Today in Labor History – September 6th

labor history september 6
Margaret Sanger

One of the worst disasters in the history of U.S. anthracite mining occurred at the Avondale Mine, near Scranton, Pennsylvania. A massive fire had started on the wooden lining and the 237-foot shaft that ignited the coal breaker built directly overhead. The shaft was the only entrance and exit to the mine. The fire trapped and suffocated 108 of the workers and two of the rescuers. It was the greatest mine disaster to that point in American history.  – 1869

Tony Boyle, former president of the United Mine Workers, was charged with murder in the 1969 deaths of former United Mine Workers rival Joseph A. Yablonski and his wife and daughter – 1973

Duluth streetcar drivers went on strike. – 1912

Margaret Sanger died on this date in 1966. Sanger was a sex reformer, birth-control advocate, anti-authoritarian, socialist, and eugenicist. She was active in the Socialist party, but was friends with communists like John Reed, and anarchists like Emma Goldman and Alexander Berkman. She is said to have coined the phrase “birth control” in her magazine “Woman Rebel,” in 1914. The magazine bore the slogan “No Gods; No Masters!” on its masthead. Sanger participated in the Patterson Textile Strike of 1913 and was a contributor to Hippolyte Havel’s “Revolt”, Emma Goldman’s “Mother Earth,” Alexander Berkman’s “The Blast”, and “The Modern School” magazine. – 1966

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