Sunday, March 18, 2012

Today in Labor History—March 18

(Image from the Daily Bleed)
March 18, 1871 – The Paris Commune began on this date, beginning as resistance to occupying German troops and the power of the bourgeoisie. The uprising was suppressed two months later. (From the Daily Bleed)
(Image from the Daily Bleed)
March 18, 1918 – Mexican anarchist Ricardo Flores Magón was arrested under the Espionage Act, charged with hindering the American war effort, and imprisoned at Leavenworth, where he died under highly suspicious circumstances. The authorities claimed he died of a "heart attack," but Chicano inmates rioted after his death and killed the prison guard they believed killed Magon. (From the Daily Bleed)

March 18, 1937 – Police evicted striking retail clerks occupying a New York Woolworth's for the 40-hour week. (From the Daily Bleed)
March 18, 1937 – A natural gas explosion in New London, Texas killed over 300 students, teachers and parents in the worst public school disaster in American history. The event led to worldwide sympathy. Even Hitler sent a telegram of condolences. (From the Daily Bleed)

March 18, 1968 – The staff of San Francisco's "progressive" rock station KMPX-FM walked out on strike citing a lack of control over programming & "hassles over the whole long-hair riff." Performers like the Rolling Stones, Joan Baez, the Jefferson Airplane and the Grateful Dead request the station not play their music as long as the station is run by strikebreakers. (From the Daily Bleed)

March 18, 1970 - The first mass work stoppage in the 195-year history of the U.S. Postal Service began on this date in New York City. The walkout was illegal, giving President Richard Nixon the excuse to send in federal troops to sort the mail. But the strike succeeded in forcing Congress to raise wages and reorganize the postal system and marked a new militancy among postal employees. (From Workday Minnesota)

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