Today in Labor History – March 21st

labor history march 21

March from Selma to Montgomery

Women’s rights advocate and labor activist Alice Henry was born in Melbourne, Australia. Henry came to the U.S. in 1905 and worked for twenty years for the National Women’s Trade Union League of America in Chicago, lecturing, organizing, directing the education department, writing two books on women in the labor movement, and editing the League’s official journal. – 1857

3,200 people began the march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama to protest racial violence. Earlier efforts to hold the march had failed when police attacked demonstrators and a white minister was fatally beaten by a group of Selma whites. The five-day walk ended March 26, when 20,000 people joined the marchers in front of the Alabama state Capitol in Montgomery. Soon after, Congress passed the Voting Rights Act of 1965. – 1965

Today marked day four of the national wildcat postal strike. In New York, an effigy of Gus Johnson, president of the letter carriers’ union local, was hung at a meeting and the national union leaders were called “rats” and “creeps.” Despite the anti-strike clause in the postal workers contract and federal injunctions against striking, postal workers walked out in over 200 cities. – 1970

Protest at Selma: Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Voting Rights Act of 1965

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