Monday, February 4, 2013

Today in Labor History—February 4

February 4, 1869 - Labor leader and Industrial Workers of the World co-founder William D. "Big Bill" Haywood was born on this date. Haywood started mining at age nine. He became secretary-treasurer of the Western Federation of Miners in 1900 and co-founded the IWW in 1905. Charged in the bombing murder of former Idaho Governor Frank Steunenberg in 1907, he was acquitted with the counsel of Clarence Darrow. His radicalism led to his dismissal from the WFM in 1918. That same year he was convicted of violating alien and sedition acts, a victim of the Red Scare, and was sentenced to 20 years in prison. However, he jumped bail and fled to the Soviet Union, where he died in 1928. (From Workday Minnesota)

February 4, 1899 – A U.S. sentry shot Filipino soldiers, leading to a revolt against the U.S. occupation. Filipino historians like Agoncillo and Constantino estimated that over 300,000 Filipinos, mostly civilians, perished as a result of the U.S. genocide. The Manila correspondent for the Philadelphia Ledger wrote in 1901, “Our men have been relentless, have killed to exterminate men, women, children, prisoners and captives, active insurgents and suspected people from lads of ten up. . .”
(From the Daily Bleed)

February 4, 1900 – Jacques Prévert was born on this date (1900-1977). Prevert was a poet, surrealist and libertarian who glorified the spirit of rebellion & revolt. (From the Daily Bleed)

February 4, 1900 -- Labor strikes in mining areas led to riots in Belgium and Germany. (From the
Daily Bleed)

February 4, 1913 – Rosa Parks was born on this date in Tuskegee, Alabama. (From the Daily Bleed)

February 4, 1921 – A massacre at San Gregorio, Chile, left 565 nitrate miners dead. 1920 was a year of brutal repression of the workers movement — many locals were burnt down, many agitators murdered, workers sent to prison, etc. The Chilean IWW led a three month long strike protesting the export of grain during a food shortage. (From the Daily Bleed)

February 4, 1956 – White students rioted at the University of Alabama against court-ordered admission of first black student. (From the Daily Bleed)

February 4, 1979 – Six workers were killed in the massacre of Cromotex, Lima Peru. (From the Daily Bleed)

February 4, 1981 – 68 campesinos were killed in the massacre of Chimaltenango, Guatemala. (From the
Daily Bleed)

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