back to the timeline back to history index back to site index
Some Labor History Dates You Might Want

Please use the underlined links to read through the other history pages on this site

1170 BC 11/23 First recorded strike (in Egypt)

1526,3/22 First American slave revolt

1542,6-7: Luis Moscoso from DeSoto's expedition cross part of Dallas County

1581 First Europeans reach El Paso Del Norte

1590 The term "scab" is in use

1600,2/17 Giordano Bruno stripped, gagged, and burned to death in Rome for
that the Earth might not be the center of the universe

1633,6/22 Galileo forced to disavow Copernican theory. In legend, he said, "It still moves!"

1642,1/8 Death of Galileo Galilei

1732,2/22 George Washington born

1737,1/29 Birth of Thomas Paine, pamphleteer of the American Revolutoin

1770,3/5 Crispus Attucks, a free Black man, is first casualty of American revolution

1776,1/10 Thomas Paine's "Common Sense" published

1778 Printers in New York won increase in wages, but abandoned their organization after they won

1783,9/3 U.S. Revolution won; peace treaty signed with England

1786 Philadelphia printers conduct first American authenticated strike. They won minimum wage of $6/week

1791, 5/ "…the carpenters mounted America's first 10-hour day strike in May, 1791."

or more on shortening the working day click here

1791,12/15 Bill of Rights in U.S. Constitution

1792 Philadelphia shoemakers organize craft union, but disbanded in less than a year

1794 Federal Society of Journeymen Cordwainers (shoemakers) lasted until 1806,

when it was tried and fined for conspiracy

1798,3/1 First strike, printers

1800,5/9 John Brown born

1803,11/18 Haitians defeat Napolean’s army in Battle of Vertieres

1804,1/1 Haiti declares independence and emancipation. Boycotts and ostracizing from

U.S. and Europe begin

1805 New York Cordwainers form union and demand a closed shop

1806 Philadelphia Journeymen Cordwainers bankrupted by "conspiracy" fine

1809,2/12 President Lincoln born

1818: Caddos drive Cherokees toward East Texas after battle near 3 forks of the Trinity (formerly Arkikosa) River

1818,2/12 Frederick Douglass born in 1818

1820,2/15 Susan B Anthony Birthday

1820,3/8 Harriet Tubman born. Later declared Int'l women's day

1825,4/27 Boston Carpenters strike for 10-hour day

1825 New York women form union, The United Tailoresses of New York

1827,8/24 First U.S. labor newspaper published

1827 First Black-owned newspaper published

1827 Mechanics' Union of Trade Associations formed from various crafts

1828 Workingmen's Party, including workers, craftsmen and farmers, formed in Philadelphia. Lasted until 1832

1828,11/28 William Silvus born. Click here

1830,5/1 Mother Jones born

1830,5/28 Cherokee removal

1834 James Walker Fanin moves to Texas and agitates for break with Mexico. Made his living as slave trader

1834 National Trades' Union formed in New York. First attempt at national labor federation failed in financial panic of 1837

1835,7/3 Children strike in Patterson, NJ for 11 hour day & 6 day week

1835,11/1 1st general strike for 10 hour day, Philadelphia PA

1836, ? Sam Houston and Cherokee Chief Bowls agree that tribe will not support Mexican

     government in exchange for guaranteed land

1836, 3/2 Texas declared independence from Mexico. Slavery established

1838,4/ First known Texas union started. Also first strike in Texas

1839,6/30 Cinque led successful slave revolt on the Amistad. There's a good movie named "Amistad"

1840,3/31 "President Martin Van Buren issued a broadly-applicable executive order granting

    the ten-hour day to all those government employees engaged in manual labor."

1841: John Neely Bryan establishes trading post on Trinity River (Dallas)

1842, Spring The Beeman family moved from Bird’s Fort to John Neely Bryan’s

               trading post on the Trinity River. Eventually, they named it Dallas. Click here

1842 Commonwealth v. Hunt case legalized unions and said they were not conspiracies

1843,6/1 Soujourner Truth born

1843 Galveston News established to support Mirabeau Lamar for President of Texas

1843 Texas signs peace treaty with natives

1844 First Native American-owned newspaper published

1846? Lamar orders genocide in Texas. Cherokees driven off their land in East Texas

1847, 7/17 "Communistic" settlers of Bettina landed at Galveston.

               Their attempt to run a utopian society only lasted one year

1847 New Hampsire became first state to pass a 10-hour day law

1848 Pennsylvania passed first child labor law. Workers had to be at least twelve!

1848 Democrat Lewis Cass gets most Texas votes for President, 10,688

1848,6/24 Albert Parsons born in Alabama

1848, Women gathered at Seneca Falls, NY, for program of emancipation

1849: Dallas Herald begun under original name Cedar Snag

1850: Dallas beats out Hords Ridge to become County Seat. County population 2,743. Town population 430.

1850-1856 Large numbers of progressive Germans and other Europeans begin to emigrate to Texas.

               Among them is Otto Meitzen

1852, Democrat Franklin Pierce gets most Texas votes for President, 13,552

1852 First enduring union, Typographers, formed. Women's working hours limited to 10/day

1853, 1/28 Jose Marti, Cuban revolutionary, born

1853, 5/27: Jane Elkins is first woman officially hanged in Texas. Hanged on site of present "Old Red Courthouse" in Dallas. For more click here.

1854: La Reunion socialist community established just west of Dallas

1855,11/5 EV Debs born

1856, Andre Douai and other abolitionists driven out of Texas

1856, Democrat James Buchanan gets most Texas votes for President, 31,169

1856, 9/6 Tejanos attacked for trying to free slaves in Colorado County

1857, Judge Taney ruled that fugitive slave Dred Scott had no rights in America

1859, 7/13 Beginning of Juan Cortino insurgency near Brownsville

1860 Carpenters Local#7 formed in Galveston. Longest uninterrupted union local in Texas.

1860 Democrat John Breckinridge gets most Texas votes for US President, 47,548

1860, 7/8 Fire in downtown Dallas

1860,7/24 Dallas lynchings and beatings. For Texas labor history before Civil War, click here

1861 Texas votes to secede from the union. 19 counties oppose, including most of Hill Country and North Texas. Vote in Dallas: 741-237 to secede

1861, 4, Tejanos in Zapata County massacred by Confederates

861,8/10 "Battle of Nueces" Texas Germans slaughtered while trying to get to Mexico. For this period, click here.

