebellion that moves British toward emancipation
January 1, 1994–Zapatista Rebellion begins in Chiapas, Mexico, timed with the implementation of NAFTA.
January 4, 1977–Augustus Hawkins introduces HR 50, becomes Humphrey-Hawkins Act
January 16, 1865–General William Tecumseh Sherman issues Special Field Order No. 15 for freed slaves, giving them 40 acres and a mule
January 23, 1890–Founding of the United Mine Workers of America
February 15, 1988–Environmentalists storm the gate of International Paper in Jay, Maine during strike that was dominated by unsafe working conditions and pollution
March 2, 1937–US Steel signs first contract with Steel Workers Organizing Committee
March 7, 1905–New York City subway strike begins and James Farley breaks it with record speed, gaining fame as the era’s most notorious strikebreaker
March 10, 1979–Sao Paulo’s metalworkers strike, with Lula as a leader; over 3 million workers go on strike, a massive challenge to the Brazilian dictatorship
March 11, 1811–Luddite movement begins in England
March 17, 1921–Soviet military forces crush Kronstadt Rebellion
March 20, 1991–Supreme Court decides UAW v. Johnson Controls, ruling that a company banning women from working in hazardous jobs was a discriminatory act
March 29, 1937–Supreme Court decided the case of West Coast Hotel Company v. Parrish, upholding the constitutionality of state minimum wage laws
April 5, 1938–Arguments begin in NLRB v. Mackay Radio & Telegraph Company
April 6, 1712–New York slave revolt of 1712
April 16, 1947–Texas City disaster kills at least 581 people, the largest workplace disaster in American history
April 21, 1545–Juan de Villarroel files the first mining claim at Potosí, Bolivia, beginning a long history of exploitation of indigenous labor there
May 1, 1943–FDR authorizes seizure of coal mines after UMWA refuses National War Labor Board arbitration
May 13, 1888–Abolition of slavery in Brazil
May 23, 1950–Treaty of Detroit between GM and the United Auto Workers
May 29, 1996–UFW comes to agreement with the Bruce Church lettuce company, ending 17-year boycott
June 4, 1912–Massachusetts establishes its minimum wage commission to create the nation’s first minimum wage
June 7, 1943–16 workers at Memphis’ Buckeye Cotton Oil Company go on wildcat strike for discrimination on job
June 15, 1917–Congress passes Espionage Act
July 10, 1986–Flight attendants win lawsuit against United Airlines for firing them after getting married as far back as the 60s
July 27, 1989–Workers at Nissan plant in Smyrna, TN reject UAW representation by 2:1 margin
July 28, 1933–Frances Perkins speech at Homestead, PA when she is cut off by Homestead government
August 5, 1993–Family and Medical Leave Act goes into effect
August 14, 1889–London Great Dock Strike begins
September 6, 1919–New York City theater owners and actors sign agreement ending strike over bad conditions
September 8, 1909–workers return to work after victory in IWW-led Pressed Steel Car Company strike at McKees Rocks, Pennsylvania
September 19, 1981–AFL-CIO Solidarity Day to protest Reagan
October 4, 1918–T.A. Gillespie Shell Loading Plant near Sayreville, New Jersey exploded, killing approximately 100 workers
October 18, 1981–Workers at Brown and Sharpe factory in North Kingston, Rhode Island begin the longest strike in American history
October 29, 1889–Katsu Goto, a Japanese organizer in Hawaii, is murdered
November 10, 1933–Sit-down strike at Hormel plant in Austin, Minnesota begins
November 12, 1892–New Orleans general strike ends
November 21, 1927–Columbine Massacre in Colorado coal strike
November 26, 1931–Ybor City cigar manufactures ban reading in the factories, leading to strikes
December 14, 1945–House passed what becomes Employment Act of 1946
December 15, 1921–Kansas National Guard breaks up women’s marches to support coal strike
December 30, 1828–400 women in Dover, NH go on strike in their mill, possibly first all-female strike in American history
January 1, 1867–Sharecropper contract signed between landowner Isham Bailey and freedmen
January 11, 1968–strike of electrical workers in Saigon just before the Tet Offensive shows the weakness of the South Vietnamese government
January 17, 1915–Lucy Parsons leads an unemployed march of 10,000 in Chicago
January 22, 1599–Spanish troops begin their attack on Acoma Pueblo, window into labor relations in colonial New Mexico
February 11, 1978–Hoedads working in Oregon poisoned, countercultural reforestation labor
February 20, 1893–The Panic of 1893 begins when the Philadelphia and Reading Railroad goes bankrupt
February 22, 1860–Shoemakers in Lynn, Massachusetts begin the nation’s largest strike before the Civil War
February 23, 1959–Agricultural Workers Organizing Committee is created
February 27, 1869–The workplace health and safety reformer Alice Hamilton is born
March 17, 1966—CA farmworker march from Delano to Sacramento
March 21, 1866—California passes An Act for the Suppression of Chinese Houses of Ill Fame
March 29, 1965–Textile Workers Union v. Darlington Manufacturing decided, case that limits collective bargaining over plant closures to effects from a single plant closing
March 31, 1840—U.S. President Martin Van Buren issues an Executive Order ordering the 10 Hour Day on federal projects
April 18, 1912—West Virginia Mine War of 1912 begins
April 19, 1911—Furniture workers go on strike in Grand Rapids, many over the objections of their churches
April 20, 1949—USWA men beat Mine, Mill president Maurice Travis, costing him an eye
May 1, 1867–Chicago 8-hour day strike