Monday, February 27, 2012

Today in Labor History—February 27

Guards' cannon dragged to Montmartre During Paris Commune (contemporary sketch)

February 27, 1871 – The Paris Commune began when regular soldiers, sent to confiscate cannon from the National Guard militia in Paris, were confronted by the crowd and then decided to fraternize with them. (From the Daily Bleed)
Cartoon showing US Socialist Presidential candidate, Eugen V. Debs, who ran from in prison in the 1920 election.
 February 27, 1875 – Eugene V. Debs became a charter member and secretary of the Vigo Lodge, Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen. By 1880, he had become grand secretary of the national Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen and editor of the Locomotive Fireman's Magazine. He later led the bitter Pullman strike. (From the Daily Bleed)

February 27, 1902 – John Steinbeck was born on this date in Salinas, California. Steinbeck, who won the Nobel Prize for literature in 1962, wrote numerous novels from the perspective of farmers and the working class, including The Grapes of Wrath (1939), Tortilla Flats, Of Mice and Men, Cannery Row & East of Eden. (1952). (From the Daily Bleed)

February 27, 1912 – “The Times" of London published a lead story about a "conspiracy" of unions to take over ownership of British coal mines. The piece was based on a pamphlet, "The Miner's Next Step," which had been printed in Tonypandy, a scene of recent bloodshed between strikers and police. The pamphlet, written by the South Wales Miner's Federation, called for direct action and industrial solidarity. (From the Daily Bleed)

February 27, 1933 – Berlin's Reichstag parliament building was torched. The Nazi's tried to blame it on communists as a ploy in their steady consolidation of total power. (From the Daily Bleed)

Jarama Valley, Woody Guthrie
February 27, 1937 – Lincoln Brigadiers attacked Pingarrón Hill ("Suicide Hill") in Jarama Valley, Spain. Of the 500 who fought in this infamous battle, over 300 were killed or wounded. The Lincoln Brigade was made up of Americans who went to Spain (in violation of U.S. law) to help fight Franco and the fascists. (From the Daily Bleed)

February 27, 1939 - Following a decade of sit-down strikes, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that sit-down strikes were illegal. (From Workday Minnesota)

February 27, 1942 – The Seattle School Board accepted the forced resignation of Japanese-American teachers. (From the Daily Bleed)

February 27, 1943 – A mine disaster killed 74 workers at Red Lodge, Montana. (From the Daily Bleed)

February 27, 1973 – 300 Oglala Sioux American Indian Movement (A.I.M.) activists liberated and occupied Wounded Knee, South Dakota (the site of the 1890 massacre of Sioux by the U.S. cavalry), in response to a campaign of terror by tribal and FBI officials. From the Daily Bleed)

February 27, 2001 – Seattle ACORN workers went on strike. Their office shut was down after their employer refused to recognize Public Interest Workers IU 670 union of the IWW. From the Daily Bleed)

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