Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Today in Labor History—May 23

May 23, 1827 –The first American nursery school was established in New York City as a way to “relieve parents of the laboring classes” and offer their children “protection from idleness” and other evils that typically infected the rabble. (From the Daily Bleed)
Statue of Sam Sharpe, Montego Bay (Image by Pozole, wikipedia)
May 23, 1832 – Jamaican national hero Samuel Sharpe was executed. He was an instigator of the 1831 Slave Rebellion which was largely instrumental in bringing about an end to slavery. (From the Daily Bleed)

May 23, 1838 – The second "Trail of Tears" began, resulting in the deaths of over 4,000 relocated Cherokee. (From the Daily Bleed)

May 23, 1871 – The "Bloody Week" (Semaine Sanglante) entered its third day, as the citizens of the The Paris Commune were slaughtered by government troops. (From the Daily Bleed)

May 23, 1903 – Thousands of children went on strike in the textile mills of Philadelphia. (From the Daily Bleed)

May 23, 1933 - The "Battle of Toledo" erupted when sheriffs' arrested picket leaders at the Auto-Lite plant in Toledo, Ohio, and beat an old man. 10,000 strikers blockaded the plant for seven hours, preventing strikebreakers from leaving. Ultimately, the crowd was broken up with tear gas and water cannons. The National Guard was called in the following day. The strikers held their ground against the troops, who shot and killed two of their members and wounding 15 others, winning union recognition and a 5% raise after two weeks on the picket line. (From Workday Minnesota and the Daily Bleed)

May 23, 1963 – Congress passed the first law to ensure women equal pay for equal work. The legislation was originally submitted in 1947. (From the Daily Bleed)

May 23, 2006 – Angry garment workers in Bangladesh set fire to seven textile factories in and around the capital in the wake of the police killing of a worker during recent protests for better pay and working conditions. (From the Daily Bleed)
Utah Phillips at Haymarket Martyrs Memorial on 100th Anniversary, 1986
May 23, 2008 –Labor folk singer and IWW member U. Utah Phillips (1935-2008) died. (From the Daily Bleed)

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