Friday, July 27, 2012

Today in Labor History—July 27

July 27, 1794 – Robespierre was arrested in the wake of the French Revolution.

July 27, 1869 – William Sylvis (1828-1869), head of the National Labor Union, the first such organization in US history, died on this date in 1869.

July 27, 1918 – United Mine Workers organizer Ginger Goodwin was shot by a hired private cop outside Cumberland, British Columbia sparking Canada's first General Strike.

The Ballad Of Ginger Goodwin

Image from Google images
A song by Richard von Fuchs©Richard von Fuchs 1978 play mp3

Ginger Goodwin is a name you don't often hear or see.
They don't say a word about him in our country's history.
He was a labour leader and he wouldn't go to war.
"While the army breaks our strikes at home, its strikers I'll fight for."

In Trail back in the summer of 1917.
Ginger fought against conscription even though he was class D.
But when he led a miners' strike to spread the eight hour day
Conscription checked him out again and found he was class A.

Ginger hid from cops and soldiers in the hills near Cumberland.
Miners brought him food and sheltered him, they knew he was their friend.
So the bosses hired special cops when their power was at stake.
Dan Campbell murdered Goodwin at the head of Comox Lake.

The whole damn town of Cumberland turned out for the funeral hike.
Vancouver's workers shut her down for a one day general strike.
Soldiers back from foreign wars then attacked the labour hall.
Both the bosses and the workers knew who caused the Czar's downfall.

You can still see Ginger's grave along the road to Cumberland.
He didn't win no medals and no one understands.
Don't tell me that a hero has to die in foreign lands.
We lost heroes here in labour's wars and they all had dirty hands.

July 27, 1919 – Race riots erupted in Chicago when a black youth on a raft crossed an unseen "color line" at the 29th Street Beach. He was drowned by rock-throwing whites. 38 people eventually died. This was just one of at least 26 race riots that broke out across the U.S. in the year after World War I.

July 27, 1932 – The U.S. army attacked an encampment of 20,000 World War I veterans who had come to Washington to ask Congress to speed up bonus payments.

July 27, 1989 – New York state police closed all roads to the U.S. side of the St. Regis Mohawk reservation, to prevent Mohawks from crossing the international border during a dispute of Mohawk land.

(Source: Daily Bleed)

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