On this day in Labor History the year was 1917. That was the day that Montana Republican Jeanette Rankin was sworn in as the first ever woman elected to the US Congress. Her mother was a school teacher and her father was a rancher. On her victory, Representative Rankin said, “I may be the first woman member of Congress, but I won’t be the last.”
On this day in Labor History the year was 1963. That was the day that the New York Times ran the headline “New York Happy as Papers Return.” The longest and largest newspaper strike in the city had ended. During the early 1960s changes in typesetting technology were transforming how newspapers were made.
On this day in Labor History the year was 1930. That was the day that ground was broken on what would become one of the worst workplace disasters in U.S. history. At least 476, and possibly more than 700 men died from a disease called silicosis. The project was called the Hawks Nest Tunnel.
On this day in Labor History the year was 1948. That was the day that the labor movement came literally to the doorstep of Wall Street. The United Financial Employees Union went out on strike. The union was started in 1941 by Merritt David Keefe, a page who worked on the stock exchange trading floor.
On this day in Labor History the year was 1977. That was the day that members of AFSCME Local 1644 began their unsuccessful strike in Atlanta, Georgia. The union was made up of 1,300 mostly black sanitation workers. The city of Atlanta had elected its first black mayor, Maynard Jackson, in 1973.
On this day in Labor History the year was 2002. That was the day that the Supreme Court handed down its decision in the case Hoffman Plastic Compound, Inc. versus the National Labor Relations Board. This case had profound importance for undocumented workers in the United States.
On this day in Labor History the year was 1910. That was the day that Congress expanded the Immigration Act passed three years earlier.
The new language prohibited “criminals, paupers, anarchists and diseased persons” from entering the nation.
During the first decade of the twentieth century, some nine million immigrants arrived on the shores of the United States.
On this day in Labor History the year was 1911. It was one the most tragic days in US labor history. 146, mostly Jewish and Italian, women died in the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire in New York City. The death toll was so high because exits were locked or blocked, and basic safety precautions were not taken in the sweatshop.
On this day in Labor History the year was 1912. That was the birthday of Dorothy Height, a Civil Rights leader and a champion for black women domestic workers. Domestic workers had largely been left out of the labor protections passed as part of the New Deal.