There are still some spaces left in the July 23 "DC Labor Workers' History Guided Walking Tour.” From the "Labor is Life" mosaic at the AFL-CIO to Joe Hill’s ashes at the National Archives, worker’s history is around just about every corner in our nation’s capitol, if you know where to look. I’ll be leading this 3-hour walking tour of downtown DC, revealing labor’s often-untold story of protest and resistance. Go to dclabor.org and click on Calendar to register for the walk.
On today’s labor calendar, I’ll be back in the host’s chair for today’s edition of “Your Rights at Work” at 1 pm this afternoon here on WPFW and then at 5:30 catch “Arise” host Bill Fletcher Jr. at the 5th Street Busboys and Poets for a discussion of his book, "They're Bankrupting Us! And 20 Other Myths About Unions.”
Here’s today's labor history:
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 2-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
“Maybe I should talk to you about fascism. It is a big word and it hides in some pretty little places. It is nothing in the world but greed for profit and greed for the power to hurt and make slaves out of the people. But fascism can no more control the world than a bunch of pool hall gamblers and thugs can control America. Because all of the laws of man working in nature and history and evolution say for all human beings to come always closer and closer together.”