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US Labor History
1800s

1800
Gabriel Prosser leads a slave revolt in Virginia

1805
A journeymen cordwainers' union in New York City includes a closed-shop clause in its constitution

1806
Philadelphia showmakers found guilty of criminal conspiracy after striking for higher wages

1819
Depression begins

1822
Denmark Vesey leads a slave rebellion in South Carolina

1824
Pawtucket, Rhode Island, Textile Strike

1825
The United Tailoresses of New York, a trade union organization for women, organized in New York City.

1827
The Mechanics Union of Trade Associations, made up of skilled craftsmen in different trades, formed in Philadelphia - first city central federation.
Philadelphia Carpenters' Strike

1828
Depression begins The Workingmen's Party formed in Philadelphia Paterson, New Jersey, Textile Strike

1829
The Workingmen's Party of New York formed Carpenter Ebenezer Ford becomes the first trade unionist elected to public office in New York

1831
New England Association of Farmers, Mechanics and other Workingmen formed Nat Turner leads a slave rebellion in Virginia Lynn, Massachusetts, Shoebinders' Protest

1832
Boston Ship Carpenters' Ten Hour Strike

1833
Lynn, Massachusetts, Shoebinders' Protest begins. Manayunk, Pennsylvania, Textile Strike New York City Carpenters' Strike

1834
National Trades Union, first attempt at a national labor federation, formed in New York Lowell, Massachusetts, Mill Women's Strike Manayunk, Pennsylvania, Textile Strike

1835
Ten-Hour Movement among skilled workers

1835
Paterson, New Jersey, Textile Strike.

1836
National Cooperative Association of Cordwainers, the first national union of a specific craft, formed in New York City Lowell, Massachusetts, Mill Women's Strike New York City Tailors' Strike Philadelphia Bookbinders' Strike

1837
Depression begins

1840
President Martin Van Buren establishes the ten-hour day for employees on federal public works projects.

1842
Massachusetts Supreme Court, in Commonwealth v. Hunt, rules that labor unions, as such, are not illegal conspiracies. Anthracite Coal Strike

1844
Lowell Female Labor Reform Association formed.

1847
New Hampshire passes first state law fixing ten hours as the legal workday.

1848
Pennsylvania's child labor law makes twelve the minimum age for workers in commercial occupations.

1850
New York City Tailors' Strike.

1852
Typographical Union founded - first national union of workers to endure to present day

1855
Eugene V. Debs , US labor leader, is born

1859
Iron Molders' International Union founded

1860
New England Shoemakers' Strike

1861
Civil War Begins American Miners' Association , the first national coal miners' union, is formed in St. Louis, Mo.

1862
Congress Passes the Homestead Act

1863
Emancipation Proclamation frees the slaves Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers founded

1864
Cigar Makers' Union founded

1865
Sixteenth Amendment ratified, abolishing slavery in the United States

1866
National Labor Union founded - an attempt at creating a national federation of unions Molders' Lockout

1867
Knights of St. Crispin founded - a union of factory workers in the shoe industry

1868
First federal eight-hour law passed - applied only to laborers, workmen, and mechanics employed by the government Anthracite Coal Strike

1869
Colored National Labor Union founded Knights of Labor organized in Philadelphia Troy, New York, Collar Laundresses' Strike

1870
First written contract between coal operators and coal miners signed

1872
National Labor Reform Party formed

1873
Depression begins Miners' National Association formed

1874
Tompkins Square Riot in New York City

1875
Conviction of Molly Maguires for anthracite coalfield murders - twenty are eventually hanged Anthracite Coal Strike

1876
Amalgamated Association of Iron, Steel, and Tin Workers founded Workingmen's Party founded - first Marxist party in the United States. Later becomes Socialist Labor Party Greenback Party formed

1877
Federal and state troops are called out to crush the first nationwide strike in US history when railroad workers walk off their jobs Cigarmakers' Strike San Francisco Anti-Chinese Riots Members of the militant Molly Maguires, a rank and file anthracite coal miners' organization, are hanged after being framed by a Pinkerton spy

