On this day in labor history the year was 1907. At 3:45 that afternoon the Chilean military opened machine gun fire on a school occupied by striking workers. It is estimated that between one and three thousand people died that day in what came to be known as the Santa Maria School Massacre.
On this day in labor history the year was 1790. That was the day that work for many living in the new country of the United States began to change in a significant way. Samuel Slater operated the first cotton spindle machine to spin yarn in the U.S in Pawtucket, Rhode Island. The 48-spindle machine ran on the water power of Pawtucket Falls.
On this day in labor history the year was 1983. That was the day that a bitter national strike of Greyhound Workers came to a close. Nearly 13,000 bus drivers, mechanics and clerks had gone on strike. They were members of the Amalgamated Transit Union.
On this day in labor history the year was 1991. That was the day that thousands of workers at in U.S. General motor factories got some very bad news. The company’s CEO Robert Stampel announced that GM would eliminate 74,000 jobs and close 21 plants. The company was struggling.
On this day in labor history the year was 1760. That was the day Deborah Samson was born in Plympton, Massachusetts. She was the first known woman to impersonate a man in order to fight in the Revolutionary War. Her family was poor. As a girl, young Deborah, became an indentured servant.
On this day in labor history the year was 1977. That was the day that eight women in Willmar, Minnesota stood up for their rights in the work place. The women worked at Willmar Citizens National Bank. These women were paid considerably less than the male employees.
On this day in labor history the year was 2005. That was the day the labor movement lost a man who was willing to go to jail to fight for the rights of working people. Clinton Jenks was born in Colorado Springs in 1918. He learned of labor consciousness from his father, a postal worker.
On this day in labor history the year was 1990. That was the day that 20,000 workers in the city of Fez in the North African country of Morocco went out on strike. Austerity measures had hit the country’s working people hard during the 1980's. A drought had made the situation even worse.
On this day in labor history the year was 1924. That was the day that long-time leader of the American Federation of Labor, Samuel Gompers, died. Gompers was born to a Jewish family in England. He was a cigar-maker by trade.
On this day in labor history the year was 1964. That was the day that half of the labor force of France ended a strike that had ground the country to a halt. The strike started on December 10. It is estimated that nine million people participated in the work action.