1862, October. 41 civilians hanged in Gainesville, 2 others shot, on suspicion of supporting the North. Click here

1862 Irish miners organized to improve conditions as "Molly Maguires." Pinkerton agency infamous for getting 10
of them hanged and 14 imprisoned in 1876

1862,2/4 Bill Bill Haywood born

1863 Brotherhood of Locmotive Engineers founded

863,1/1 African American Emancipation

1864,5/5 Cinco de Mayo Mexican Holiday celebrating defeat of imperialist invaders in Battle of Puebla

1864,9/28 International Workingmen's Assn founded 1865,4/9 Lee Surrenders to Grant

1865,6/19 Texas African Americans learn they have been emancipated. "Juneteenth"

1865-1873: The horrors of Reconstruction in the South

1865,9/16 Mexican Independence Day 1865, 12/18 13th amendment against slavery ratified. Texas passes new laws allowing convict labor and executions

1866, 8 National Labor Union, the first national labor federation in America, formed. For info, click here

1867 Knights of St Crispin founded to try to stop automation in the shoe industry. Lasted until 1878

1868,2/23 W.E.B. DuBois born 1868 Certain federal workers get 8-hour law

1868,12/31 End of Texas Freedmen's Bureau

1868: Ku Klux Klan formed

1869, 1/6 First African American labor convention

1869,7/27 William Sylvus died. Click here

1869,12/26 Noble Order of the Knights of Labor founded as secret society in Philadelphia

1870 Houston & Texas Central Railroad decides to come through Dallas after receiving $5000 and 115 acres of land

1870 Texas re-admitted to United States

1870, 7/29 Coal miners win first contract

1871 Paris Commune drowned in blood

1872,? Paul Quinn Negro University begun in Waco

1872 Democrat Horace Greeley gets most Texas votes for President with 66,546

1873,2/22 Dallas gets Texas & Pacific Railroad

1873 Heinrich Schwartz arrived in Hempstead to become first ordained Rabbi in Texas

1873: Club Recipropo, an Hispanic mutual aid society, formed in Corpus Christi

1874,1/13 Tompkins Square massacre

1874 Cigar makers in San Francisco originate "union label"

1875, May: Jefferson Davis speaks to an enthusiastic crowd at McCoy Grove, Dallas

1876 Kate Richards [later O’Hare] born in Kansas

1876 Outlaw Belle Starr establishes a livery stable in downtown Dallas

1876 Democrat Samuel Tilden gets most Texas votes for U.S. President with 104,755

1876,1/12 Jack London born

1877,6/21 10 miner activists called "Molly Maguires" and hanged in Pennsylvania

1877, 7/24 Federal troops used to violently suppress national railroad strike

1877: Dallas approves public school funds

1878, 12/12 Jane McManus Storm Cazneau drowned. She advocated emancipation of Texas slaves and annexation by the U.S.

1878 Greenback-Labor Party organized

1879,3/14 Albert Einstein born

1879,8/8 Emiliano Zapata born

1879,10/7 Joe Hill born

1880, 6/27 Helen Keller born

1880 Winfield Hancock, Democrat, gets most Texas votes for President, 156,428 1880’s Knights of labor formed five district assemblies with 30,000 members in Texas

1881 Knghts of Labor organizes unions in Dallas

1881 Federation of Organized Trades and Labor Unions (FOTLU) organized. In 1886, it became AFL

1882, Sept: Knights of Labor organized in Dallas with several locals

1882,?: Galveston Screwmen Strike to preserve racism on the job. Click here.

1882,4/3: Jesse James shot dead

1882, Sept: First Labor Day in New York

1883: First union strike in Dallas. Railway workers walked out

1883, 11/23 Sugar workers massacred near Thibodeaux, Louisiana

1883, 3/31 Cowboys strike in Texas Panhandle. Click here.

1883 Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen organized

1884 Democrat Grover Cleveland gets most Texas votes for U.S. President with 225,309

1884 Bureau of Labor established in the Department of Interior

1885: Farmers' Alliance formed National HQ at Jefferson, Market and Wood in downtown Dallas

1885: 10/1 First edition of Dallas Morning News. Col A.H. Belo had moved to Dallas from Galveston

1885 Unions struck over use of slave convict labor in building the state capitol. Click here.

1885 Knights of Labor under Martin Irons successfully struck Jay Gould Railroad line

1886,3/1 In Sherman, Knights of Labor under Martin Irons again decides to strike Great Southwest Railway against Jay Gould. After much bloodshed, they lose this one and the Knights go into decline. For more info, click here

1886, 12/11: A small group of black farmers organize the Colored Farmers’ National Alliance and Cooperative Union in Houston County, Texas. They had been barred from membership in the all-white Southern Farmers’ Alliance. Through intensive organizing, along with merging with another black farmers group, the renamed Colored Alliance by 1891 claimed a membership of 1.2 million

1886: Manuel Lopez delivered the concluding speech in Spanish at the Knights of Labor Texas state convention in San Antonio 1886,5/1 Mayday. Nationwide strike for 8-hour day. For Texas history of the period, click here.

1886,5/4 Haymarket massacre 1886, 10- Knights of Labor defied segregation laws during convention in Richmond

1886,12/8 AF of L formed from FOTLU (1881)

1887: Dallas Typographical Union 173 gets the first "closed shop" contract in Dallas

1887,8/24 National Association of Letter Carriers formed

1887,10/4 African American sugar workers went on strike to gain a one dollar per day wage increase in Louisiana. The Louisiana Militia, along with numerous prominent "owners," shot at least 35 unarmed workers. They then lynched two strike leaders in front of the town. Massacre in Thibodeaux area around November 23.

