Here’s today’s labor history:
On this date in 1875, educator and civil rights activist Mary McLeod Bethune was born.
In 1894, 14,000 federal and state troops finally succeeded in putting down the strike against the Pullman Palace Car Company, which had been peaceful until July 5, when federal troops intervened in Chicago, against the repeated protests of the Governor and Chicago’s mayor. Some 34 American Rail Union members were killed by troops over the course of the strike.
A powerful explosion ripped through the Rolling Mill coal mine in Johnstown, Pennsylvania in 1902, killing 112 miners, 83 of whom were immigrants from Poland and Slovakia.
On this date in 1916, the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce held a mass meeting of more than 2,000 merchants to organize what was to become a frontal assault on union strength and the closed shop. The failure of wages to keep up with inflation after the 1906 earthquake had spurred multiple strikes in the city.
And on this date in 1946, Sidney Hillman died at age 59. He led the Amalgamated Clothing Workers, was a key figure in the founding of the Congress of Industrial Organizations and was a close advisor to President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
Today’s labor quote is by Sidney Hillman:
“We want a better America, an America that will give its citizens, first of all, a higher and higher standard of living so that no child will cry for food in the midst of plenty.”
Sidney Hillman, who said, “Politics is the science of who gets what, when and why.”