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  • Ladies' garment workers and photo engravers organize national unions.
  • In England, the Labour Representative Committee (the forerunner of the Labour Party) organizes.
  • International Secretariat of National Trade Union Centers is organized.
  • Jan. 31-Feb. 20: Gompers travels to Cuba.
  • Mar. 1: The Granite Cutters National Union begins a successful nationwide strike for the 8-hour day. The union also wins recognition, wage increases, a grievance procedure, and a minimum wage scale.
  • Apr. : The National Civic Federation is organized to bring together business, labor, and civic leaders to discuss issues of national importance, including industrial relations. Gompers serves on the advisory council and as vice president.
  • May 10-18: The International Association of Machinists and the National Metal Trades Association negotiate the Murray Hill agreement, a national agreement that reduces hours, prohibits strikes for the life of the contract, establishes a joint arbitration and leaves wage rates to local negotiations.
  • Sept. 17-Oct. 29: Pennsylvania anthracite miners strike successfully, boosting the UMW in this region.


  • Capmakers, railroad car workers, and railroad freight handlers organize national unions.
  • July 1-Sept. 14: The Amalgamated Association of Iron, Steel, and Tin Workers stages a three-month strike against U. S. Steel Corporation subsidiaries, but is defeated.
  • Nov.: The AFL convention establishes a defense fund for the benefit of federal labor unions and directly affiliated local unions, financed by a 5 cent increase in per capita taxes.
  • Nov.: The AFL convention adopts the Scranton doctrine on labor autonomy.  It states that "the interest of the trade union movement will be promoted by closely allied and subdivided crafts giving consideration to amalgamation and to the organization of District and National Trade Councils."


  • Commercial telegraphers, glove workers, and shipwrights organize national unions.
  • The Western Labor Union becomes the American Labor Union.
  • Apr. 29: Chinese Exclusion Act is signed into law.
  • May 12: Anthracite miners strike for 8 hours and increased wages, idling about 150,000 men. After operators refuse to negotiate with the UMW, President Theodore Roosevelt orders U.S. labor commissioner Carroll Wright to investigate in June.
  • July 25: Danbury Hatters strike begins at D. E. Loewe and Co.
  • Sept. 15-19: The Trades and Labor Congress of Canada claims jurisdiction over all Canadian federal labor unions and central labor unions. On May 12, 1903, the AFL issues a circular concurring with this decision.
  • Oct. 16: President Theodore Roosevelt appoints Anthracite Coal Commission. It examines 558 witnesses between November and March 1903. On Mar. 21, 1903, it institutes a three-year settlement of the anthracite strike that includes wage increases, a shorter work day, and a board of conciliation.
  • Dec. 19: British jury finds for the Taff Vale Railway Co. in its suit for damages against the Amalgamated Society of Railway Servants, a union that had struck the company in 1901. The decision renders unions liable for damages when their agents are held to have violated the law.


  • Hod carriers and shingle weavers organize national unions.
  • Gompers' son, Abraham Julian, a clothing cutter, dies of tuberculosis in Denver.
  • Apr.: A coalition of metal trades workers attempts to organize the Westinghouse Electric Corp. in Pittsburgh, but the company defeats them.
  • July 7: Mary Harris ("Mother") Jones leads the March of the Mill Children from Philadelphia to Pres. Theodore Roosevelt's summer home in Oyster Bay, Long Island, to publicize the harsh conditions of child labor. When a preliminary delegation arrives on July 29, however, they are not allowed through the gates.
  • Aug. 31: D. E. Loewe and Co. sues the United Hatters of North America for damages in state and federal courts.
  • Oct. 8: Structural Building Trades Alliance organizes in Indianapolis.
  • Oct. 29: Citizens Industrial Association of America, to promote the open shop, organizes in Chicago with David Parry as president.
  • Nov.: A coalition of trade unionists, social reformers, and settlement house workers organizes the Woman's Trade Union League. In 1907, they change the name to the National Women's Trade Union League.


  • Foundry workers organize a national union.
  • Feb. 13-Mar. 21: Gompers travels to Puerto Rico.
  • Apr. 27: Second Chinese Exclusion Act is signed into law
  • July 15: American Federationist publishes a special political edition focusing on the initiative and referendum and posing sample questions for candidates.


