Thursday, February 23, 2012

Today in Labor History—February 23

Traven's Supposed Birth Place, Rathaus Schwiebus about 1900
February 23, 1882 – B. Traven (1882?-1969) was born on this date in Poznañ, Poland. Traven (also known as Ret Marut, Hal Croves, Bruno Traven, Traven Torsvan, Otto Feige) wrote the Death Ship, Treasure of the Sierra Madre and numerous novels depicting working conditions among Mexican peasants and indigenous people in his Jungle series. He was also active in the Bavarian Soviet of 1918-1919. (From the Daily Bleed)

February 23, 1887 - The Journeyman Bakers National Union was chartered by the American Federation of Labor on this date. Its founder, George Block, was also nominated to head the newly-formed AFL. When he declined, Samuel Gompers was unanimously chosen. Today, the bakers union has become the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union. (From Workday Minnesota)
 February 23, 1903 – Jean-Baptiste Clément (b.1836) died on this date. Clement was a Paris Communard, poet, singer and author of the famous song "The Time of Cherries." He was one of the last on the barricades during the commune, ultimately being forced into hiding and taking refuge in England. He was condemned to death in absentia, later returning to France after the Amnesty of 1879. Paris now has schools and a street named for him. (From the Daily Bleed)

February 23, 1917 – A strike began among women textile workers in Petrograd. Demonstrations turned into bread riots and spread throughout the city. The troops who crushed similar demonstrations in 1905 refused to put down the uprising, with many joining in by the end of the month. (From the Daily Bleed)

February 23, 1995 – Two hundred high school students rioted outside Patterson City Hall, New Jersey, in response to the shooting of a classmate by police. (From the Daily Bleed)

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