Today in Labor History April 25, 1792: Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle wrote the “Marseillaise” on this day. It became the rallying call to the French Revolution. Because of its revolutionary associations, Napoleon and Louis the XVIII banned it.
April 25, 1886: The New York Times called the eight-hour workday movement “un-American.” and blamed the “labor disturbances” on “foreigners.” Other media predicted that the eight-hour day would cause loafing, gambling, rioting and drunkenness.”
Today in Labor History April 25, 1898: The U.S. declared war on Spain. The war led to U.S. dominance in the Caribbean and the acquisition of Cuba, Puerto Rico, Guam and the Philippines. As a result of the Pacific victories, the U.S. gained a strategic foothold against China and Japan.
1900s-1920s: The IWW Years
April 25, 1908: IWW Silk workers were still on strike in Hoboken, NJ. The strike began on March 20th in order to win a wage increase.
Today in Labor History April 25, 1917: Mill workers in Eureka, Montana, went on strike in order to win a wage of $5 per eight-hour day. The owner of the mill spent $300 bringing in replacement workers. However, they were all undercover Wobblies who refused to work.
April 25, 1917: IWW river drivers in St. Maries, Idaho, won their strike. The strikers declared victory with a raise of $5 per 8-hour day, up from $3.5 per 12-hour day. The strike was thought to be the shortest in the history of the lumber Industry.
Today in Labor History April 25, 1923: IWW Marine Transport Workers began a West Coast strike.
April 25, 1945 – The founding conference of United Nations began in San Francisco, California.
Today in Labor History April 25, 1969: Authorities arrested Reverend Ralph David Abernathy and 100 others while picketing a Charleston, S.C., hospital. They were demanding union recognition. The struggle began in 1967, when supervisors racially abused five African American employees and then fired them.
April 25, 1974: The Armed Forces Movement (MFA) began its Revolt against the Portuguese dictatorship. Known as the Revolução dos Cravos (“Carnation Revolution”), the uprising ended the 48-year military dictatorship. Though it started as a military coup, a popular resistance campaign soon joined in.
Today in Labor History April 25, 1978: The Supreme Court ruled that employers can’t require female employees to make larger contributions to pension plans for the same monthly benefits as men.
April 25, 1993: Over one million people marched in Washington, D.C., for gay, lesbian, bisexual, & transgender rights.