Thursday, April 28, 2011

Today in Labor History—April 28

Fletcher Christian's Home (public domain)
April 28, 1789 – Fletcher Christian led a group of mutineers against Captain William Bligh’s brutal working conditions on the HMS Bounty. The story was later retold by Charles Nordhoff and James Norman Hall in their trilogy. “Mutiny on the Bounty,” was, of course, the most famous of the trilogy. The descendents of Christian and the other mutineers live today on the South Pacific island of Pitcairn. (From the Daily Bleed)

Jules Bonot, After the Cops Got Him
April 28, 1912 Jules Bonnot, French leader of the anarchist/illegalist Bonnot Gang, was killed in a police shootout. (From the Daily Bleed)

April 28, 1914 – 181-192 workers died in a coal mine collapse disaster at Eccles, West Virginia. The mine was owned by the Guggenheim family. (From the Daily Bleed and Wikipedia)

April 28, 1919 – A bomb plot was discovered in which over 30 dynamite bombs were to be sent people "on the anarchists' enemies list," including U.S. Attorney General A. Mitchell Palmer, who had been rounding up, imprisoning and deporting anarchists and union activists. Other targets included  J. P. Morgan, John D. Rockefeller, Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, and Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis. (From the Daily Bleed)

April 28, 1924 – 119 workers died in the Benwood, West Virginia coal mine disaster. (From the Daily Bleed)

April 28, 1945 – Fascist dictator Benito Mussolini was hanged by partisans. (From the Daily Bleed, which also asked the question: Was he hung well??) 
Execution of Mussolini (Click here for newsreel footage)

April 28, 1953 – After overthrowing the democratically elected government Iran, the CIA installed the Shah, launching a 25-year reign of terror against the Persian people. (From the Daily Bleed)

April 28, 1965 – 20,000 U.S. Marines invaded the Dominican Republic to prevent democracy and to prop up the military junta. (From the Daily Bleed)

April 28, 1967 Muhammad Ali refused to be drafted to fight in Vietnam and was thus stripped of his boxing title within hours. His justification for refusing to go:  "No Viet Cong ever called me nigger.” (From the Daily Bleed)

April 28, 1970 – Congress approved the creation of OSHA, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (only to watch idly as it was gutted by Reagan, and again by his successors). The AFL-CIO declared April 28 “Workers Memorial Day” to honor the hundreds of thousands of working people killed and injured on the job every year. (From Workday Minnesota)

April 28, 1977 – The Mothers of the Disappeared held their first rally at Plaza de Mayo, Buenos Aires. Under the U.S.-supported military dictatorship, 20,000 to 30,000 people were murdered or disappeared in Argentina between 1976 and 1983. (From the Daily Bleed)

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