Today in Labor History June 25, 2020

Aerlex Corp fireworks factory – Day after explosion

The Haymarket Martyrs Monument was dedicated at Forest Home Cemetery, Chicago to honor the 8 anarchists who were framed and executed for the bombing at Haymarket Square on May 4, 1886. More than 8,000 people attended. At the base of the monument are Haymarket martyr August Spies’ last words: “The day will come when our silence will be more powerful than the voices you are throttling today.” – 1893

The Wages and Hours (later Fair Labor Standards) Act was passed, which banned child labor, set the 40-hour work week and set a national minimum wage. – 1938

The Haymarket Martyrs Monument was dedicated, the Fair Labor Standards Act was passed, A. Philip Randolph calls off the March on DC, Congress passes the Smith-Connally War Lar Disputes Act, and more. Click To Tweet

A. Philip Randolph (president Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters) called off the Negro march on Washington that had been planned for July 1 when President Roosevelt agreed to issue Executive Order 8802 banning racial discrimination in defense industries and government employment (creating the Fair Employment Practices Committee). – 1941

Congress passed the Smith-Connally War Labor Disputes Act over President Franklin Roosevelt’s veto. It allowed the federal government to seize and operate industries threatened by strikes that would interfere with war production. It was hurriedly created after the third coal strike in seven weeks. – 1943

21 workers were killed when the Aerlex Corp fireworks factory near Hallett, Oklahoma exploded. – 1985

Decatur, Illinois police pepper-gassed workers at the A.E. Staley plant gate one year into the company’s two and one-half year lockout of Paperworkers Local 7837. – 1994

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