On this day in Labor History the year was 1940. That was the day that Screen Actors Guild union member Hattie McDaniel became the first African American to win an Oscar. She won Best Supporting Actress for the role of Mammy in the classic movie Gone With the Wind.
On this day in Labor History the year was 1942. That was the day that Sue Cowan Williams filed a lawsuit for equal pay for black school teachers in Little Rock, Arkansas. Eighty-six black teachers worked in the city’s segregated school system. They were all members of the Little Rock Class Room Teachers Association.
On this day in Labor History the year was 1942. That was the day that 27 Japanese women, working in the Seattle public school system handed in their forced resignations. In the aftermath of the attack on Pearl Harbor, anti-Japanese hysteria swept the United States, especially the west coast.
On this day in Labor History the year was 2011. That was the day that labor movement took an historic stand in Madison, Wisconsin. That cold Saturday a crowd of union members and supporters swelled to more than 100,000 people at the state capitol building.
On this day in Labor History the year was 1941. That was the day a general strike by workers against the Nazis took place in Amsterdam. The Nazis had begun the occupation of the Netherlands in the spring of 1940. The German occupiers implemented a series of increasingly repressive anti-Semitic laws.
On this day in Labor History the year was 1965. That was the day that the Drug and Hospital Employees Union Local 1199 sent a telegram to President Lyndon Johnson. The message declared the union’s stand against U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War.
On this day in Labor History the year was 1875. That was the day that the National Marine Engineers’ Association was founded at a meeting in Cleveland, Ohio. The association represented steamboat engineers, most from boats navigating the Great Lakes. Being a steamboat engineer was risky business.
On this day in Labor History the year was 1860. That was the day that the shoemakers of Linn, Massachusetts walked out on strike.
The shoemakers were very concerned over how technology was changing their work. Shoemaking had long been considered a skilled craft.
On this day in Labor History the year was 1868. That was the day that the Governor of California signed into law the eight-hour workday. The law was the result of a strong organizing effort led by California’s trade unions. The call for eight hours had gained traction across the U.S. labor movement after the Civil War.
On this day in Labor History the year was 1937. That was the day the National Lawyers Guild held their first convention at the Hotel Washington in the nation’s capital. The guild was established as way to bring together progressive lawyers dedicated to fighting “for basic and progressive change in our political and economic system and to assure that human rights be regarded as more sacred than property interests.