  • Woodsmen organize a national  union.
  • In Russia, a revolutionary uprising leads to the formation of the first trade unions.
  • Apr. 17: U.S. Supreme Court strikes down a New York state law regulating hours of employment and working conditions in bakeries (Lochner v. New York).
  • June 27-July 8: Industrial Workers of the World organizes in Chicago. Charles O. Sherman, a former AFL organizer, is elected president. He serves for one year and then leads his faction out of  the IWW over a dispute with Daniel DeLeon and his supporters.
  • Aug. 10: International Assn. of Bridge and Structural Iron Workers calls a national strike against the American Bridge Co., a subsidiary of the U.S. Steel Corp. On May 1, 1906, the National Erectors Association declares that members, including the American Bridge Company, will only operate open shops, a decision that incites union resistance and results in widespread violence and the dynamiting of work sites.


  • Agnes Nestor is elected secretary-treasurer of the International Glove Workers Union. She serves until 1913 when she is elected president.
  • Emma Goldman founds the anarchist journal, Mother Earth.
  • Upton Sinclair publishes The Jungle.
  • The International Typographical Union strikes successfully for the 8-hour day.
  • AFL helps railroad employees secure a federal limited liability law.
  • Feb.: WFM leaders Charles Moyer, Bill Haywood, and George Pettibone are kidnapped by Colorado and Idaho authorities and extradited to Idaho where they are jailed on charges of conspiracy in the murder of former Idaho governor Frank Steunenberg. After Haywood and Pettibone are tried and acquitted, charges against Moyer are dropped.
  • Mar. 21: Gompers and AFL representatives present "Labor's Bill of Grievances" to Pres. Theodore Roosevelt, Speaker of the House Joseph Cannon, and president pro tem of the Senate William Frye.
  • Aug. 14: Sixteen IWW locals meet in Chicago and vote to abolish the office of president. The following month, at the IWW's 2nd convention, factional quarrels split the the organization in two. The fight continues through 1908.
  • Aug. 18-Sept. 8: Gompers campaigns against Rep. Charles Littlefield (R-Maine), who nevertheless wins reelection.
  • Nov. : William B. Wilson, a founding member of the United Mine Workers, is elected to Congress as a Democrat.
  • Dec. 22-Jan. 15, 1907: Gompers travels to Cuba.


  • Lobstermen organize a national union.
  • AFL organizes members of Congress holding trade union cards into a labor caucus.
  • Mar. 22: The AFL Executive Council votes to place the Bucks Stove and Range Co. on its "We Don't Patronize" list. The company then files a bill of complaint in the Supreme Court of the District of Columbia, asking for an injunction against the boycott. On Dec. 18, a temporary injunction is granted, and it is made permanent on Mar. 23, 1908.


  • Mar.: AFL establishes the Building Trades Dept.
  • Mar. 18-19: The AFL Executive Council and representatives of unions, railroad brotherhoods, and farmers' organizations, meet in Washington to ratify "Labor's Protest to Congress." They present it to president of the Senate Charles Fairbanks and Speaker of the House Joseph Cannon.
  • June 17: Gompers and AFL delegation appear before the platform committee of the Republican national convention but fail to influence it.
  • July 2: AFL charters Metal Trades Dept.
  • July 7:Gompers and AFL delegation appear before the platform committee of the Democratic national convention in Denver. "We were subject to considerable questioning and exchange of views," Gompers later writes, "with the result that the committee did include most of the requests that we presented" including support for 8 hours and the limited use of injunctions.
  • Aug. 30: The Red Special, the Socialist Party's campaign train, leaves Chicago on the first leg of a national campaign trip to boost Eugene V. Debs for president.
  • Dec. 23: Associate Justice Daniel Wright of the Supreme Court of the District of Columbia finds Gompers, Frank Morrison, and John Mitchell in contempt of court for violating the injunction in the Buck's Stove and Range case.


