Saturday, July 23, 2011

Today in Labor History—July 23

Henry David Thoreau
July 23, 1846 – Henry David Thoreau was jailed for refusing to pay his $1 poll tax in protest of slavery and the U.S. involvement in the Mexican War. (From Workday Minnesota).
Copper Miners, Copper County, Michigan, 1905

July 23, 1913 – Northern Michigan copper miners struck for the 8 hour day, higher wages and union recognition. The strike continued until April 12, 1914. During the strike, 600 were arrested for inciting to riot, 500 for violating an injunction against picketing, and the WFM's president, Charles Moyer, was shot, beaten and forced out of town. Also, on Christmas Eve, 1913, the women’s auxiliary of the WFM organized a party for miners and their families during which someone shouted “fire” causing a stampede that killed 73, mostly children. The identity of the crier was never determined, but many believe it was a member of the Citizen’s Alliance, which was used by the mine owners to attack strikers and crush their movement. (From the Daily Bleed)

July 23, 1967 – Seven days of social unrest, fighting with cops, anti-business and anti-government actions began in Detroit. By the end of the riots, 43 were dead, 2,000 wounded and 5,000 made homeless. It was the largest riot of the century, sparking additional riots throughout US. (From the Daily Bleed)

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