Author: Local324

EXTRA! EXTRA! Read All About the Real Newsies

In 1992, the Disney Company produced the musical drama Newsies. This movie tells the tale of several thousand homeless and orphaned children selling newspapers on the streets of New York City in the 1900’s. Led by 17-year-old Jack “Cowboy” Kelly, the children go on strike after the newspaper companies hike up their purchase price. Some may be surprised that the movie’s singing and dancing is loosely based upon actual events. In 1899, thousands of ‘Newsboys’ went on strike against two of the most powerful newspaper owners in U.S. history. The strike spread from NYC through much of New England,...

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The Pullman Strike and Battle for Los Angeles

On the night of June 27th, 1894, the American Railway Union sent out a telegram calling for a boycott of all Pullman sleeping cars. Early the next morning, a switchman at the La Grande Station in Los Angeles refused to attach two Pullman sleeping cars to a train departing for San Francisco. Similar incidents transpired throughout the country as other workers stood in solidarity with striking Pullman employees. Soon the U.S. found itself embroiled in a nationwide labor strife, impacting both its railway system and postal services. The Pullman Strike, as it came to be called, laid the foundation...

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Lucy Parsons: The Timeless Rebel

It is said that behind every great man stands a woman. However, often times a woman refuses to be forced into this supportive role. Such is the case with Lucy Parsons, a woman whose influence spanned well into two centuries and who refused to allow herself to be subjugated to second-class citizenship, regardless of race and gender. Lucy Parsons Little is known about Lucy Parsons’ early life. She was born in Texas in 1853, possibly as a slave. After the Civil War, she married Albert Parsons, a former confederate soldier. In 1873, fleeing from the intolerant reactions to their...

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The Rock Spring Massacre

On Sept. 9, 1885, federal troops escorted immigrant Chinese miners to their hometown of Rock Spring, Wyoming. They returned home after fleeing what was later described as the worst anti-Chinese violence in 19th century America. Upon arrival, they found their homes burned to the ground and the remains of their relatives still lying in the streets. Some were mutilated and partially eaten by animals. Twenty-eight were confirmed dead, and at least 15 were injured. This act of racial violence was not done by the Ku Klux Klan or some other racist organization, but by the ranks of Organized labor....

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Flogging Molly – A Brief History of the Molly Maguires

On June 21, 1877, four Irish-born miners sat in a Pennsylvania cell waiting for their death sentence to be answered by a hangman’s noose. The four men were accused of murder and of having been members of the notorious Molly Maguires. Their conviction and execution rested on the testimony of a single Pinkerton detective. This man would later be discredited as a charlatan decades later. But as the legend goes, when the guards entered the cell of one of the convicted men, Alexander Campbell, he bent over and dabbed the palm of his hand with a substance from the...

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