Today in Labor History – February 14th

Abolitionist Frederick Douglass was born into slavery in Talbot County on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. The exact date of his birth is unknown, but Douglass chose to celebrate February 14 as his birthdate. “Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.” – 1818

The Western Federation of Miners struck for 8-hour day. – 1903

President Theodore Roosevelt created the Department of Commerce and Labor. It was divided into two separate government departments ten years later. – 1903

Jimmy Hoffa was born in Brazil, Indiana, son of a coal miner. He disappeared July 30, 1975, and was declared dead seven years later. – 1913

8,000 to 10,000 unemployed workers rallied at Gateway Park, Minneapolis in sleet and slush. – 1915

Out since the previous July, striking workers at Detroit’s newspapers offered to return to work. The offer was accepted five days later but the newspapers vowed to retain some 1,200 scabs. A court ruling the following year ordered as many as 1,100 former strikers reinstated. – 1996

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