1887,10/20 John Reed born

1887,11/11 Haymarket martyrs hanged in Chicago

1888 Democrat Grover Cleveland gets most Texas votes for US President with 234,883, but Alson Streeter of the Union Labor party received 8.2%, 29,459

1888,11/23 Harpo Marx born

1888,9/2 Carl Brannin born in Cisco, TX (died in Dallas after lifetime of social activism)

1888 Texas State Capitol completed despite national boycott because convict labor was used

1889, April: East Dallas is annexed into Dallas

1889: Dallas gets electric streetcars

1889: 4/22 Oklahoma Land Rush

1889,4/16 A. Phillip Randolph born

1889, 7/14 Bastille Day begun when French revolutionaries stormed palace

1890, 1/25 United Mine Workers of America founded

1890,8/7 Helen Gurley Flynn born

1890 Dallas was merged with the City of East Dallas

1891 James Hogg is governor of Texas for 2 terms

1891, June: Oak Cliff incorporated as a separate town across the Trinity River from Dallas

1891 Texas craft unions try to organize at state level but fail

1892, June, Texas People’s Party founding convention in Dallas

1892 Democrat Grover Cleveland received most Texas votes for president with 239,148.  But the People’s Party candidate, James Weaver, received 99,688!

1892,7/1 Homestead steel strike. 7 strikers & 3 Pinkertons killed

1892,7/12 Carnegie Steel strike broken by gunmen

1892,11/8 20,000 workers stage general strike in New Orleans

1893,5/13 Western Federation of Miners formed in Butte, Montana

1893, December, Blind Lemon Jefferson born in Couchman, near Wortham. Click here

1894,3/25 Coxey's Army set out to cross America

1894,5/11 Nationwide railway strike, led by Gene Debs, begins at Pullman

1894,6/28 Labor Day declared official US holiday

1894,9/3 National Association of Letter Carriers formed  (NALC)

1896 Democrat William Bryan received most Texas votes for President, 370,434. He was endorsed by the Progressive Party. Texas delegates opposed

1896,5/18 Supreme Court approved racial segregations

1897,2 First movie shown in Dallas

1898 Texas Federation of Labor formed

1898,4/1 William Cowper Brann, editor, shot and killed in downtown Waco.

1898: UMWA wins 8-hour day

1898,4/9 Paul Robeson born

1898,10/28 2 miners killed in Virden, Il

1900 Hurricane wiped out Galveston

1900 Democrat William Jennings Bryan received most Texas votes for President, 267,432. Socialist Eugene Debs received 1,846 and Socialist Labor Party candidate Joseph Malloney received 162. The People’s Party ran Wharton Barker, who received 20,981.

1900,4/12 Florence Reese born. She wrote "Which Side Are You On?"

1900 AFL granted charters to city-central trade councils in Austin, Dallas, Sherman, Corsicana, Gainesville and Hillsboro. Membership was 8,475 1900 International Ladies Garment Workers Union begun. Presently part of UNITE-HERE!

1901 Spindletop strike near Beaumont starts Texas oil industry. For more on oil, click here

1901, 8/21 International Federation of Trade Unions formed. AFL was in and out of it till it died in 1945

1901,7/29 Founding of Socialist Party

1902, 10/3 Theodore Roosevelt became first president to mediate during a strike. Failed to settle coal strike

1903 Africa American cowboy Bill Pickett invented “bulldogging” at a Central Texas ranch

1903: Women's Trade Union League formed

1903,3/16 Oak Cliff residents vote to merge with Dallas

1903: UMWA wins strike in Thurber. Texas' most thoroughly union city formed (see 1920s also). Click here

1903: Theodore Roosevelt gave first presidential order prohibiting government employees from seeking wage increases by attempting to influence legislation

1904: Oak Cliff is annexed into Dallas

1904: "Laborer" published in Dallas. radical and pro-labor

1904 Democrat Alton Parker won most Texas votes for President, 167,200. But Eugene Debs won 2,791, and Thomas Watson of the Populist Party won 8,062. Charles Corregan of the Socialist Labor Party received 421

1904,10/4 The Colorado State Militia killed 6 striking miners, took 15 prisoner, and deported 79

1904, ? Houston Streetcar Conductors Strike. Click here.

1905 Federal Labor Union with almost all Hispanic members founded in Laredo

1905,6/27 Industrial Workers of the World organized in Chicago. For reading on IWW, click here.

1906,2/13 Victor Reuther born

1907: Highland Park is incorporated as a restrictive suburb inside Dallas

1907,9/1 Walter Reuther born. Would lead United Auto Workers

1907, 3/21 Cornerstone of Scottish Rite Cathedral laid in Dallas

1907, 3/31 "…the Flippen-Prather Realty Company announced the opening of the first 100 acres of Highland Park, a restricted residential suburban development"

1907, 3/4 "The Citizens Association came into being on March 4, 1907.... It was nothing short, The News believed, of the birth of the Greater Dallas movement.... On May 21, they won their first City elections.

1908, 5/25  Trinity River flooded Dallas

1908 William Bryan won most Texas votes for US President, 217,302. Debs won 7,870 or 2.7% while Thomas Watson of the People’s party won 994 and August Gillhaus of the Socialist Labor Party received 176

1908, 12/26 Jack Johnson of Galveston became first African American Heaveyweight Champion. Race riots resulted when he successfully defended the title against white challengers. He survived betrayal, scorn, and abuse until his death in 1946. In 1954,  Jack Johnson was inducted into Boxing’s Hall of Fame

1908,12/23 AFL leaders found in contempt for promoting a boycott in the Buck’s Stove case. See Labor Law as History

1908 "Yellow Dog" contracts (prohibiting union joining) outlawed

1909,2/12 NAACP begun

1909,11/22 20,000 female garment workers on strike in New York

1909 Wilford B Smith moved to Dallas and published The Pitchfork until he died in 1939

1909: Texas Legislature defeats 8-hour day law by filibuster

1910: Airplane lands in Dallas

1910,3/3 Dallas crowd watches downtown lynching of Allen Brooks

1911,1/12 "Bread and Roses" strike in Lawrence until March 14

1911 Southern Methodist University begun in Dallas

1911,3/25 147 garment workers either burned to death or smashed into the pavement outside the Triangle Shirtwaist factory in New York

