Thursday, August 11, 2011

Today in Labor History—August 11

August 11, 1828 – The first American labor party formed in Philadelphia. (From the Daily Bleed)
Coxey's army leaving the capital
 August 11, 1894 – Federal troops drove over 1,000 jobless workers from the nation's capital. Led by Charles "Hobo" Kelley, an unemployed activist from California, and Jacob Coxey, they camped in Washington D.C. starting in July. Kelley's Hobo Army included a young journalist named Jack London and a young miner-cowboy named Big Bill Haywood. Frank Baum was an observer of the protest and some say it influenced his Wizard of Oz, with the Scarecrow representing the American farmer, the tin man representing industrial workers and the Cowardly Lion representing William Jennings Bryan, all marching on Washington (Oz) to demand redress from the president (the Wizard). 650 miners, led by a "General" Hogan, captured a Northern Pacific train at Butte, Montana, en route to the protest. The Feds caught up with them at Billings, forcing a surrender, but a few eventually made it to Washington. (From the Daily Bleed and Wikipedia)
Homestead strike

Terrorist as a Teenager: Carnegie, 16, Teaching his kid bro how to milk workers

August 11, 1919 - Andrew Carnegie, the richest and most successful late-19th century capitalist, died in New York (and Good Riddance!) Carnegie was a notorious union-buster and slave driver and was infamous for his role in crushing the Homestead strike of 1892. Carnegie mills produced one-quarter of the nation's steel by the earlier 20th century, and his annual profits were $25 million. (From Workday Minnesota)


 August 11, 1945 – Striking Mexican American film workers blocked distribution of American films. (From the Daily Bleed)
Burning buildings, Watts
 August 11, 1965 – The Watts Riots began in LA when a white cop stopped a black driver, Marquette Frye, for drunkenness. By the time the riots subsided five days later, there were 34 dead, 800 wounded, 3,000 arrested and $200 million worth of property destroyed. (From the Daily Bleed)

August 11, 1970 – United Farm Workers leader Cesar Chavez launched a hunger strike to protest harassment by Teamsters officials. (From the Daily Bleed)

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