Today in Labor History – August 26th

Fannie Sellins, an organizer with the United Mine Workers, witnessed a guard beating Joseph Starzeleski, a picketing miner, to death. When she intervened, deputies shot and killed her with four bullets, and one deputy used a cudgel to fracture her skull. – 1919

After three-quarters of the states ratified the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, women won their long struggle for the vote. – 1920

Fannie Sellins murdered by deputies, the 19 Amendment was ratified, UAW was founded, the Edsel hit the road, the Women’s Strike for Equality was staged, and more.

With America in the depths of the Great Depression, the Comptroller of the Currency announced a temporary halt on foreclosures of first mortgages. – 1932

The United Auto Workers was founded, with Francis Dillon appointed as the first president. – 1935

In what some may consider one of the many management decisions that helped cripple the American auto industry over the following decades, Ford Motor Company produced its first Edsel. Ford dropped the project two years later after losing approximately $350 million. – 1957

The Women’s Strike for Equality was staged in cities across the U.S., marking the 50th anniversary of the passage of the 19th amendment under which women won the right to vote.  A key focus of the strike, more accurately a series of marches and demonstrations, was equality in the workplace.  An estimated  20,000 women participated, some carrying signs with the iconic slogan, “Don’t Iron While the Strike is Hot.”  Another sign: “Hardhats for Soft Broads”. At the time, the gathering was the largest on behalf of women in the United States.  – 1970

More than 1,300 bus drivers in Oahu, Hawaii, began what was to become a 5-week strike. This crippled the public transportation service that accommodated 240,000 rides per day. – 2003

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