Today in Labor History – December 21st

Emma Tenayuca

Emma Tenayuca

Powered by children 7 to 12 years old working dawn to dusk, Samuel Slater’s thread-spinning factory went into production in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, launching the Industrial Revolution in America. By 1830, 55 per cent of the mill workers in the state were youngsters, many working for less than $1 per week. – 1790

Labor organizer, community activist, and civil rights advocate Emma Tenayuca was born in San Antonio. Her advocacy for the working poor, especially Mexican American women, led her to become known as “La Pasionaria”.  She was an inspiration to future generations of labor and civil rights activists. “I never thought in terms of fear. I thought in terms of justice.” – 1916

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The Supreme Court ruled that picketing is unconstitutional. Chief Justice (and former president) William Howard Taft declared that picketing was, in part, “an unlawful annoyance and hurtful nuisance…” – 1921

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