Friday, June 21, 2013

Today in Labor History—June 21

June 21, 1852—Friedrich Froebel died. Froebel was a German pedagogue who coined the term “kindergarten” and produced the first educational toys, known as Froebel Gifts. Froebel was one of the first to recognize of the importance of activity and play in early childhood (Freiarbeit, or free work), as well as the notion that one learns by doing. Thus, kindergarten was not simply a poetic “garden” of children, but a literal garden for them to observe and interact with the natural world. Froebel’s kindergartens were suppressed by the Prussian government for its supposed denigration of religion and politics. He rejected the notion of original sin and promoted and practiced the coeducation of boys and girls. He also felt children should be able to grow and develop without the influence of arbitrary political and social priorities—ideas that would endear him to anarchists like Francisco Ferrer and others in the Modern School movement.

James McParland, Pinkerton private cop who claimed to have infiltrated the Molly Maguires
June 21, 1877 - Ten miners, allegedly members of the Molly Maguires, were hanged in Pennsylvania. Many historians argue that the Molly Maguires, a secret miners’ organization allegedly responsible for violence and social conflict in the coal regions, never really existed. The investigation into the miners’ involvement with the Molly Maguires was conducted by private detective agency. A private police force arrested them and coal company attornies prosecuted them. (From Workday Minnesota and the Daily Bleed)

June 21, 1937 -- The Ohio Steel Strike of 1937 continued. (From the Daily Bleed)
June 21, 1943 – The Detroit race riots continued. (From the Daily Bleed)

June 21, 1964 - Civil rights workers Andrew Goodman, James Chaney and Michael Schwerner were disappeared near Philadelphia, Mississippi by the Ku Klux Klan, who beat them to death with clubs and chaings. Their mangled bodies were later found by federal agents. (From Workday Minnesota)
June 21, 1994 – The UAW began a strike at Caterpillar plants in Peoria, Decatur, & Pontiac.
(From the Daily Bleed)

June 21, 1997 – 100,000 marched in solidarity with striking newspaper labor workers in Detroit. (From the Daily Bleed)

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