1878
Socialist Labor Party founded

1878
Greenback Labor Party organized International Labor Union founded

1879
Miners in Springhill, Nova Scotia, form Canada's first labor union - the Provincial Workingmen's Association Joe Hill, IWW organizer, songwriter and poet, born in Gavle, Sweden

1881
Federation of Organized Trades and Labor Unions of the United States and Canada founded - predecessor of the American Federation of Labor Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners founded Revolutionary Socialist Labor Party formed

1882
First Labor Day celebration held in New York City Congress passes Chinese Exclusion Act Cohoes, New York, Cotton Mill Strike

1883
International Working People's Association (anarchist) formed Cowboy Strike Lynchburg, Virginia, Tobacco Workers' Strike Molders' Lockout begins

1884
Federal Bureau of Labor established in the Department of the Interior Fall River, Massachusettsm Textile Strike Union Pacific Railroad Strike

1885
Congress passes Foran Acti to forbid immigration of laborers on contract Anti-Chinese Riots in the West Cloakmakers' General Strike McCormick Harvesting Machine Company Strike Southwest Railroad Strike Yonkers, New York, Carpet Weavers' Strike

1886
In Chicago, 350,000 workers demonstrate for the eight-hour workday, founding May Day as an international workers' holiday Eight-hour-day movement fails "Haymarket Massacre" Police attack Haymarket Square labor rally in Chicago, sparking violence and the frame up of eight labor leaders American Federation of Labor founded with Samuel Gompers as first president Anti-Chinese riots Augusta, Georgia, Textile Strike. Cowboy Strike Eight-Hour Day Strikes McCormick Harvesting Machine Company Strike Southwest Railroad Strike Troy, New York, Collar Laundresses' Strike

1887
Seven anarchists sentenced to death for the Haymarket bombing (five eventually executed). Port of New York Longshoremen's Strike

1888
First federal labor relations law enacted - applied only to railroadsInternational Association of Machinists founded Burlington Railroad Strike Cincinnati Shoemakers' Lockout

1889
Baseball Players' Revolt begins Fall River, Massachusetts, Textile Strike A. Philip Randolph, labor and civil rights leader, born

1890
United Mine Workers of America founded in Columbus, Ohio Carpenters' Strike for the Eight-Hour Day

1891 People's (Populist) Party formed Savannah, Georgia, Black Laborers' Strike Tennessee Miners' Strike

1892
International Longshoremen's Association founded Seamen's Union founded President Grover Cleveland elected Strike in Homestead, Pennsylvania, by iron and steel workers gains national attention Coeur d'Alene Miners' Strike New Orleans General Strike

1893
Depression begins American Railway Union founded Western Federation of Miners founded Federal court in Louisiana applies the Sherman Antitrust Act to unions for the first time in finding a sympathy strike to be in restraint of trade National Civic Federation formed

1894
Nationwide Rail Strike led by the American Railway Union in Pullman, Illinois paralyzes nation's transportation Coxey's Army of the unemployed marches on Washington, DC Cripple Creek, Colorado, Miners' Strike Great Northern Railroad Strike Labor Day becomes an official US holiday

1895
U.S. Supreme Court, in In re Debs, upholds an injunction restraining the Pullman strikers based on the power of the government to regulate interstate commerce. Socialist Trade and Labor Alliance founded Haverhill, Massachusetts, Shoe Strike

1896
President William McKinley elected Leadville, Colorado, Miners' Strike begins

1897
Lattimer, Pennsylvania, Massacre, a sheriff and deputies gun down 19 striking miners and wound 40 others during a peaceful protest

1898
Spanish-American War begins

1898
Congress passes the Erdman Act providing for mediation and arbitration of railroad labor disputes. American Labor Union founded Marlboro, Massachusetts, Shoe Workers' Strike begins

1899
Brotherhood of Teamsters founded Buffalo, New York, Grain Shovelers' Strike Cleveland, Ohio, Street Railway Workers' Strike Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, Miners' Strike New York City Newsboys' Strike

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