1911 Bucks Stove and Range Case stopped an AFL boycott

1911,4/11 Death of Chitto Harjo (Wilson Jones or Crazy Snake) and the end of Native American Resistance

1912 Woodrow Wilson, Democrat, received most Texas votes for U.S. President, 221,589    while Socialist Eugene Debs took 25,743 or 8.4%. He did even better in Oklahoma. Arthur Reimer of the Socialist Labor Party won 442

1912,2/24 Women and children textile strikers beaten by Lawrence, Massachusetts, police

1912,7/14 Woody Guthrie born in Okemah, Oklahoma

1912 Houston NAACP begins its proud history. For more info click here

1913 U.S. Dept of Labor, with Bureau of Labor Statistics, established by law

1913, 2/2 Denver free speech fight led by IWW

1913 El Paso smelter workers strike broken with violence by Texas Rangers

1913, 2/25: Patterson silk strike began

1913, 6/7: Patterson silk strike pageant in Madison Square Garden drew 150,000 attendees

1913,8/3 First agricultural workers strike at Durst Ranch in Wheatland, Calif. Click for more on agricultural workers

1914 Dallas chosen for site of Federal Reserve District 11

1914 Dallas’ Love Field begun as army air corps training base

1914 Houston Ship Channel opened

1914,1/5 Ford Motor Company raised wages to $5 for an 8-hour day to keep the unions out

1914,4/20 Ludlow massacre. For Texas history of the period, click here.

1914 E.R. Meitzen, Socialist candidate for Texas governor, makes his party the second largest in Texas

1914 Clayton Act gave unions, injunctions and pickets, some legal status

1915: SMU opened

1915,1/17 Ralph Chaplin publishes "Solidarity Forever". Lucy Parsons leads hunger march in Chicago

1915,11/19 Joe Hill executed in Utah

1916 Woodrow Wilson, Democrat, won 286,514 votes for President in Texas. Allan Benson of the Socialist Party won 18,969, or 5%

1916,9/2 Operating railway employees win 8-hour day under Adamson Act. "A giant victory for labor."

1916,9/5 Child Labor Law passed

1917, 4/17 Kate Richards O’Hare headed committee that drafted anti-war resolution for American Socialist Party

1917,6/6 Speculator mine disaster. 164 killed at Butte, Montana

1917, 7/12 1,186 miners deported from Bisbee Arizona into barren desert. "Yellow dog" contract upheld!

1917,8/1 Frank Little Lynched in Butte. For a review of a biography, click here. For more on Frank Little, click here .

1917,8/2 Greencorn Rebellion, in which Oklahoma sharecroppers attempted to overthrow the government

1917, 8/23 20 killed in battle between Houston police and Black soldiers in Houston

1917,11/1 Texas and Louisiana oilfield workers walk out 1917. Houston Oil companies break Texas strike to keep 12-hour, $3 day

1917, 11/7 Russian Revolution. The calendar they were using said it was in October

1918, beginning in January:"Spanish flu" kills millions

1918 Canadians win 8-hour day

1918, 6/16: Sedition Act of 1918 passed by Congress. Curtailed free speech

1918,10/6 First National Conference of Trade Union Women

1918,11/2 Priscilla Bell birthday. Died 2001. Click here

1918 AFL counts 512 affiliated locals in Texas

1918, 11- Pan-American Federation of Labor established in Laredo, Texas with AFL, to oppose communist influences from Europe

1918, 12/6: Federal government took control of all railroads until 1920

1919: Building Trades in North Texas strike in sympathy with Dallas Power & Light Company employees in spite of opposition from the AFL (see Dallas history by Patricia Evridge Hill)

1919, 5/24: National Executive Committee of Socialist Party, USA, began expelling militants. Membership was 104,000 but big falloff began

1919, 11/19 Texas Open Shop (anti-union) Association forms with center in Dallas

1919,2/6 Seattle General Strike began

1919,8/4 15,000 silk workers struck in Paterson NJ for 44 hour week.

1919, 8/1: Attorney General Palmer appoints J. Edgar Hoover to fight the "red scare."

1919, September: Socialist Party splits 3 ways with two factions supporting new Soviet Union. The movie "Reds" covers some of this

1919,9/30 African American sharecroppers in Elaine, Arkansas, hold a meeting to unionize. Up to 900 murdered

1919,11/11 Centralia, Washington, Massacre. 4 VFW killed, 8 IWW's jailed 25 to 40 years. Wesley Everest lynched

1919, 9/22 Great Steel Strike begun (See Brody's book)

1920, 1/20 Atty Gen Palmer arrests 4,000 foreign-born labor agitators. “Palmer Raids” against American workers are on!

1920,3/12 Longshoremen in Galveston join national walkout. Strike was defeated. Texas Legislature passed reactionary “Open Port Law,” which was declared unconstitutional in 1926

1920, 8/2 Pancho Medrano born in Dallas

1920: Texas women vote in their first presidential election

1920: Democrat James Cox won most Texas votes for President, 288,767 The “Black and Tan Republican” Party won 27,247. Socialist Eugene Debs won 8,121 or 1.7%

1920s 162 Mexican workers deported from Thurber "with acquiescence of union they had helped form."

1920,1/2: FBI seized labor leaders and union leaders as part of the "red scare."

