Learn What Happened Today in Labor History: February 14

February 14, 1817: Anti-slavery activist Frederick Douglass was born on this date. (Check out the graphic novel about Frederick Douglass by comic book artist extraordinaire, David Walker)

February 14, 1903: President Theodore Roosevelt signed a law creating the Department of Commerce and Labor.

February 14, 1903: The Western Federation of Miners (WFM) went on strike for the 8-hour working day. Big Bill Hayward was the secretary-treasurer at the time. He left WFM in 1905 to co-found the Industrial Workers of the World. (See The Eye That Never Sleeps for a reference to the Pinkerton’s attempt to frame him).

February 14, 1903: Composer Abel Meeropol was born on this date in the Bronx, NY. Meeropol wrote the anti-lynching song “Strange Fruit,” was active in the defense of the Rosenbergs, and ended adopting their son after their execution.

February 14, 1915: 8,000 to 10,000 unemployed workers rallied at Gateway Park, Minneapolis, in sleet and slush.

February 14, 1949: Canadian asbestos workers began a six-month strike.

February 14, 1997: Detroit newspaper strike ends after six months, but a court ruling, one year later, ordered the reinstatement of more than 1,000 of the scabs who had worked during the strike.

3 thoughts on “Learn What Happened Today in Labor History: February 14”

  1. Pingback: Learn What Happened Today in Labor History: March 29 - Marshall Law

  2. Pingback: Today In Labor History: April 7 - Marshall Law

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