  • AFL votes to join International Secretariat of Trade Union Centers.
  • Feb. 19: AFL charters Railroad Employes' Dept.
  • April 2: AFL charters Union Label Dept.
  • June 19-Oct.8: Gompers travels to Europe and attends meetings of the General Federation of Trade Unions (Blackpool), the International Secretariat of the National Centers of Trade Unions (Paris) and the Trade Union Congress (Ipswich).
  • July 1: Amalgamated Assn. of Iron, Steel, and Tin Workers unsuccessfully strikes the  American Sheet and Tin Plate Co., a subsidiary of U.S. Steel Corp.
  • Nov.: Nineteen year old Elizabeth Gurley Flynn, the IWW "Rebel Girl" organizer, arrives in Spokane to agitate for free speech. She is arrested with another IWW agitator who is later convicted of criminal conspiracy. But on Feb. 24, 1910,  the jury refuses to find her guilty of the same offense.
  • Nov. 2: D.C. Court of Appeals upholds Justice Daniel Wright's finding Gompers, John Mitchell, and Frank Morrison in contempt of court for violating injunctions issued in the Buck's Stove case.
  • Nov. 22-Feb. 15, 1910: New York City shirtwaist and dressmakers launch "The uprising of the 20,000," a strike led by the ILGWU, the Women's Trade Union League, and the United Hebrew Trades, that secures the union's organization.


  • Feb. 4: In the first trial of Loewe v. Lawlor (the Danbury Hatters' case), the jury finds for Loewe, awarding him triple damages and costs.  In April the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reverses the decision and orders a new trial.   
  • May 5: Gompers publishes Labor in Europe and America, an account of his 1909 European trip.
  • July 7-Sept. 2: ILGWU cloakmakers in New York City strike.  Louis D. Brandeis negotiates an arbitration agreement, known as the Protocol of Peace, that is adopted by the ILGWU's Joint Board and the Manufacturers Protective Association.
  • Oct. 1: Explosion and fire at the Los Angeles's Times building kills twenty people. In April 1911, John McNamara, secretary-treasurer of the Structural Iron Workers, and his brother James, are arrested.  In December James pleads guilty to a murder charge in the dynamiting case and John McNamara pleads guilty to conspiracy in dynamiting the Llewellyn Iron Works.


  • Western Federation of Miners rejoins the AFL.
  • Mar. 25:  The Triangle Shirtwaist fire destroys three top floors of a 10 story building in New York City's Greenwich Village. One hundred forty six workers, mostly women and girls, are killed largely because the exits are locked and fire equipment inadequate (Photo). As a result of this tragedy, the New York Factory Investigating Commission is established and Gompers is appointed a member.
  • Apr. 8: AFL begins publishing the Weekly Newsletter.
  • May: Shop craftsmen on the Illinois Central Railroad organize the Illinois Central Federation of Shop Employees. In June, a similar body -- the Harriman System Federation -- is formed on eight Harriman lines. The new federations call for recognition, apprenticeship regulation, the 8 hour day, wage increases and improved conditions, but railroad officials refuse to bargain with them.
  • May 15: U.S. Supreme Court reverses Judge Wright's 1908 contempt ruling against Gompers, John Mitchell, and Frank Morrison in the Buck's Stove case. The following day Judge Wright initiates new contempt proceedings.
  • Aug. 17-Oct. 4: Gompers travels to the West Coast and participates in the campaign to defend the McNamara brothers.
  • Sept. 30-June 1915: Railroad shopmen in 28 cities strike the Illinois Central Railroad and the Harriman lines, but railroad officials obtain sweeping injunctions against them and rely on police and armed guards to escort strikebreakers to and from work. Violence erupts in New Orleans, San Francisco, and towns in Mississippi and Tennessee, among many other places. The AFL Railway Employes' Dept. supports the shopmen until its strike fund is depleted in Dec. 1914.
  • Nov.: AFL convention declares that "large as this country is, it is not large enough to hold two organizations of one craft."


