Today in Labor History – January 13th


The original Tompkins Square Riot occurred on this date. Unemployed workers were demonstrating in New York’s Tompkins Square Park, when mounted police charged into the crowd, beating men, women and children indiscriminately with clubs, leaving hundreds of casualties in their wake. Police Commissioner Abram Duryee said, “It was the most glorious sight I ever saw.” The demonstration occurred during the depression of 1873-1877, the worst depression in the history of the U.S. until the Great Depression of the 1930s. Over 3 million were unemployed. In the winter of 1873, alone, 900 people starved to death, and 3,000 deserted infants on doorsteps. – 1874

IWW [Industrial Workers of the World] organizer Joe Hill was falsely arrested for murder, Utah – 1914

Chicano citrus workers strike in Covina, CA – 1919

(Exact date uncertain) As the nation debates a constitutional amendment to rein in the widespread practice of brutally overworking children in factories and fields, U.S. District Judge G.W. McClintic expresses concern, instead, about child idleness – 1924


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