Today in Labor History – May 11th

15th Infantry poses by Locomotive during Pullman Strike
15th Infantry poses by Locomotive during Pulman Strike

The Pullman Railroad Strike began in Chicago, Illinois. This was the largest industrial strike to date in the United States. Eugene Debs rose to prominence as a labor leader during this strike, which was eventually broken by federal troops. The strike and boycott crippled railway traffic nationwide and at its peak involved 250,000+ workers in 27 states. At least 24 strikers were killed. – 1894

Marxist theorist, socialist labor party and union organizer Daniel De Leon died on this date in New York City. De Leon was also a founding member of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) in 1904. – 1914

Seventeen crewmen on the iron ore freighter Henry Steinbrenner died when the ship, carrying nearly 7,000 tons of ore, sank during a violent storm on Lake Erie. Another 16 crewmen survived. – 1953

Poor People’s Campaign caravans arrived in Washington, D.C. with Ralph Abernathy and the Southern Christian Leadership Corps. They were granted a permit for an encampment on the Mall. – 1968

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