  • After a 20 year campaign, an eight-hour bill for federal employees becomes law.
  • Massachusetts adopts the first minimum wage and hour law for women and minors.
  • AFL and city central labor unions launch "Labor Forward" organizing campaign.
  • In Mexico, Casa de Obrero Mundial, or House of the World's Workers, is organized.
  • Jan. 8: AFL charters the Mining Dept.
  • Jan. 11-Mar. 14: Textile workers strike in Lawrence, Mass., for  higher wages, overtime pay, and the elimination of a bonus system. IWW leader Joseph Ettor chairs the strike committee, but mill owners refuse to meet with him or to submit the case to the state arbitration board. In the meantime a striker is killed when street violence erupts, and Ettor and Arturo Giovanitti, another IWW strike leader, are arrested. When police forcefully prevent strikers from sending their children to foster families in other cities on Feb. 24, the publicity that results compels the governor and federal officials to call for an investigation and the mill owners to settle the strike.
  • Jan. 15: U.S. Supreme Court approves Employers' Liability Act of 1908.
  • May: Bill Haywood is elected to the Socialist Party's National Executive Board. However he is removed the following year on the grounds that he advocates industrial violence and opposes political action. A membership referendum supports his removal.
  • June 24: Judge Wright again finds Gompers, Mitchell, and Morrison guilty of contempt and sentences them to prison.
  • Aug. 23: Bill creating the U.S. Commission on Industrial Relations becomes law.
  • Oct. 11: In the second Loewe  v Lawlor trial (the Danbury Hatters' case)  the jury finds for Loewe, awarding him triple damages and costs.
  • Nov.: Eugene V. Debs polls 6 percent of the votes cast for president, the Socialist Party's best showing to date.


  • Feb. 1-July 28: Under the leadership of the IWW, silk workers strike in Paterson, N. J. for 8 hours and improved working conditions.  Before the strike is lost in July, some 1,850 strikers and supporters are arrested, including Bill Haywood and Elizabeth Gurley Flynn.  On June 7 journalist John Reed stages a strike pageant in Madison Square Garden but it fails to raise the money necessary to keep the strikers going.
  • Mar.-Aug.: Gompers is seriously ill with mastoiditis, a painful inflammation of the mastoid bone in the skull.  He is hospitalized and forced to cut down on his work for the AFL as he recuperates.
  • Mar. 4: President Woodrow Wilson signs legislation creating the Department of Labor. William B. Wilson, of the UMW, is appointed Secretary of Labor.
  • May 5 D.C. Court of Appeals upholds Judge Wright's verdict, but reduces the penalties, sentencing SG to thirty days in prison and fining Mitchell and Morrison $500 each. SG, Mitchell, and Morrison then appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court which overturned their convictions on May 11, 1914.
  • June 20: Frank P. Walsh, a Kansas City lawyer and progressive Democrat, is appointed to chair the U.S. Commission on Industrial Relations.
  • July 23-Apr. 12, 1914: Northern Michigan copper miners strike for 8 hours, higher wages, and union recognition.  Before the strike is lost in Apr. 1914, 600 strikers are arrested for inciting to riot, 500 for violating an injunction against picketing, and the WFM's president, Charles Moyer, is shot, beaten and forced out of town. 
  • Dec.: AFL convention passes a one-cent per capita assessment to aid the organization of women workers.


  • Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America is organized.
  • IWW organizer and songwriter, Joe Hill, is arrested in Salt Lake City, Utah, and charged with robbery and murder.  His many supporters believe he has been framed and launch a defense campaign.
  • Jan. 5: Henry Ford institutes the $5 day for 8 hours work.
  • Apr. 20: The Ludlow Massacre erupts during a UMW strike against the Rockefellers' Colorado Fuel and Iron Company after National Guardsmen attack a tent colony housing striking miners and their families.
  • Oct. 14: President Woodrow Wilson signs the Clayton Antitrust Act which declares that "the labor of a human being is not a commodity or article of commerce."
  • July 28:  The assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand at Sarajevo triggers World War I.
  • Nov.: AFL convention endorses principles for workmen's compensation laws, including support for widows and children, and the establishment of state commissions to administer workmen's compensation laws.


  • Non-Partisan League is organized in North Dakota.
  • In England, wartime government introduces the Munitions of War Act and other measures to prevent strikes and institute compulsory arbitration of trade disputes.
  • Mar. 3: The Seamen's Act, providing basic protections and rights for these long abused workers, is signed into law.
  • Nov. : AFL convention instructs the Executive Council to help secure a model workmen's compensation law for government employees.
  • Nov. 19: Joe Hill, the IWW organizer,  is executed.  His famous last words are reported to be: "Don't waste time in mourning.  Organize."


