Today in Labor History February 24

1800s

Today in Labor History February 24, 1831: The Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek was proclaimed. It was the first removal treaty of the Indian Removal Act. Under the treaty, the Choctaws in Mississippi gave up their land east of the Mississippi River (15 million acres) in exchange for cash and land in the West (present day Oklahoma). 5-6,000 Choctaws (25% of their population), chose to stay in Mississippi. However, settlers and white locals continually abused them, burning down their properties, attacking them, arresting them, and sometimes murdering them.

Today in Labor History February 24, 1895: Revolution broke out in Baire, near Santiago de Cuba. This was the beginning of the Cuban War of Independence (1895-1898). The liberation war ended with the Spanish-American War and the U.S. taking Cuba as a colony. Some of the more well-known commanders of the Cuban revolution were the poet Jose Marti and Antonio Maceo, the Titan of Bronze.

1910s

Today in Labor History February 24, 1912: The cops beat up women and children during the IWW-led Bread and Roses textile strike in Lawrence, Massachusetts. Three people died during the strike. Unknown numbers were injured. The police arrested nearly 300 workers during the two-and-a-half-month strike. The authorities framed and arrested IWW organizers Joseph Ettor and Arturo Giovannitti for murder. 

Today in Labor History February 24, 1917: The Petrograd bread riot that started yesterday (March 8 on Western calendars) turned into a revolution. Soldiers refused to fire on demonstrators and turned on their officers. Then they stormed the arsenal and liberated 20,000 automatic pistols, torched the police stations and emptied the prisons.

Today in Labor History February 24, 1919: U.S. Congress passed a new Child Labor law. However, in 1924, the courts declared it unconstitutional. A similar law passed in 1917. The Supreme Court ruled that one unconstitutional, too. It wasn’t until the 1938 Fair Labor Standards Act that modern child labor laws were enforced in the U.S. However, the law never banned child labor in agriculture. Consequently, 500,000 children pick roughly 25% of all the food harvested in the U.S. They often still work 10 or more hours a day. They are exposed to dangerous pesticides and die at a rate five times higher than kids in other industries. Barely half the kids working in agriculture ever finish high school.

1920s-1930s

Today in Labor History February 24, 1924: The Labor Party convention in the U.S. repudiated Communism.

Today in Labor History February 24, 1939: The Supreme Court of the U.S. ruled that sit-down strikes were illegal.

1940s-1960s

Today in Labor History February 24, 1942: Canada legalized the forced internment of its Japanese residents in the name of national security. They forcibly relocated and imprisoned 22,000 Japanese Canadians from British Columbia. Most were legal citizens of Canada. The process included the theft, seizure and sale of their property. They forced many to live in stables and barns, in unsanitary conditions. In 1988, Prime Minister Brian Mulroney issued an apology and announced a compensation package, one month after Regan did the same in the U.S.

February 24, 1965: District 1199 Health Care Workers became the first U.S. labor union to oppose the war in Vietnam. In 1948, HUAC investigated the local for supposed Communist ties. In 1959, they launched a 46-day strike against New York hospitals. Martin Luther King once described the local as his favorite union.

1 thought on “<strong>Today in Labor History February 24</strong>”

  1. Pingback: Today in Labor History March 12 - Michael Dunn

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