A. Philip Randolph, civil rights leader and founder of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, born in Crescent City, Fla. – 1889
Eight members of the Musicians union die in the sinking of the Titanic. According to survivors, they played their instruments until nearly the end. Five weeks later a concert organized by the union to benefit the musicians’ families, held in a theater donated for the evening by impresario Flo Ziegfeld, featured the talents of 500 musicians. The evening ended with a rendering of “Nearer, My God, to Thee,” the hymn being played as the ship went down. The union at the time was called the Musical Mutual Protective Union Local 310, the New York affiliate of the American Federation of Musicians – 1912
IWW union Agricultural Workers Organization formed in Kansas City, Mo. – 1915
Teacher unionists gather at the City Club on Plymouth Court in Chicago to form a new national union: the American Federation of Teachers – 1916
Start of ultimately successful six-day strike across New England by one of the earliest women-led American unions, the Telephone Operators Department of IBEW – 1919
Transport Workers Union founded – 1934
The first McDonald’s restaurant opens, in Des Plaines, Ill., setting the stage years later for sociologist Amitai Etzioni to coin the term “McJob.” As defined by the Oxford English Dictionary, a McJob is “an unstimulating, low-paid job with few prospects, especially one created by the expansion of the service sector” – 1955
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