Today in Labor History October 22nd

John Reed

Writer, adventurer and activist John Reed was born on this date in Portland, Oregon, the child of wealth. After graduating from Harvard, he rejected that upbringing and began writing for the Socialist newspaper, The Masses. Assignments to report on the Mexican revolutionary movement led by Pancho Villa and World War I followed. He was arrested several times for organizing and defending strikes. His best-known book, Ten Days that Shook the World, chronicled the Russian Revolution. Reed, who became a close friend of Soviet leader Vladimir Lenin, fled to the Soviet Union in 1919 after being indicted for treason in the United States. He died there a year later and is buried at the Kremlin. Part of Reed’s life was chronicled in the Academy Award winning film Reds. – 1887

John Reed, author of Ten Days that Shook the World, was born and Bank Robber Pretty Boy Floyd was killed by FBI agents. Click To Tweet

Bank robber Charles Arthur “Pretty Boy” Floyd was killed by FBI agents near East Liverpool, Ohio. He was a hero to the people of Oklahoma who saw him as a “Sagebrush Robin Hood”, stealing from banks and sharing some of the proceeds with the poor. Floyd has continued to be a familiar figure in American popular culture, sometimes seen as notorious, but as other times viewed as a tragic figure, partly a victim of the hard times of the Great Depression. – 1934

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