Here’s today’s labor history:
In 1869, farmworkers set fire to a barn housing a combine harvester that threatened to undermine their livelihood harvesting grain in the Livermore Valley.
On this date in 1877, The Great Uprising nationwide railway strike began in Martinsburg, West Virginia after railroad workers were hit with their second pay cut in a year. In the following days, strike riots spread through 17 states. The next week, federal troops were called out to force an end to the strike.
In 1912, Woody Guthrie, writer of "This Land is Your Land" and "Union Maid," was born in Okemah, Oklahoma.
And in 1921, Italian immigrants and anarchists Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti were convicted in Massachusetts of murder and payroll robbery – unfairly, most historians agree – after a two-month trial, and were eventually executed. Fifty years after their deaths the state's governor issued a proclamation saying they had been treated unfairly and that "any disgrace should be forever removed from their names."
Today’s labor quote is by Woody Guthrie:
While we're on the subject of hard work
I just wanted to say that I always was a man to work
I was born working and I worked my way up by hard work
I ain't never got nowhere yet but I got there by hard work
Work of the hardest kind
I been down and I been out
And I've been busted, disgusted and couldn't be trusted
I worked my way up and I worked my way down.