1920,5/19 Matewan Massacre in SW Virginia. There is an excellent movie named "Matewan"

1920,8/18 19th amendment ratified. Women win vote

1920 (Late in year) Ku Klux Klan #66 organized in Dallas. Soon became the biggest Klan chapter in the United States

1921: Ku Klux Klan gains strength in Dallas

1921, 5/24 Two Italian activists, Sacco & Vanzetti, framed up for murder, eventually executed

1921,5/24 Dallas Morning News editorializes against Ku Klux Klan after big downtown rally

1921,5/31 More than 300 African Americans killed in Tulsa, Oklahoma

1921, Christmas week: E.V. Debs freed from prison without a pardon

1921: Kate Richards O’Hare freed. O'Hare led a "Children's Crusade" to get the Greencorn rebels and other anti-war activists out of prison

1922: Open Port Law used to break Houston strike of railroad shop workers

1922 Dallas city elections carried by Ku Klux Klan

1922, 11? Texas elected Earle B Mayfield, an admitted KKK member, to the U.S. Senate. Click here

1923: African American inventor Garrett A. Morgan installs the first traffic lights in Dallas or in the world

1923 2/8: Five African Americans electrocuted in Huntsville. Legal Texas lynching begins to replace illegal

1924: Communist Party begins to appear in Texas

1924: Daily Worker began publishing

1924: The first African American, Lovett Huey Fort-Whiteman, to get communist training in Russia was a man from Dallas

1924: Democrat John Davis won most Texas votes for President with 484,605 1924,? AFL Convention held in El Paso

1924,6/2: Native Americans granted U.S. citizenship

1924,6/14 children burned to death in IWW hall in San Pedro, California

1924,12/13 AFL President Samuel Gompers died in San Antonio after a meeting in Mexico

1925: Dallas Negro Chamber of Commerce (later Black Chamber) begun

1925,5/19: Malcolm X born

1926, 5/20: Railway Labor Act assured railroad unions the right to negotiate

1926 Oil money from Santa Rita strike begins funding Texas higher education

1926: Chuck Berry born

1927,3/31 Cesar Chavez born

1927, 6/26 miners struck in Bisbee, Arizona

1927,8/22 Sacco & Vanzetti executed

1927 Blind Lemon Jefferson of Dallas tops "race record" charts. Click here

1928 Republican Herbert Hoover won most Texas votes for President with 367,036. Socialist Norman Thomas won 722 and Communist William Z Foster won 209

1929,1/15 MLK born

1929,9/14 Ella Mae Wiggins murdered when her truckload of striking unionists ambushed by vigilantes during textile strike in Gastonia, NC. All arrested were acquitted

1929 Trade Union Unity League began pushing for industrial, instead of craft, union organizing

1930, 11: Metal Trades Department of the AFL endorsed demand for 5-hour day

1930: East Texas oil field boom begins

1930, 4/14 John Steinbeck published The Grapes of Wrath

1930: Catholic Workers Union formed for Hispanic agricultural workers in Crystal City

1930, 5/9 Sherman lynch mob burns all African American Business

1930,11/30 "Mother Jones" Mary Jones died

1931: Communists and other progressives hit some "hard traveling" during the depression. See Southern Worker archives

1931, 3/3 Davis-Bacon bill guaranteed “prevailing wage rate” on federal construction sites

1931,3/4: Two communists and an established attorney were kidnapped from the steps of the Dallas Police Department

1931,12/7 Hunger March on Washington

1932 Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow start 2-year crime spree in their home town of Dallas

1932 Democrat Franklin Roosevelt wins most Texas votes for President with 760,348.     Communist William Foster won 207; Socialist Norman Thomas won 4,450

1932,3/7 Ford Hunger March. 5 killed near Detroit

1932 "Anti-injunction" Norris-LaGuardia Act prohibited federal injunctions against labor and outlawed "Yellow Dog" contracts

1932,5/15 NY Times announces that AFL dropped its traditional opposition to unemployment insurance. Later that year, they reversed Gompers' tradition of "voluntarism" and asked for 6-hour day legislation.

1932: Wisconsin adopted first unemployment insurance act in the U.S.

1933: Association of Journaleros formed as independent union of Texicans from many occupations

1933: Dallas votes to repeal prohibition

1933, 4/30: Singer Willy Nelson born

1933,6/16: National Industrial Recovery Act became law, including section 7(a) that said, "employees shall have the right to organize and bargain collectively through representatives of their own choosing, and shall be free from interference, restraint, or coercion of employees… in the designation of such representatives."

1933: Wagner-Peyser Act created United States Employment Service in the Dept of Labor

1933,9/4: Ft Worth holds first Labor Day parade in 10 years. Organizer T.E. Barlow was arrested and killed in Tarrant County Jail.

1934,2/12: Dressmakers walk out on 15 factories owned by the Texas Dress Manufacturers in Dallas

1934, Thurber High School graduates its last class. The only union town in Texas deserted

1934,4/6 U.S. Senate approves Hugo Black’s bill for a 30-hour week.         President Roosevelt is thus goaded into approving NLRA

1934,7/16 San Francisco General Strike

1935, March: 18 women garment workers arrested during strike in garment district of Dallas

1935,6/1 Wagner Act Passed. It was called National Labor Relations Act and "Labor's Magna Carta"

1935,7/5 National Labor Relations Act passes Congress. For arguments against the NLRA, see Labor Law as History

1935,8/14 Roosevelt signs Social Security Act over Republican opposition. Click here

1935,8/26 UAW chartered by AFL. Francis Dillon appointed president. For Texas history of the period, click here

1935, 10/1: Gulf Coast Longshoremen's Strike begun.

1935,11/9 CIO formed as committee in AFL. "Committee for Industrial Organization" was eventually expelled and became "Congress of Industrial Organizations"

1936: Dallas Citizens Council forms to organize State Fair of Texas, which includes "Negro Day" and "Ku Klux Klan" day

1936,1/29 Akron rubber workers sit-down strike

1936,5/21 Washington Job Protection Agreement passed

1936, 7/17: Fascist General Franco rebels against the democratic Spanish Republic

1936, 8: United States refuses to mediate Spanish Civil War and joins France and England in "neutrality"

1936 Democrat Franklin Roosevelt won most Texas votes for President: 734,485.     Socialist Norman Thomas won 1,075 and Communist Earl Browder won 253     CIO organized unions all over Texas

1936 12/24 150 Houston dockworkers beaten by police

1936, 12/28: American airplne engines exported to Spanish Republic -- denounced by President Roosevelt as "unpatriotic"

1937: Dallas Citizen Council forms its political wing, Dallas Citizens Charter Association

1937,1/24 UAW organizes first aircraft local

1937,2/11 Sit down at Flint begins. Victory comes on March 4th.

