Today in Labor History: July 17
Two ammunition ships explode at Port Chicago, Calif., killing 322, including 202 African-Americans assigned by the Navy to handle explosives. It was the worst home-front disaster of World War II. The resulting refusal of 258 African-Americans to return to the dangerous work underpinned the trial and conviction of 50 of the men in what is called the Port Chicago Mutiny – 1944
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Labor Humor: Slaphappy
One of the Koch brothers is duck hunting in Michigan. He shoots a bird, which falls on the property of a union organizer. As Koch approaches to claim the bird, the organizer happens to walk by and recognize him. “You anti-union, right-wing jerk, get off my property,” says the organizer.
“I just want the duck,” replies Koch.
The organizer thinks for a minute and says, “Here in Michigan we settle things with the Three Slap Rule. I get to slap you three times, and then you can slap me three times, and so on, until one of us gives in. If you win, you get the duck. If I win, I get the duck and you get the hell off my land.”
Koch’s giant ego won’t permit him to refuse, so he says OK.
The organizer walks up to Koch and slaps him hard, knocking off his glasses and leaving a huge welt on the billionaire’s face. Then he slaps him on the other side of his face, with such force that Koch careens into a tree. The third slap sends him flying face-first into a handy nearby pool of mud.
With great effort, Koch gets to his feet, steaming mad and ready to kill. “Okay, you SOB,” he snarls. “Now it’s my turn!”
The organizer grins and says, “Naw, I give up. You can have the duck.”
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