Today in Labor History – March 10th

Eugene V Debs

Eugene V Debs

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Debs v. United States, affirming the labor leader’s conviction under the Espionage Act of 1917 for an anti-war speech he gave in Canton, Ohio in 1918. Debs was sentenced to ten years in prison and disenfranchised for life. While in prison, he ran for president in the 1920 election and received 919,799 votes (3.4 percent of the popular vote). – 1919

New York City bus drivers, members of the Transport Workers Union, went on strike. After 12 days of no buses  and a large show of force by Irish-American strikers at the St. Patrick’s Day parade, Mayor Fiorello La Guardia ordered arbitration. – 1941

Workers won union recognition at the Brooklyn Union Gas Company. – 1942

United Farm Workers leader César Chávez broke a 24-day fast, by doctor’s order, at a mass in Delano, California’s public park. Several thousand supporters were at his side, including Senator Robert Kennedy. Chavez called it “a fast for non-violence and a call to sacrifice”. – 1968

A major demonstration in Chicago with an estimated 100,000 people started eight weeks of immigration reform protests in major US cities. – 2008

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