1937,5/26 "Little Steel" strike

1937,5/30 Memorial Day massacre at Republic steel

1937,6/24 Railroad Retirement Act passed

1937,8/25 Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters gets contract with Pullman Company

1937 Bluesman Robert Johnson records 13 tracks at 508 Park Av in Dallas

1937 Texas Rangers sent to Dallas to oppose labor strikes in millinery and at Ford. "Labor Violence" blamed

1938,2/2 San Antonio pecan shellers' strike. For more on this click here For Manuela Sager's story on it, click here

1938,5/16 U.S. Supreme Court decision permits "permanent replacement" of strikers

1938,6/25 Fair Labor Standards Act signed by FDR. Effective 10-24-38 1938, October, Federal Minimum Wage law took effect and set wages at 25 cents/hour

1938/11: CIO holds first first constitutional convention as separate organization after being kicked out of the AFL

1939, 3: Triumph of fascism in Spain

1939 Texas Building Trades Council formed after “New Deal” brought 1,750 projects to Texas

1940 Mexican Chamber of Commerce formed in Dallas. Later named Hispanic Chamber

1940 Democrat Franklin Roosevelt gets most Texas votes for President with 840,151. Socialist Norman Thomas Gets 728 votes and Communist Earl Browder gets 212.

1940,10/24 40-hour workweek goes into effect under FLSA of 1938

1940: Dallas population estimated at 380,927

1941: NLRB, using evidence accumulated from former Ford thugs in Dallas, rules that Ford must allow UAW to organize all plants nationwide

1941,4/1 UAW strikes at Ford for recognition

1941,4/11 Ford signs first UAW Contract

1941,6/20 Breakthrough contract signed with Ford at River Rouge Plant. UAW 870 chartered at Ford in Dallas. Click here

1941: North American Aviation, a department of General Motors, opens plant beside the Naval Air Station far West Dallas (Grand Prairie)

1941, 9/1 In a Labor Day editorial, the Dallas Morning News proposed a constitutional amendment for “Right to Work/Scab.”

1941,12/7 Pearl Harbor day

1942,2/19 Japanese Americans put in concentration camps

1942, 8/24 Bracero Program instituted to bring in 50,000 Mexican workers first year. "Wartime" program kept until 1964

1942, 11/24 War Labor Board adopted official policy of equal pay for equal work for men & women

1943 NAACP lawsuit wins equal pay for African American teachers in Dallas schools

1943,2/21 UAW Local 645 wins ratification at North American in Grand Prairie

1943,4/22 First UAW-CIO contract at North American Aviation in Grand Prairie, Texas

1943, 6/15 Racist pogrom in Beaumont

1943 FDR created Fair Employment Practices to end discrimination in war industries

1944,6/5 D Day. Americans engage Germans in France

1944 Democrat FD Roosevelt gets most Texas votes for President with 821,605. Socialist Norman Thomas gets 594

1944,8/3 White streetcar workers in Philadelphia strike to protest promotions of Black employees

1945,5/8 VE day

1945,8/7 Hiroshima bombed

1945,8/9 Nagasaki bombed

1945 Oil workers carry out strike for “52 for 40 or fight!” to get 52 hrs pay for 40 hrs work. President Truman used the military to break the strike

1945, 10- World Federation of Trade Unions organized with CIO support. They left it in 1949

1945: At war's end, all North American Aircraft employees laid off and the plant is padlocked. They find out by radio announcement

1945: Temco aircraft company started in east side of old North American plant

1946,1/21 Steel Strike

1947, March. Measure passed to create Houston College for Negroes, which later became Texas Southern University in Houston.

1947: Dallas Morning News editor comes up with misleading phrase "Right to Work" to replace "Open Shop" to mean anti-union workplaces.

1947, 4/8 Texas passes its “Right to Work/Scab” law in eager anticipation of its pending legalization in Congress.

1947,6/4 Taft Hartley anti-union law passed over Truman's veto. Section 14(b) allows “Right to Work/Scab” laws. For a discussion of labor law as history, click here

1948, January Kate Richards O’Hare died in California

1948 Democrat Harry Truman gets most Texas votes with 750,700. Socialist Norman Thomas received 874 1948 U.S. military is racially integrated

1948: Chance Vought airplane company moves into west side of old North American plant in Grand Prairie.

1948 Mississippi was last state to enact workermen's compensation legislation

1949: A. Maceo Smith of Dallas elected to NAACP national board

1949,2/1 13th Amendment

1949,8/3 UAW wins Local 893 at Vought in Grand Prairie, Texas

1949,9/29 UAW negotiated first pension plan ($100/mo) with Ford. Union movement abandoned expanding Social Security and, with contractual health care for members, abandoned national health care ambitions

1949,11/4 International Union of Electrical Workers (IUE) set up to grab Electrical      Workers Union (UE) contracts as part of CIO effort to destroy unions      whose officers failed to take the anti-communist oath

1949 Inland Steel Co V. United Steelworkers of America (CIO) case allowed unions to bargain for retirement plans

195_ Jose Estrada deported (twice?) from Dallas after accusations of communism

1950 Federal government took over the railroads until 1952

1950 Heman Sweatt enters law school at UT. First African American

1950,5/29 UAW GM Workers win hospitalization plan and Cost of Living (COLA) raises

1950,12/3 UAW Local 893 wins its first COLA raise at Vought, $.03

1951 International Association of Machinists returned to AFL after being out since 1945

1952 Republican Dwight Eisenhower received most Texas votes for US President        with 1,102,878. Vincent Hallinan of Progressive Party won 294

1952, November. Presidents Philip Murray of the CIO and William Green of the AFL both died Walter Reuther and George Meany take over

1953,7/27 End of Korean war

1954,5/17 Supreme Court rules segregated schools unconstitutional in Brown v Topeka

1954, 6/29 NAACP holds national convention in Dallas

1954,9/7 Elaine Lantz born

1954, 9/7 Dallas NAACP lined Black students at door of Linfield Elementary to show that      Black students are not still admitted despite Supreme Court ruling

1954 Incumbent Dixiecrat Governor Alan Shivers used red-baiting and opposition to unions to barely defeat Ralph Yarborough

