Today in Labor History November 19th

6,000 members of the United Garment Workers of America struck at 27 wholesale houses in Chicago, which were then members of the National Wholesale Tailors’ Association. – 1904

6000 garment workers strike in Chicago, Joe Hill was executed in Utah, the first automatic toll collection machine in use in NJ and the National Writers Union was founded. Click To Tweet

Joe Hill, IWW organizer and songwriter was executed by a Utah firing squad after being convicted of murder on trumped-up charges. While in prison, Hill sent a telegram to IWW leader Big Bill Haywood: “Goodbye Bill. I die like a true blue rebel. Don’t waste any time in mourning. Organize!” In a later telegram, he added, “Could you arrange to have my body hauled to the state line to be buried? I don’t want to be found dead in Utah. His ashes were supposedly sprinkled in every state of the union, except Utah. However, it is said that the IWW still keeps a small vial of some of his remaining ashes.  – 1915

The nation’s first automatic toll collection machine was used at the Union Toll Plaza on New Jersey’s Garden State Parkway. – 1954

The National Writers Union was founded, representing freelance and contract writers and others in the trade. In 1992 it merged into and became a local of the United Auto Workers. – 1981

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