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History of Labor Unions

History of Labor Unions

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History of Labor Unions Trivia

Brain Snacks: Tasty Tidbits of Knowledge

Labor Day was first celebrated on 5 September 1882 in New York City and became a national holiday in 1894.46

Baseball players dissatisfied with pay and conditions in the National League set up their own league in 1889. Owners of the established teams labeled them "hot-headed anarchists." The new league couldn't compete and soon folded.47

In 1883 cowboys went on strike. One of the demands was better food—fewer beans, perhaps. Ranches proved hard to picket, owners brought in replacements, and the strike collapsed after a month.48

Members of the Actors Equity Association struck Broadway theaters in 1919. Packed houses of theater-goers were left with no plays to watch, but New Yorkers were soon fascinated to see the stars of the day—Eddie Cantor, Marie Dressler, Lionel Barrymore—walking picket lines.49

President Ronald Reagan was noted for his anti-labor stance in the 1980s. Yet he served as president of the Screen Actors Guild, a prominent labor union, during the 1940s and 1950s.50

In his youth, William O. Douglas traveled with the Wobblies and "came to know them as warm-hearted people," with higher ideals "than some of the men who ran our banks." Douglas went on to become a Supreme Court Justice.51

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