1955, 9/12 NAACP filed suit seeking full integration of Dallas schools. Fight continued to 2003. click here

1955,12/5 AFL and CIO merge into AFL-CIO with George Meany as President Mid 1950’s: Texas Attorney General John Ben Shepperd outlawed the NAACP in Texas, He declared it a subversive organization. Texans kept their membership secret

1955,7/20 Convair Crusader nuclear-powered aircraft began testing at Ft Worth Convair plant.     Project abandoned 3/28/57

1955,12/1 Rosa Parks arrested on bus in Montgomery

1956: Dallas discontinues streetcar service

1956,3/1 Fair Labor Standards Act amended to raise the minimum wage to $1/hour

1956: 7/28 Texans voted more than 3 to 1 for segregation measures. See Notes

1956 Republican Eisenhower gets most Texas votes with 1,080,619

1956, 8/31 Racist threats and official malfeasance triumph over integration in Mansfield

1957, Dec AFL-CIO expelled Teamsters, Bakery Workers, and Laundry Workers. Three railroad unions affiliated

1957, 7/30 Texas AFL-CIO forms

1959,12/5 Montgomery bus boycott begins. Texan Pancho Medrano sent by UAW to assist

1960 Democrat John Kennedy gets 1,167,932 votes to win Texas

1960 AFL-CIO Texas union membership peaks at 400,000 members

1961,4/24 Bay of Pigs in Cuba. Unsuccessful U.S. backed attempted overthrow of revolution.

1961, 4/27 Dr. Martin Luther King addressed the 25th anniversary of UAW

1962, 1/15 Federal employees gain right of collective bargaining under Kennedy

1963: Organized attacks against Vice President Lyndon Johnson & wife and against Senator Adlai Stevenson take place in downtown Dallas

1963, 11/22 Jack Kennedy assassination in Dallas

1963,11/9 End of poll taxes in Texas. For Texas history of the period, click here

1963 6/9 Equal Pay Act prohibited discrimination against women

1963,6/12 Medgar Evers assassinated in Mississippi

1963,8/28 "I Have A Dream" March on Washington

1964 San Antonio bookseller accused of having “seditious papers” (books by Marx and Jean-Paul Sartre). 

   Case goes to Supreme Court

1964 Democrat Lyndon Johnson gets1,663,185 votes to win Texas

1964,6/21 Civil Rights activists Chaney, Goodman and Schwerner murdered in Mississippi

1964,7/2 1964 Civil Rights Act passed

1964,7/9 Mass Transportation Act passed

1964 Bracero Program ended

1965,2/21 Malcolm X assassinated

1965,3/21 Selma Freedom March

1965,5/26 A. Philip Randolph Institute founded

1965,7/30 Medicare law passed

1965,9/6 farm workers start grape boycott

1966, 6/1 Star County farm workers strike near Rio Grande City

1966,8/22 United Farm Workers Organizing Committee (UFWOC) formed from Cesar

   Chavez' independent union and AFL-CIO AWOC. Later became United Farm Workers of America (UFW)

1967: Texas Instruments invents electronic calculator

1967, Jan Dr. George Green starts Labor History Archives at the University of

	Texas in Arlington. Grew to be largest in Southwest. Click here.

1967 “Riots” at Texas Southern University. Thousands of police bullets riddle boys’ dormitory

1967 First African American member of Dallas School Board, Emmett Conrad, elected

1967 Texas women relieved from some legal oppression. Click here

1968 Democrat Hubert Humphrey gets 1,266,804 votes to win Texas

1968,4/4 MLK killed in Memphis while helping sanitation workers strike

1968, 6/5 Robert Kennedy killed

1968,10/2 Tlatelolco massacre, 500 killed in Mexico City

1969 First African American on Dallas City Council, George Allen, elected.

	Anita N Martinez is first Hispanic elected to City Council

1969,2/4 Mark Clark and Fred Hampton killed by Chicago police

1969, 6/28 Stonewall Riot in Manhattan started the modern gay rights movement

1969, Peter Johnson arrived in Dallas to promoted the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC)

1969,9/11 Texas Instruments founders donate land for UT-Dallas

1970: Ford plant closes in Dallas

1970 Jose Angel Gutierrez & others start La Raza Unida Party in Crystal City

1970 Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) passed after a long fight

1970’s San Antonio community organization COPS became a force under Ernesto Cortes

1970,4/21 Earth Day

1970,5/7 UAW President Walter Reuther sends telegram to President Nixon protesting the invasion of Cambodia

1970,8/1 Carl Hampton killed by Houston police

1970, 10-6 Dallas Legal Services filed Tasby v Ellis to integrate schools. Click here

1971 18 African Americans file lawsuit to replace Dallas’ at-large City Council elections

1971, Teamsters National Black Caucus formed

1971,5/9 Walter & May Reuther killed

1972 Democrat George McGovern gets 1,154,289 votes to win Texas. Socialist 

  Workers Party candidate Linda Jenness gets 8,864

1973 (?) United Farm Workers joined AFL-CIO

1973, 1/22 Abortion legalized by Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision begun in Dallas

1973, 2/27 American Indian Movement (AIM) stands up to FBI at Wounded Knee

1973, 7/24 Little Santos Rodriguez killed by Dallas police. Click here

1973,1/27 End of Vietnam War. For notes on labor’s role, click here

1973,7/13 Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA) formed

1973 Houston policemen exposed as members of KKK

1974: U.S. Supreme Court decides in favor of Medrano et al over A.Y. Alee and the Texas Rangers

1974,2/23 Farah recognizes ACTWU as bargaining agent in El Paso pants factory after nationwide fight

1976,9 San Antonio legal workers protected their union brothers and

	sisters by refusing to show their documents during an INS raid

1974,3/22 Coalition of Labor Union Women (CLUW) founded

1974,8/1 First women American miners began work

1974,8/9: George Lambert, great Texas labor organizer, died. See "Blue Texas" by Max Krochmal.

