Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Today in Labor History—June 25

June 25, 1825 – U.S. troops captured Bob Forbes, leader of the Maroons (blacks resisting slavery) in Virginia. (From the Daily Bleed)
A dramatization (1905) of Sitting Bull stabbing Custer (library of Congress)
 June 25, 1876 – Lakota, Cheyenne and Arapahoe tribes defeated Custer and the U.S. Army at Little Big Horn, Montana. (From the Daily Bleed)
June 25, 1878 – Despite mass protests, Ezra Heywood was sentenced to two years hard labor for advocating free love and sexual emancipation as part of women's rights. Heywood was an anarchist, feminist and abolitionist who was hounded and harassed by the moralist vigilante Anthony Comstock. His wife, Angela Tilton, was considered by many to be even more radical than he was. (From the Daily Bleed)
Haymarket Memorial
June 25, 1893 - The Haymarket Martyrs Monument was dedicated at Forest Home Cemetery, Chicago, to honor the 8 anarchists who were framed and executed for the bombing at Haymarket Square on May 4, 1886. More than 8,000 people attended. At the base of the monument are Haymarket martyr August Spies’ last words: “The day will come when our silence will be more powerful than the voices you are throttling today.” (From Workday Minnesota and the Daily Bleed)
Striking Pullman workers confront National Guard troops in Chicago, 1894
June 25, 1894Eugene Debs and his American Railway Union called for a boycott of all Pullman railway cars during the now-famous Pullman Strike. Within days, 50,000 rail workers were participating, halting all railroad traffic out of Chicago. (From the Daily Bleed)
Robots in rebellion in 1922 performance of R.U.R.
June 25, 1921 -- Czech author Karel Capek's introduces the term robot in his play R.U.R. (Rossum's Universal Robots) in which robots, fed up with lousy work and pay, organize and rebel. The term comes from the Czech word “robota,” which referred to days in which peasants were forced to leave their own fields to work for free on the lands of the nobility. Even after feudalism had ended, the term was used to describe labor that was coerced, boring or uninteresting. (From the Daily Bleed)

June 25, 1938 - The Wages and Hours (later Fair Labor Standards) act was passed, which banned child labor, set the 40-hour work week and set a national minimum wage. (From Workday Minnesota and Shmoop Labor History)

June 25, 1941 - A. Philip Randolph (president Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters) called off the Negro march on Washington that had been planned for July 1 when President Roosevelt agreed to issue Executive Order 8802 banning racial discrimination in defense industries and government employment (creating the Fair Employment Practices Committee). (From Workday Minnesota and the Daily Bleed)

June 25, 1943—Congress passed the Smith-Connally Act allowing the government to take over critical industries affected by strikes, overriding President Roosevelt's veto. It also prevented unions from contributing to political campaigns. (From Shmoop Labor History)

June 25, 1968 – The 50,000 strong Poor People's Campaign March from Georgia to Washington D.C., concluded.

June 25, 1975 – Mozambique achieved independence from Portugal.

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