Today in Labor History: Weekend Edition
September 25—American photographer Lewis Hine born in Oshkosh, Wisc. – 1874
(Kids at Work: Lewis Hine and the Crusade Against Child Labor: Your heart will be broken by this exceptional book’s photographs of children at backbreaking, often life-threatening work, and the accompanying commentary by author Russell Freedman. Photographer Lewis Hine–who himself died in poverty in 1940–did as much, and perhaps more, than any social critic in the early part of the 20th century to expose the abuse of children, as young as three and four, by American capitalism.)
September 26—The Old 97, a Southern Railway train officially known as the Fast Mail, derails near Danville, Va., killing engineer Joseph “Steve” Broady and ten other railroad and postal workers. Many believe Broady had been ordered to speed to make up for lost time. The Wreck of the Old 97 inspired balladeers; a 1924 recording is sometimes cited as the first million-selling country music record – 1903
September 27—Int’l Ladies’ Garment Workers Union begins strike against Triangle Shirtwaist Co. This would become the “Uprising of the 20,000,” resulting in 339 of 352 struck firms—but not Triangle—signing agreements with the union. The Triangle fire that killed 246 would occur less than two years later – 1909
Labor Video: The Union-busters Local
From the Michael Moore television series, The Awful Truth, these union-busters decide they need a union! Click here to watch the video.