Today in Labor History – May 2nd

Poor Peoples March on DC

Poor Peoples March on DC

This day marked the birth of Richard Trevellick, a ship carpenter, founder of the American National Labor Union and later head of the National Labor Congress, America’s first national labor organization. – 1830

Chicago’s first Trades Assembly, formed three years earlier, sponsored a general strike by thousands of workers to enforce the state’s new eight hour day law. The one-week strike was unsuccessful. – 1867

President Herbert Hoover declared that the stock market crash six months earlier was just a “temporary setback” and the economy would soon bounce back. In fact, the Great Depression would continue and worsen for several more years. – 1930

Adolf Hitler abolished all labor unions in Germany, leading to the mass arrest and murder of thousands of communists, anarchists and labor activists. – 1933

Though Martin Luther King, Jr. had recently been assassinated, his Poor People’s March on Washington, D.C. proceeded as planned, led by his successor Ralph Abernathy. 3,000 people erected Resurrection City on the Mall until the 17th of May. – 1968

A fire at the Sunshine silver mine in Kellogg, Idaho caused the death of 91 workers by carbon monoxide poisoning, likely caused by toxic fumes emitted by burning polyurethane foam used as a fire retardant. – 1972

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