Today's Labor History
Click here to check out this week's Labor History Today podcast. Freelance journalist Michael Arria talks about minor league ballplayers and the historical roots of present-day inequities, plus a report from the R. J. Phillips Band about Emily and Mary Edmonson, a bay schooner called the Pearl and the largest documented slave escape in U.S. history.
Four striking workers are killed, at least 200 wounded, when police attack a demonstration on Chicago’s south side at the McCormick Harvesting Machine plant. The Haymarket Massacre is to take place the following day - 1886
Eugene V. Debs and other leaders of the American Railway Union are jailed for six months for contempt of court in connection with Pullman railroad car strike - 1895
Haymarket massacre. A bomb is thrown as Chicago police start to break up a rally for strikers at the McCormick Harvesting Machine Co. A riot erupts, 11 police and strikers die, mostly from gunfire, and scores more are injured - 1886
Labor history courtesy Today In Labor History. Click below for May 5 history...
National Typographical Union founded, Cincinnati, Ohio. It was renamed the Int’l Typographical Union in 1869, in acknowledgment of Canadian members. When the ITU merged into CWA in 1986 it was the oldest existing union in the U.S. - 1852
On Chicago’s West Side, police attack Jewish workers as they try to march into the Loop to protest slum conditions - 1886
Some 14,000 building trades workers and laborers, demanding an 8-hour work day, gather at the Milwaukee Iron Co. rolling mill in Bay View, Wisc. When they approach the mill they are fired on by 250 National Guardsmen under orders from the governor to shoot to kill. Seven die, including a 13-year-old boy - 1886
Nineteen machinists working for the East Tennessee, Virginia, and Georgia Railroad gather in a locomotive pit to decide what to do about a wage cut. They vote to form a union, which later became the Int’l Association of Machinists - 1888
Italian-American anarchists Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti are arrested in Boston for murder and payroll robbery. Eventually they are executed for a crime most believe they did not commit - 1920
Heavily armed deputies and other mine owner hirelings attack striking miners in Harlan County, Ky., starting the Battle of Harlan County - 1931
John J. Sweeney, president of the Service Employees Int’l Union from 1980 to 1995, then president of the AFL-CIO from 1995 to 2009, born in the Bronx, N.Y. - 1934
Lumber strike begins in Pacific Northwest, will involve 40,000 workers by the time victory is achieved after 13 weeks: union recognition, a 50¢-per-hour minimum wage and an 8-hour day - 1937
The U.S. unemployment rate drops to a 30-year low of 3.9 percent; the rate for Blacks and Hispanics is the lowest ever since the government started tracking such data - 2000
Capping several weeks of teacher unrest across the country, public educators in Arizona win raises of 10 to 20 percent following a week-long strike; Oklahoma teachers shortly before that struck for nine days and won roughly $6,000 in annual increases, while the teachers who started it all, in West Virginia, won a 5 percent raise after their nearly two-week walkout - 2018
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