Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Today in Labor History

March 9, 1841 - The U.S. Supreme Court freed the remaining 35 survivors of the Amistad mutiny. In 1839, Joseph Cinque led 52 fellow captive Africans in a revolt aboard the Spanish schooner. The ship was stopped by the U.S. Navy and President Martin Van Buren wanted the prisoners returned to Spanish authorities to stand trial for mutiny. In the end, the U.S. courts recognized their rights as free citizens. (From Workday Minnesota)

March 9, 1912 - The Westmoreland County (Pa.) Coal Strike begins. Also known as the "Slovak strike" because 70% of the 15,000 strikers were Slovakian immigrants, the strike continued for nearly 16 months before ending in defeat. Sixteen miners and family members were killed during the strike.(From Today in Labor History)

March 9, 1919 - Twin Cities residents crowd Commonwealth Hall in Minneapolis for a showing of “The Blacklist,” a realistic film depicting the Ludlow Massacre in which 18 striking miners and their family members were slaughtered by state militiamen in Ludlow, Colorado, five years earlier. (From Workday Minnesota)


  1. The Ludlow mine was owned by the Rockefellers, and the origin of the Rockefeller Foundation was largely a result of the family trying to overcome the stigma of the Ludlow massacre, where mining families were shot and burned to death in their tents.

    US labor history: the most violent in the western world, and with the overwhelming majority of the violence directed at working people.

  2. Yes, the current relative lull in violence against workers has made many forget the violent past.