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This Day in Labor History: A Digest

[ 75 ] July 6, 2012 |

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 Trade 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.

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Comments (75)

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  1. LoriK says:

    I never comment on any of the “This Day In Labor History” posts because I virtually never have anything to say beyond some version of, “Why didn’t they teach me this in school?” I do read them all and appreciate them though. Thanks for doing this series.

  2. David Kaib says:

    I think a permanent link to this digest (with new posts added as they come) could be a wonderful thing.

  3. Joseph Slater says:

    This has been a great series, and I echo LoriK’s appreciation. In what I hope will be seen as a friendly suggestion (because I hate critiques of historians that are basically “but you left out THIS THING THAT I STUDY!”), I would vote for adding a few of the key events in the history of *public* sector unions: the Boston police strike in September, 1919; the founding of AFSCME; the first public sector labor law; the firing of the PATCO workers, etc.

  4. tjkopena says:

    I also find these very informative, the right balance of detail and length.

  5. Barry Freed says:

    This is absolutely one of the best series anywhere. It’s a real plus to LG&M (especially since Farley ran out of Battleships to blog) and the digest is very useful.

    • mike in dc says:

      Wargaming.net is actually coming out with a World of Battleships MMO game next year, so that should provide some fodder for Farley to ponder(or rant) upon.

  6. mike in dc says:

    Yeah, I’d recommend PATCO and the Truman/Steel Workers’ Strike during the Korean War. I wonder if there was a “first” event in the history of offshoring labor that led other companies to follow suit.

  7. UserGoogol says:

    Now get back to work on the Most Prominent Politicians series.

  8. DrDick says:

    I look forward to the new year, as the series has been great so far.

  9. J. Otto Pohl says:

    Since you want to have a more race based focus I suggest more coverage of Africa. Labor action played a role in bringing about Ghanaian independence in 1957. It played an even more important role in ending apartheid in South Africa. The series has been far too focused on the US so far. I thought leftists were supposed to be internationalists?

  10. Robert says:

    To second J. Otto Pohl, I would humbly suggest the IWW labor history calendar in order to add more internationally significant dates. This is wonderful, though.

  11. Paul says:

    I am sorry to see the Battle of the Overpass could make the list this year I think both Reuther and Ford offer a lot interesting things to think about when it comes to labor in America (a couple really cool images). I imagine Reuther’s hard line of communism will get his fingers smacked here, but he was also very forward on race. Ford for all his maneuvering and bizarre aspects also seems to embody a rejection of the race-to-the bottom ideals so common now with his five dollar work day.

  12. delurking says:

    Just delurking to say how much I, too, have enjoyed this series. I didn’t learn any of this in school either.

    My students are learning it, though — I’ve been using the posts from This Day In Labor in several of my classes, including (this past semester) my American Epics class. I called it American Epics, but it was really Preaching the Revolution Through Novels and Film!

  13. CZHA says:

    Great series, and the list is especially helpful. I shared it on Facebook with a labor organizer, who sent me a happy note of appreciation.

  14. melior says:

    What LoriK said. You, sir, rock.

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