On this day in Labor History the year was 1885. That was the day that streetcar workers went out on strike. The West Division Street Railway Company had reduced the number of trips it made each day. The workers asked for a wage increase to make up for the loss in earnings. In response, management fired fifteen union leaders.
On this day in Labor History the year was 1917. That was the day that American folklorist Archie Green was born in Winnipeg, Canada. His father was a Ukrainian refugee, who had fought in the 1905 Russian revolution. As a young boy his family moved to Los Angeles. There he enjoyed listening to cowboy songs on the radio.
On this day in Labor History the year was 1936. That was the day that the U.S. Congress passed the Walsh-Healey Public Contracts Act. The bill had been proposed by the Secretary of Labor Francis Perkins. The act was part of the President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal effort to combat the ravages of the Great Depression.
On this day in Labor History the year was 1880. That was the day that Helen Keller was born in Tuscumbia, Alabama. Two years later she lost both her sight and hearing due to illness. With the help of a teacher by the name of Anne Sullivan, Helen learned how to communicate again.
On this day in Labor History the year was 1893. That was the day that Illinois Governor John Peter Altgeld pardoned Samuel Fielden, Oscar Neebe and Michael Schwab, who were imprisoned for their alleged role in the Haymarket bombing of 1886.
On this day in Labor History the year was 1893. That was the day that Haymarket Martyrs Monument was dedicated at what is now Forest Home Cemetery, just west of Chicago. The Haymarket Martyrs were eight men convicted of throwing a bomb at a workers rally in Chicago during the 1886 fight for the eight-hour day.
On this day in Labor History the year was 1971. At 12:51 am Battalion 12 Chief Leo Najarian of Los Angeles heard that there had been a tunnel explosion. That February a 6.5 earthquake had killed 65 people in the area. Now it seemed tragedy had struck again. Just the night before Chief Najarian had been called out to the same address.
On this day in Labor History the year was 1947. That was the day that many labor historians mark as the beginning of a long decline of the US labor movement. The United States Congress passed the Taft-Hartley Act. The bill was named after Republican Senator Robert A. Taft from Ohio.
On this day in Labor History the year was 1969. That was the day that the Cuyahoga River, which winds its way through Cleveland, Ohio caught on fire. Cleveland was once the sixth largest city in the nation. During the early twentieth century the city had a booming steel industry.
On this day in Labor History the year was 1877. That was the day that ten Irish miners were hung in Pennsylvania. They were part of a group of twenty who had been sentenced to death for allegedly being part of the Molly Maguires, a group of alleged radical Irish miners. Miners were on strike in the Schuylkill County anthracite coal region.