Monday, July 4, 2011

Today in Labor History—July 4

July 4, 1840 – The anti-rent association of Berne in the Hudson Valley issued its Declaration of Independence, which initiated the Anti-Rent War, which lasted until August 1845. Also known as the Helderberg War, the anti-rent war was a tenants' revolt in upstate New York against the patroons, who acted as feudal lords with the right to make laws. The first meeting of the Anti-Rent tenant farmers was held in Berne, New York on July 4, 1839. Leaders of the revolt were tried for riot, conspiracy and robbery in 1845. The first trial resulted in no convictions. A re-trial in September 1845 saw fist-fight between the attorneys who were sentenced to solitary confinement for 24 hours. One defendant, Smith A. Boughton, was sentenced to life imprisonment, but was pardoned by the pro-Anti-Renter John Young. (From the Daily Bleed and Wikipedia)
Albert Parsons, 1889
July 4, 1876 – Albert Parsons, who was later wrongly executed as one of the Haymarket martyrs, joined the Knights of Labor on this date. He later became the president of the Trades Assembly of Chicago, ran for County Clerk, and became the first workingman nominated by workingmen to run for President of the United States. (From the Daily Bleed)

July 4, 1883 – Rube Goldberg, who worked hard to make simple things outrageously difficult, was born. (From the Daily Bleed)

July 4, 1890First issue of the Yiddish "Freie Arbeiter Stimme" (Free Voice of Labor) was published in New York. (From the Daily Bleed)

July 4, 1938 – In a show of support for independence and freedom, The American Federation of Musician's Board of Delegates adopted a resolution to fight the "communist menace" within the US Labor movement. In particular, they were concerned about "Certain communistic influences within [San Francisco's] Local Six have been," as well as locals inNew York, Philadelphia, Detroit and Los Angeles." (From the Daily Bleed)

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