Today in Labor History – August 15th

The Panama Canal opened after 33 years of construction and an estimated 22,000 worker deaths, mostly caused by malaria and yellow fever. The 51-mile canal connects the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. France began work on the canal in 1881 but stopped due to engineering problems and a high worker mortality rate. The United States took […]

Today in Labor History – August 14th

Squatters’ riots occurred in California on this day. 500 militiamen were sent to Sacramento to quell the uprising and martial law was declared. Two squatters and three militiamen were killed, as were two bystanders. – 1850 The most successful anti-poverty program in U.S. history was created when President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Social Security […]

Today in Labor History – August 13th

Striking miners at Tracy City, Tennessee, captured their mines and freed 300 state convict strikebreakers. The convicts had been “leased” to mine owners by officials in an effort to make prisons self-supporting and make a few bucks for the state. The practice started in 1866 and lasted for 30 years. By 1889, the Tennessee Corrections […]