Today in Labor History – July 4th

Albert Parsons

Albert Parsons

Albert Parsons, who was later wrongly executed as one of the Haymarket martyrs, joined the Knights of Labor today. He later became the president of the Trades Assembly of Chicago, ran for County Clerk, and became the first Workingman nominated by Workingmen to run for President of the United States. – 1876

The first issue of the Yiddish “Freie Arbeiter Stimme” (Free Voice of Labor) was published in New York. The paper ran for 87 years until if finally was forced to stop publication in 1977 due to the declining and aging population of Yiddish speakers and anarchists in the United States. – 1890

The American Federation of Labor dedicated its new Washington, D.C. headquarters building at 9th St. and Massachusetts Ave. NW. The building, still standing, later became headquarters for the Plumbers and Pipefitters Union. – 1916

Five newspaper boys from the Baltimore Evening Sun died when the steamer they were on, the Three Rivers, caught fire near Baltimore, MD. For years there were remembered every year at their West Baltimore cemetery. – 1924

With the Great Depression underway, some 1,320 delegates attended the founding convention of the Unemployed Councils of the U.S.A., organized by the U.S. Communist Party. They demanded passage of unemployment insurance and maternity benefit laws and opposed discrimination based on race and sex. – 1930

In a show of support for independence and freedom, the American Federation of Musician’s Board of Delegates adopted a resolution to fight the “communist menace” within the US Labor movement. – 1938

Two primary conventions of the United Nations’ International Labor Organization came into force: Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organize. – 1950

Building trades workers lay the cornerstone of the Freedom Tower on the site of the World Trade Center (WTC) in New York City. The WTC had been leveled by a terrorist attack three years earlier. Nearly 3,000 died at the WTC and in other attacks that same day. – 2004

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