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
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