Here’s today’s labor history:
Uriah Smith Stephens was born in Cape May, New Jersey on this date in 1821. A tailor by trade, in 1869 he led nine Philadelphia garment workers to found the Knights of Labor.
In 1981, 15,000 air traffic controllers struck. President Reagan threatened to fire any who do not return to work within 48 hours, saying they "have forfeited their jobs" if they do not. Most stayed out, and were fired August 5.
In 1986, Florence Reece died in Knoxville, Tennesee at 86. She was a Mine Workers union activist and author of "Which Side Are You On?", written after her home was ransacked by Harlan County county sheriff J.H. Blair and his thugs during a 1931 strike.
Today’s labor quote is by Florence Reese, from the beginning of her song “Which Side Are You On?:
“Come all of you good workers, Good news to you I'll tell
Of how the good old union Has come in here to dwell.
Which side are you on, Tell me, which side are you on?”