The 100th anniversary of labor martyr Joe Hill’s death is being marked this week with two concerts. Hill was executed by a Utah firing squad in 1915 after being convicted of what have now been established as trumped-up charges. The Joe Hill Roadshow is celebrating the life and legacy of this iconic organizer with a series of concerts, including this Thursday, July 23, in Washington, when Magpie, Charlie King, the DC Labor Chorus and George Mann will, perform at the Washington Ethical Society at 7:30 pm. Then on Friday in Baltimore, Magpie, Charlie King and George Mann will perform at the Unitarian Church at 7:30 pm.
For more on the latest local labor news and updates, go to dclabor.org; for up-to-date listings for labor activities, click on calendar.
Here’s today’s labor history:
Newly unionized brewery workers in San Francisco, mostly German socialists, declared victory on this date in 1886 after the city’s breweries gave in to their demands for free beer, the closed shop, and the freedom to live anywhere (they had typically been required to live in the breweries). They also won a 10-hour day, 6-day week, and a board of arbitration.
On this date in 1916, a bomb was set off during a "Preparedness Day" parade in San Francisco, killing 10 and injuring 40 more. Tom Mooney, a labor organizer, and Warren Billings, a shoe worker, were convicted of the crime, but both were pardoned 23 years later.
Today’s labor quote is by Frederick Douglass:
“It is a great mistake for any class of laborers to isolate itself and thus weaken the bond of brotherhood between those on whom the burdens and hardships of labor fall.”