Today in Labor History – February 8th

Mary Kenney O’Sullivan

Mary Kenney O’Sullivan

Mary Kenney O’Sullivan was born in Hannibal, Missouri.  At age 28 she was appointed the first female general organizer for the American Federation of Labor by AFL President Samuel Gompers. – 1864

The IWW was engaged in a free speech fight in San Diego, California. Vigilantes routinely kidnapped and beat Industrial Workers of the World organizers. Some were tarred and feathered, forced to kiss the American flag, forced to run gauntlets and run out of town by the “good citizens”. – 1912

A General Strike occurred in Butte, Montana, caused by dollar per day wage cut. A Workers & Soldiers Council was organized to conduct the strike. – 1919

The Orangeburg Massacre occurred in South Carolina, when highway patrolmen fired on black SC State students, killing four and wounding 33 black students. These were the first student demonstrators killed by police in the 1960s. – 1968

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