Labor Strikes

A never-before seen report shows just how fragile our great cities were—and are

There was a time when urban Americans weren’t afraid of terrorists, bombs, and poison gas. The worst thing that could happen in a city was a strike. Cities were unprepared for labor walkouts because nobody could tell who would strike or when and where. Mayors saw to it that they kept on good terms with unions. Read more >>

HISTORY’S MOST PHOTOGENIC LABOR dispute lasted thirty days, spread to eight cities, closed thirty-seven plays, and finally won performers some respect

When copper-country miners went on strike, the owners brought thugs from the slums of New York to northern Michigan. The struggle led to an event that killed a city.

On the surface, there was hardly a more unlikely spot for turn-of-the-century prosperity than the isolated community of Calumet. Read more >>

One of the country’ more bizzarre labor disputes pitted a crowed of outraged newsboys against two powerful opponents—Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolf Hearst

Joseph Pulitzer, nearly blind, suffering from bouts of depression, and so sensitive to sound he exploded when the silverware was rattled, managed his newspapers in absentia for the last twenty years of his life. Read more >>

The great sit-down strike that transformed American industry

At General Motors’ Flint, Michigan, Fisher Body Number One, the largest auto-body factory in the world, it was early evening of a chill winter day. Read more >>

BLOOD FLOWED IN THE PERENNIALLY TROUBLESOME COALFIELDS IN 1921, WHEN THOUSANDS OF MINERS DECIDED THEIR RIGHT TO ORGANIZE WAS WORTH FIGHTING FOR

On the morning of August 1, 1921, the Gazette of Charleston, West Virginia, carried under an eight-column banner on its front page the following dispatch from the city of Bluefield: Read more >>

The Idaho mine war broke into flame in 1892 and cast a glare with very long shadows

The road running up Burke Canyon from the little town of Wallace in northern Idaho is not too heavily travelled these days. Read more >>