What better to do with the 24 hours of leisure we call Labor Day than to learn more about labor history?
• For Labor Day the National History Education Clearinghouse is featuring a variety of labor history resources, including quick introductions to the histories of women in the workplace and the auto industry during World War II, and (for you teachers out there) lesson plans on cotton mills and the Progressive Era.
• See for yourself if labor historian Rosemary Feurer is justified in proclaiming her website the “most comprehensive bibliography of information, documents and links of U.S. labor history sites on the internet.”
• Religious historian Janine Giordano Drake recalls when many Protestant churches celebrated “Labor Sunday” the day before Labor Day.
• Our own Chris Gehrz has a labor-themed “This Week in History” today at The Pietist Schoolman.
• A couple of oral history collections featuring workers from the first half of the 20th century: one at Historical Voices features participants in the 1936-1937 Sit-Down Strike of auto workers at General Motors’ plant in Flint, Michigan; the other tells the story of a textile mill in the Piedmont region, part of the Southern Oral History Project at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.
• Cornell University hosts a website devoted to the story of the Triangle Factory Fire of 1911, in which 146 people died — mostly young immigrant women working in what was little more than a sweatshop. It features materials held by Cornell’s Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation.
• The Minnesota Historical Society Library has online materials focused on several 20th century strikes: about Iron Range miners striking in 1907 and 1916; a strike of streetcar workers as Minnesota went to war in 1917; from Minneapolis, the Truckers’ Strike of 1934 and the Teachers’ Strike of 1970; and, finally, the 1985-1986 strike of Hormel food workers (part of local P-9, which gave its name to a pro-union song by then-little known Minneapolis rock band Soul Asylum):