Saturday, December 24, 2011

Today in Labor History—December 24

December 24, 1834 – Elizabeth Chandler, abolitionist, was born on this date. In 1825, when she was only eighteen years old, her poem, "The Slave-Ship", was published, leading Benjamin Lundy, a well-known abolitionist and publisher, to ask her to write for his periodical, The Genius of Universal Emancipation. Chandler called for better treatment for Native Americans and the immediate emancipation of slaves. Chandler was responsible for popularizing one of the most famous abolitionist images, the kneeling female slave with the slogan "Am I not a Woman and a Sister." (From the Daily Bleed and Wikipedia)
Woody Guthrie’s “1913 Massacre” Performed by Ramblin’ Jack Elliot

December 24, 1913 - Seventy-four people in Calumet, Michigan, were killed in the "Calumet Massacre." About 500 children and their parents were at a Christmas party for the children of striking copper miners, when someone yelled "Fire!" There was no fire, but dozens were trampled in the ensuing panic. Goons and scabs barred the doors, trapping people inside, exacerbating the injuries. The person who yelled “fire” was never identified, but many strikers believed it was a company guard. (From Workday Minnesota and the Daily Bleed)

December 24, 1936 – On Christmas Eve 50 policemen beat up 150 strikers on the Houston docks. (From the Daily Bleed)

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