Today in Labor History November 13

Today in Labor History November 13, 1839: The first American Anti-slavery party (Liberty Party) was founded. It believed the Constitution was an anti-slavery document and promoted working within the system to change it. James Birney was their presidential candidate in 1840. The American Anti-Slavery Society, led by William Lloyd Garrison, believed that the Constitution was a pro-slavery document. They opposed working within the system and voting.


P. 37 in ‘xêP. 37 in ‘The History of the TUC 1968-1868’. “Another sector of the “Bloody Sunday” battlefield: St. Martin’s Lane, where the police attempted to head off a contingent of unemployed men from the Clerkenwell Green

Today in Labor History November 13, 1887: Police charged a crowd of unemployed protesters in Trafalgar Square, London, killing three and arresting over 300 in what was to become known as “Bloody Sunday.” At least 400 people were seriously injured, including one who was bayoneted. It also became a turning point in the British struggle for free speech. William Morris, Edward Carpenter and George Bernard Shaw all spoke out against this repression. Eleanor Marx, Karl’s youngest daughter, also participated.


Today in Labor History November 13, 1887: Over 20,000 workers participated in the funeral march for the Haymarket anarchists framed for throwing the Haymarket bomb.

Today in Labor History November 13, 1909: The Cherry Coal Mine Disaster in Illinois resulted in the deaths of 259 men and boys. Nearly 200 men and boys made it to safety. Another 21 survived 8 days underground, drinking water from the seams to. They eventually made it back alive, although one of them later died from complications. John Bundy made 6 successful trips back down into the mine to rescue comrades. On the 7th trip down, he, too, died.

November 13, 1914: The militia crushed a Western Federation of Miners labor strike in Butte, Montana.


November 13, 1945: GM workers went on strike, closing 96 plants.

Today in Labor History November 13, 1947: The USSR completed development of the AK-47, or Automatic Kalashnikov, 1947. Today, 70 years later, it remains one the most popular rifles in the world due to its low cost and reliability, even under harsh conditions. This has also made them the weapon of choice for rebel and guerilla armies.

November 13, 1969: Antiwar protesters staged the March Against Death in Washington, D.C., to protest U.S. involvement in Vietnam.


November 13, 1970: The worst cyclone on record and the deadliest natural disaster of the century hit Bangladesh (then known as East Pakistan). Between 250,000 and 500,00 people died in the floods. The flood also destroyed over one million acres of rice paddies and one million head of livestock. 

Today in Labor History November 13, 1974: Oil, Chemical and Atomic Workers union activist Karen Silkwood was assassinated during her investigation of a Kerr-McGee nuclear plant in Oklahoma. Someone ran her car off the road while she attempted to deliver documents to a New York Times reporter.

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