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Randolph, A. Phillip

A. Philip Randolph: Founder of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters and Chair of the Committee that Organized the 1963 “March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom”Continue Reading »

Rustin, Bayard (1912-1987)

Bayard Rustin: Trade Union and Civil Rights Organizer and ActivistContinue Reading »

Peterson, Esther (1906–1997)

Esther Peterson was a trailblazer—as a woman and an advocate for workers’ rights. She was honored by the National Women’s Hall of Fame as “one of the nation’s most effective and beloved catalysts for change.” In 1981, Esther received a Presidential Medal of Freedom, our nation’s highest civilian award, to honor her more than 50 years of activism.Continue Reading »

Hillman, Sidney – (1887-1946)

Sidney Hillman, the founder of the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America (now UNITE!) and its president from 1914 to 1946, invented trade unionism as we know it today.Continue Reading »

Hill, Joe (1879-1915) – Labor Folk Hero

Joe Hill (1879-1915): Songwriter, Itinerant Laborer, Union Organizer and Labor Folk HeroContinue Reading »

Mason, Lucy Randolph (1882-1959)

Lucy Randolph Mason devoted her life to bringing about more humane conditions for working people, ending racial injustice and ensuring that union organizers throughout the South were guaranteed the constitutional rights to free speech, assembly and due process that her ancestor, George Mason, had helped establish.Continue Reading »

Chávez, César Estrada (1927-1993)

César Chávez was a folk hero and symbol of hope to millions of Americans. In 1962, he and a few others set out to organize a union of farm workers. An ardent advocate of nonviolence, Chávez was one of the most inspirational labor leaders of the 20th century, with an influence that stretched far beyond the California fields.Continue Reading »

Labor History Timeline: 1607 – 1999

From the earliest days of the American colonies, when apprentice laborers in Charleston, S.C., went on strike for better pay in the 1700s, to the first formal union of workers in 1829 who sought to reduce their time on the job to 60 hours a week, our nation’s working people have recognized that joining together is the most effective means of improving their lives on and off the job.Continue Reading »

Willard, Frances Elizabeth Caroline (1839-1898)

Frances Willard promoted the cause of women and reform as a pioneer educator and especially as the most prominent leader of the nineteenth century movement to end alcohol abuse.

One of the most influential women of the nineteenth century, Frances Willard’s name is inseparable from that of the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU), but her life embodied little of the conservatism that came to be associated with the WCTU after her death.Continue Reading »

Settlement Workers of Washington, DC and Baltimore, MD

This original list of settlement houses serving neighborhoods in Baltimore was probably published sometime between 1912 -1915. It briefly describes the many ways early settlement house residents and volunteers provided facilities and resources in order to assist recent immigrants and very poor families to play, socialize, learn a variety of skills, save money, organize and take steps to improve their lives and the communities in which they lived. The document was contributed by Harris Chaiklin, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus at the University of Maryland School of Social Work.Continue Reading »

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