Monday, May 6, 2013

Today in Labor History—May 6

May 6, 1794 – Toussaint L'Ouverture launched the Haitian revolution for independence against
France. (From the Daily Bleed) For a fantastic history of the Haitian Revolution, read “The Black Jacobins,” by C.L.R.James.

May 6, 1877 – Chief Crazy Horse surrendered to US troops, who murdered him on September 5th. Dakota Sioux Chief Sitting Bull led 5,000 of his followers into Canada seeking protection from the Queen and petitioned for land for a reserve after defeating Gen. Custer and the U.S. 7th Cavalry at the Little Big Horn. The Canadian government refused. (From the Daily Bleed)

May 6, 1882 – Congress passed the first Chinese Exclusion Act, barring Chinese laborers from entering the U.S. for the next 10 years and denying naturalized citizenship to the Chinese already here. Chinese immigration was effectively shut off for the next 60 years, as the act was extended in both 1902 and again in 1904. (From the Daily Bleed)

May 6, 1935 – The country was deep into the Great Depression. President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 7034 and appropriated $4.8 billion for the Works Progress Administration, which put millions to work building bridges and painting murals, among other things. (From Workday Minnesota)

May 6, 1940 – John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath won the Pulitzer Prize for the most distinguished novel of 1939. He ultimately won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1962. (From the Daily Bleed)

May 6, 1960 – In Birmingham, Alabama, 1000 children and adults were arrested, bringing the total to 2500. Arrestees included Ella Baker, Dave Dellinger, James Forman, Dick Gregory and Joan Baez. Eisenhower ordered the Alabama National Guard to be placed under Federal control. (From the Daily Bleed)

May 6, 1968 – The Paris uprising was now in full swing. Parisian Universities were shut down and demonstrations were breaking out with violent confrontations with the police. On this day, the 'Nanterre 8' passed through a police cordon singing the 'Internationale,' on their way to appear before the University Discipline Committee. Students returning from the discipline hearing were savagely attacked by the police. Students started to rip up paving stones and flip over cars to form barricades. The police flipped out and brutally attacked. The Boulevard St. Germain becomes a bloody battleground, with over 900 wounded and 422 arrested. (From the Daily Bleed)

May 6, 1970-May 20, 1970— Student strikes involving at least one million students (and possibly as many as 4 million) disrupted 448 U.S. colleges during this period. There were as many as 1,200 demonstrations against sending troops to Cambodia. 75 campuses remained closed for the rest of the school year. (From the Daily Bleed)

FBI Car, Wounded Knee, 1973
May 6, 1973 – The FBI attacked Native Americans at Wounded Knee. The town of Wounded Knee had been surrounded and cordoned off by the FBI and marshals since February 27. Members of the American Indian Movement had gone to Wounded Knee for a meeting, but were immediately locked in by FBI. Members who tried to leave were arrested. They were opposing the autocratic and corrupt rule of Oglala Tribal Chairman Dick Wilson. Throughout the 3 months of occupation, gunfire was traded between the two sides. (From the Daily Bleed and Wikipedia)

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