Today in labor history: remembering Frank Little and more

1917: After organizing a strike of metal miners against the Anaconda Company, Wobblie (Industrial Workers of the World) organizer Frank Little is dragged by six masked men from his Butte, Mont. hotel room and hung from the Milwaukee Railroad trestle.

Years later, author Dashiell Hammett would recall his early days as a Pinkerton detective agency operative and recount how a mine company representative offered him $5,000 to kill Little. Hammett says he quit the business that night.

1921: Sid Hatfield, police chief of Matewan, W. Va., a longtime supporter of the United Mine Workers union, is murdered by company goons. This soon led to the Battle of Blair Mountain, a labor uprising also referred to as the Red Neck War.

1938: Police in Hilo, Hawaii open fire on 200 demonstrators supporting striking waterfront workers. The attack became known as “the Hilo Massacre.”

1944: A 17-day, company-instigated wildcat strike in Philadelphia tries to bar eight African American trolley operators from working. Transport Workers Union members stay on the job in support of the men.

1956: Government & Civic Employees Organizing Committee merges into State, County & Municipal Employees.

1975: Window Glass Cutters League of America merges with Glass Bottle Blowers.

1997: Ten-month strike against Wheeling-Pittsburgh Steel wins agreement guaranteeing defined-benefit pensions for 4,500 Steelworkers.

2001: California School Employees Association affiliates with AFL-CIO


Correction: In a previous version the name of Industrial Workers of the World was incorrect. We regret the error.



Special to People’s World
Special to People’s World

People’s World is a voice for progressive change and socialism in the United States. It provides news and analysis of, by, and for the labor and democratic movements to our readers across the country and around the world. People’s World traces its lineage to the Daily Worker newspaper, founded by communists, socialists, union members, and other activists in Chicago in 1924.