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November 5: The Everett Lumber Massacre

Abraham Rabinowitz, 22, was among between seven and twelve members of the Industrial Workers of the World (the Wobblies) who were killed on a dock in Everett, Washington on this date in 1916, when two boats carrying 300 Wobblies were met with massive gunfire. The shingle weavers of the town, which was a major manufacturer […]

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November 17: The Hobo Doctor

Ben Lewis Reitman, an anarchist doctor who served and consorted with hobos, prostitutes, the poor, and other outcasts in Chicago, died on this date in 1942. Reitman provided abortions, under risk of prosecution, and served six months in prison for advocating birth control — the longest sentence handed out under the Comstock Laws. He suffered […]

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January 19: Dreaming of Joe Hill

On this day in 1915, IWW organizer Joe Hill (not Jewish) was arrested for murder in Salt Lake City. His trial was considered a frame-up and his conviction was widely protested (by Woodrow Wilson and Helen Keller, among others). A writer of labor songs and parodies, Joe Hill was himself immortalized in 1930 in a […]

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January 11: Bread and Roses

The Lawrence, Massachusetts textile workers strike, led by the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW, or Wobblies), began on this day in 1912. It lasted two months and united thousands of women of varying ethnicities who spoke dozens of languages among them. The strike later became known as the “Bread and Roses strike,” after a […]

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