Peter Rachleff on the history and significance of Labor Day on the Union Yes Iowa podcast; anthropologist Paul Shackel remembers the 1897 Lattimer Massacre; from the Library of Congress’s brand-new America Works podcast, Greg Vaught, the singing gold mine worker from Elko, Nevada.
Plus, Pete Seeger remembers textile mill striker Ella Mae Wiggins, and on Labor History in 2: The Making of a National Treasure.
Last week’s show: We Do The Work; Working History.
75 workers die in explosion at Allegheny Arsenal, Pittsburgh, Pa. - 1862
One hundred thousand Pennsylvania anthracite coal miners go on strike. Their average annual wage is $250. They are paid by the ton, defined by Pennsylvania as 2,400 pounds but which mine operators have increased to as much as 4,000 pounds - 1900
Southern employers meeting in Greenville, N.C. ready their big counter-offensive to break the textile labor strikes that have hit the Eastern seaboard. Ultimately they deploy 10,000 national guardsmen and 15,000 deputies, but fail to drive hundreds of thousands of strikers back to work - 1934
A Southern Pacific train loaded with sugar beets strikes a makeshift bus filled with 60 migrant workers near Salinas, Calif., killing 32. The driver said the bus was so crowded he couldn't see the train coming - 1963
Ninety-eight United Mine Workers of America members and a minister occupy the Pittston Coal Company's Moss 3 preparation plant in Carbon, Va., beginning a year-long strike; thousands of mine workers and supporters assembled outside the plant to support the occupation. Among other issues: management demands for drastic limitations in health and pension benefits for retired and disabled miners and their dependents and beneficiaries - 1989
- David Prosten