December 20, 1790 - The first American cotton mill began operation in Pawtucket, Rhode Island. The mill, owned by Samuel Slater, employed children aged 4-10. (From workday Minnesota and the Daily Bleed)
December 20, 1905 -- An 11-day General Strike began in Russia to bring down the Czar.
December 20, 1957 -- Brittish working class singer/songwriter Billy Bragg was born on this date. Bragg was a strong supporter of the 1984 miners strike and has been an outspoken critic of fascim, racism, sexism and homophobia.
The Ghost of Tom Joad, by Woody Guthrie
December 20, 1968—John Steinbeck died on this date. He was most famous for novels written from the perspective of working men and women, the poor and downtrodden, including East of Eden, Grapes of Wrath, Of Mice and Men, Tortilla Flats and Cannery Row. (From the Daily Bleed)