Today in Labor History – October 7th


Radical labor organizer and song writer Joe Hill was born in Gavle, Sweden. Hill was an organizer for the Industrial Workers of the World (Wobblies). He was arrested and convicted on trumped up murder charges and executed in Utah. His famous last words to IWW co-founder Big Bill Haywood were “Don’t mourn. Organize.” Some of Hill’s most famous songs were The Preacher and the Slaver, Rebel Girl, There is Power in the Union, and Casey Jones-Union Scab. – 1879

The United Mine Workers withdrew from the CIO. – 1942

Hollywood’s “Battle of the Mirrors.” Picketing members of the Conference of Studio Unions disrupted an outdoor shoot by holding up large reflectors that filled camera lenses with blinding sunlight. Members of the competing IATSE union retaliated by using the reflectors to shoot sunlight back across the street. The battle went on all day, writes Tom Sito in “Drawing the Line” – 1946

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