Sunday Funday – They Did Build America

Got to admit it – no matter who wants the credit for building America there is one group that can really lay claim – that is the laborer. Their hammers, their wrenches, their power tools are the ones that have turned asphalt into highways and stone into buildings. Last year I had a short quiz on labor. It is way beyond time for another. Here is hoping this old head doesn’t repeat some questions, because I am sure you have last year’s memorized.

1) July 3, 1835 – labor history is made when
a) miners in West Virginia stage the first mine action.
b) women strike for 12 hour days in the garment district
c) children in the silk mills of New Jersey strike for 6 – 11 hour days.
d) A Virginia court outlaws labor associations.

2) March 1842 – a landmark legal decision rules that:
a) labor unions are first recognized as legal
b) labor unions are ruled illegal conspiracies.
c) children were outlawed from forming unions
d) women were outlawed from forming unions

3) The first national labor federation in the United States was formed in 1866. It was
a) The Knights of Labor
b) The American Federation of Labor
c) The Brotherhood of the Footboard (railroad)
d) The National Labor Union

4) The Knights of Labor were organized by
a) Samuel Gompers
b) Uriah Stephans
c) Lemuel Shaw
d) John Brown

5) Irish coal miners in Pennsylvania in the 1870s were often thought to be members of a secret society called:
a) the Mother Joneses
b) The Ancient Order of Hibernia
c) the Workingman’s Benevolent Association
d) the Molly Maguires

6) May Day celebrations date back to:
a) The Bay View Tragedy in Milwaukee in 1886
b) The demand for an 8 hour work day by the Knights of Labor in 1886
c) The Haymarket Riots of May 1886 in Chicago
d) the Great Southwestern Railroad strikes of 1886 against the Union Pacific and Missouri Pacific railroads.

7) A series of mine strikes and owner strike breaking actions took place in what state in the 1890s and early 1900s?
a) West Virginia
b) Nevada
c) Kentucky
d) Colorado

8) A 1914 report of the Commission of Industrial Relations about how many US workers were killed and injured in industrial accidents?
a) 35,000 killed, 700,000 injured
b) 12,000 killed, 400,000 injured
c) 50,000 killed, 1 million injured
d) 7,000 killed, 150,000 injured

9) Where and when was the first teachers union formed?
a) 1837 Massachusetts
b) 1847 Scotland
c) 1933 Chicago
d) 1961 New York City

10) Which President issued Executive Order 10988 establishing limited collective bargaining for federal workers?
a) Grover Cleveland
b) Franklin Roosevelt
c) Jack Kennedy
d) Jimmy Carter

Have a good labor day folks. Remember that labor has contributed every bit as much (I’d say much more) as capital has to this country.

Here are some answers:

1) c) yep kids wanted a little down time

2) a) in Commonwealth v. Hunt labor unions first receive legal status in Massachusetts

3) d) the National Labor Union. It only lasted a few years, but it started the ball rolling

4) b) Uriah Stephenson

5) d) The Molly Maguires

6) c) The Haymarket Riots in Chicago May 4th 1886

7) d) Colorado including places such as Leadville and Cripple Creek. Management was determined to crush the unions.

8) a) 35,000 killed, 700,000 injured – scary numbers

9) b) 1847 Scotland – kind of a trick question

10) c) Jack Kennedy in 1962. This didn’t allow unions, but it was a start to organizing public workers.

About Dave Bradley

retired in West Liberty
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