Today in Labor History – October 26th

labor history october 26th

The Erie Canal

Women’s rights leader Elizabeth Cady Stanton died on this date in New York City. She was a suffragist, social activist, abolitionist, and leading figure on the early women’s right movement. Her Declaration of Sentiments, presented at the Seneca Falls Convention held in 1848 in Seneca Falls, New York is often credited with initiating the first organized women’s rights and women’s suffrage movement in the United States. Stanton was president of the National Woman Suffrage Association from 1892 until 1900. – 1902

Begun in 1817, the Erie Canal that linked Lake Erie on the west to the Hudson River on the east, was completed.  The canal was dug from Albany to Buffalo, 4 feet deep and 40 feet wide.  Local laborers and Irish immigrants were primarily employed to build the canal and were paid 80 cents per day for 10-12 hours of work. Estimates are that over 1,000 workers died during the construction. Father John Raho wrote to his bishop that “so many die that there is hardly any time to give Extreme Unction to everybody. We run night and day to assist the sick”. – 1825

President Truman raised the federal minimum wage from 40 cents to 75 cents. – 1949

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