Today in Labor History – September 25th

Lewis Hines

Lewis Hines

American photographer Lewis Hine was born in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. Click To Tweet Hine used his camera as a tool for social reform. His photographs were instrumental in changing the child labor laws in the United States. – 1874

A group of African-American sharecroppers in Lee County, Arkansas perhaps loosely affiliated with the Colored Farmers’ National Alliance and Union (commonly call the Colored Farmers’ Alliance), struck to increase the wages they received from local planters for picking cotton. By the time a white mob put down the strike, 15 African-Americans and one white plantation manager were killed. – 1891

Playwright John Howard Lawson was born on this date in New York City. Lawson wrote several plays about the working class, including The International (1928), which depicts a world revolution by the proletariat, and Marching Song (1937), about a sit-down strike. He was for several years head of the Hollywood division of the Communist Party USA. He was also the organization’s cultural manager and answered directly to V.J. Jerome, the Party’s New York-based cultural chief. He was the first president of the Writers Guild of America, West after the Screen Writers Guild divided into two regional organizations. In the late 1940s, Lawson was blacklisted as a member of the “Hollywood Ten” for his refusal to tell the House Committee on Un-American Activities about his political allegiances. – 1894

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