Today in Labor History – September 20th

SALA184Upton Sinclair, socialist and author of The Jungle—published on this day in 1906—born in Baltimore, Md. – 1878

According to folklorist John Garst, steel-drivin’ man John Henry, born a slave, outperformed a steam hammer on this date at the Coosa Mountain Tunnel or the Oak Mountain Tunnel of the Columbus and Western Railway (now part of the Norfolk Southern) near Leeds, Ala. Other researchers place the contest near Talcott, W. Va. – 1887

Int’l Hod Carriers, Building & Common Laborers Union of America changes name to Laborers’ Int’l Union – 1965


The Jungle (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition)

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Steel Drivin’ Man: John Henry, the Untold Story of an American Legend

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