1975,7/30 Jimmy Hoffa disappeared

1975,11/13 Karen Silkwood killed while trying to alert workers about the dangers of radioactivity

1976 Democrat Jimmy Carter gets 2,082,319 Texas votes. Peter Camejo 

  Soc Work gets 1,723. Anti-war independent Eugene McCarthy received 20,118

	and there were 2,982 write-in votes

1979,3/27 Three Mile Island nuclear accident occurred

1979, 6/13 Texas makes June 19 “Juneteenth” a state holiday. The first state to thus honor emancipation.

1979,7/19 Nicaragua revolution

1980 Republican Ronald Reagan won Texas with 2,510,705 votes

1980,3/24 Archbishop Oscar Romero assassinated by graduates of the U.S. Army School of the Americas

1980,4/11 EEOC began to regulate sexual harassment

1980,8/22 Joyce Miller is first woman elected to AFL-CIO Executive Council

1981 First former union president and FBI informant inaugurated President of U.S. (Reagan)

1981, 6/19 Three highschoolers, Baker, Freeman and Booker, drowned at Comanche Crossing while in

	police custody at Juneteenth celebration. Police exonerated by all-white jury in Dallas. 

	Giant Mejia annual celebrations diminish

1981,8/3 PATCO union broken by President Reagan. Almost all union memberships decline

1982: Texas Farm Workers union disbanded. Antonio Orendain had broken away from UFW

1982 Ku Klux Klan marched through Dallas and demonstrated on police station steps. For more on KKK, click here

1983 Dallas commits to mass transit with Dallas Area Regional Transit (DART)

1984,8/20: Republican convention re-nominates Ronald Reagan at Dallas Convention

1984 Republican Ronald Reagan won Texas with 3,433,428 votes. Communist 

  Gus Hall had 126 write-in votes

1984,5/21 First five union activists fired by LTV in Grand Prairie, Texas

1985,6/16: Death of great Texas civil libertarian and socialist candidate for governor, Carl Brannin

1985,7/1 UAW 848 wins contract with LTV after 15-month in-plant strategy

1986-89 Hundreds of Texas Savings & Loans collapse

1987,4/18 Dallas elects first woman mayor, Annette Strauss

1987,10/19 Stock market crash

1987 Five major industrial unions initiate the Jobs with Justice coalition. Eastern Airlines strike support benefits

1988 Republican George Bush won Texas with 3,036,829

1989,// Dallas activists join Amalgamated Transit Union strike against Greyhound

1990,1/15 North Texas Jobs with Justice carries out its first action, the Dallas MLK birthday march. Click here

1990,2/19 Pittston miners strike wins

1990, 6/15 Justice for Janitors Day established

1991, 3- NAACP and SCLC announce boycott to protest the city’s resistance to the court-ordered City Council election plan

1991 The 1971 lawsuit for fairer City Council elections in Dallas wins. Only the mayor will be elected “at large.”

1991, 11/5 Voters elect first Dallas City Council under 14-1 plan

1991,8/31 "Solidarity Day II" 300,000 trade unionists march on Washington

1991,9/3 25 poultry workers killed by fire in unsafe plant in Hamlet, NC

1991: Dallas Times Herald ceases publication in nationwide trend toward "one newspaper" cities

1992 Republican George Bush won Texas with 2,496,071, but Democrat 

  Clinton elected President

1992,3/5 Caterpillar declared impasse in negotiations with UAW

1992, 6/29 Ravenswood strikers victorious

1993 The Vatican reviewed Galileo Galilei's case and found him innocent of heresy

1993,4/13 It became illegal for Oklahoma men to rape their wives

1993,4/28 Workers' Memorial Day began

1994,1/1 NAFTA began

1994, Nov 30-Dec 2. Industrial Union Dept of AFL-CIO conference “Organizing,

Workplace Rights, and & Building Our Unions” in Washington, DC. Established

principles later used by challengers in 1995 AFL-CIO elections

1994, George W Bush elected Governor. Major quarrels with labor begin. Click here

1995, 5/11 The Amalgamated Clothing and Textile Workers Union (ACTWU) prior to forming UNITE!,

	signed a contract with Fojtasek in Dallas. An almost totally immigrant

	workforce now had a union contract in Texas! Click here

1995, April (?) 12-year old Iqbal Masih, a world figure in the fight against child labor, shotgunned to death

1995,7/1 Baltimore City Council put first “Living Wage” ordinance into effect

1995,10/23 AFL-CIO changes top leadership. For their program and some discussion, click here

1995 Amalgamated Clothiers and Textile Workers Union (ACTWU) merges with International

  Ladies Garment Workers Union (ILGWU) to form UNITE! Efforts underway to organize immigrant locals

1996 Telecommunications Act accelerated the concentration of information sources into a few corporate hands

1996, 4/28 Manuela Soliz Sager died after lifelong commitment to Texas 

  labor struggles

1996 Republican Bob Dole won Texas with 2,736,167

1997, 8/14 Nationwide solidarity helped Teamsters win UPS strike

1997,7/24 Dallas Diocese loses major sexual abuse case

1999,11/30 Labor joins large assembly of activists in opposing World Trade Organization in Seattle

2000, 4/10 Machinists struck Lockheed in Ft Worth

2000 George W. Bush, Republican, gets 3,799,639 Texas votes to win the delegation.

   Overall vote in Texas: 59%, but much lower  in major cities.

	Dallas vote: 52%. But Bush raised most of his money in Texas. Supreme Court rules that Bush won election

2001,6 Great Texas organizer and progressive Latane Lambert died

2001, 9/25 Oklahomans lose “Right to Work/Scab” election. Click here for info

2001 North Texas labor loses the body, but not the spirit, of Miss 

  Priscilla Bell. Click here

2001, 9/11 World Trade Center destroyed, wars in Middle East begun

2002, 4/4 Pancho Medrano "Senior" died in Dallas

2003, 1/28 Maury Maverick Jr,  great Texas civil libertarian, dies in San Antonio

2003, 6-5 Judge Barefoot Sanders declares Dallas schools integrated  after 48-year fight! Click here

2004 GW Bush inaugurated for second term.

For Texas history into 2001, click here.

For Texas history into 2003, click here. 

back to the timeline   back to history index back to

  site index