  • American Federation of Teachers is organized.
  • Congress enacts comprehensive workmen's compensation law for federal workers.
  • Federal child labor law is passed. But before it becomes effective on Sept. 1, 1917,  it is challenged and in June 1918, the U.S. Supreme Court declares it unconstitutional (Hammer v. Dagenhart).
  • Jan.: Gompers makes his first speech in favor of military preparedness at a National Civic Federation meeting in New York City.
  • May 1: Unionized shingle weavers in Everett, Wash., strike for higher wages, but employers break the strike and the union.
  • July 4: AFL dedicates new headquarters at 9th St. and Massachusetts Ave, N. W., Washington, D.C.
  • July 22: A bomb explodes during San Francisco's Preparedness Day parade, killing 9 and wounding 40 people. Labor activists Tom Mooney and Warren Billings are arrested. Because they are "framed" through perjured testimony and Mooney sentenced to death, the AFL joins the campaign for a new trial.
  • Sept.: The Adamson Act, which secures the 8 hour day for railroad workers, is passed. But it is only enforced in March 1917 after the four railroad brotherhoods stand together and threaten to strike.
  • Oct 30: Forty IWW members arrive by boat in Everett, Wash., but before they can land they are clubbed and jailed  by local deputies. Later that night they are beaten. On Nov. 5, some 250 IWW supporters arrive to fight for free speech, but gunfire breaks out as soon as they arrive, leaving many dead and 31 Wobblies injured. Both Bill Haywood and Gompers  call on the federal government to protect the rights of working-class citizens in Everett, but no action is taken.
  • Nov.: AFL convention endorses bill establishing a woman's bureau in the Department of Labor to be headed by a woman. It also endorses the WTUL's efforts to secure 8-hour legislation in the states and the U.S. Congress.


  • National Federation of Federal Employees is organized.
  • In Hitchman Coal and Coke Co. v. Mitchell the U.S. Supreme Court reaffirms a 1908 West Virginia federal district court's judgment that the United Mine Workers of America is an illegal combination under the Sherman Antitrust Act and upholds the legality of the "yellow dog" contract which forbids workers to join unions.
  • AFL hosts Pan American Labor Conference with Mexican trade unionists.
  • Jan. 28: Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Gompers celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary.
  • Feb. 4: Gompers cables Carl Legien, leader of the German labor movement, asking him to prevail on German government to avoid a break with the United States.
  • Feb. 27: In Russia, the czar is overthrown.
  • Feb. 27: Gompers meets with members of AFL Railway Employes Dept. to discuss labor's role in the war.
  • Mar. 3: The Council of National Defense is formally organized to coordinate industries and resources for national security and general welfare during the war. Gompers serves as chair of the advisory committee on labor which holds its first meeting Apr. 2. On Apr. 5, the executive committee considers the problem of labor standards during the war and recommends that neither employers nor employees take advantage of war necessity to change existing standards, except when required by the war emergency and approved by the Council.
  • Mar. 12: AFL conference of trade union leaders adopts a declaration on "American Labor's Position in Peace or in War."
  • Mar. 20: Gompers meets with Pres. Woodrow Wilson to discuss a new trial for Tom Mooney. On Mar. 30 he presents evidence to Secretary of State Lansing, indicating a miscarriage of justice, and the following week he meets with Attorney General Gregory to present more evidence on Mooney's behalf. That fall Mooney's sentence is commuted to life imprisonment but he is not pardoned until the 1930s.
  • Apr. 6: Congress passes joint resolution declaring war on Germany and presidential proclamation authorizes the detention of enemy aliens.
  • April 7-11: The Socialist Party meets in emergency convention and supports a resolution denouncing American entry into World War I.  A national referendum of the membership supports this action, but it nevertheless divides the party.
  • Apr. 28: Gompers presents a plan for industrial peace to the CND calling for a National Board of Labor Adjustment which would establish minimum standards, including the 8-hr day and prevailing union wages, and would have the power to make final decisions on grievances that could not be settled in the workplace. His plan is not enacted however.
  • May: People's Council for Democracy and Terms of Peace organizes in New York City.
  • May 15: British trade unionists address the Council of National Defense on their experiences with war.
  • June 15: The Espionage Act becomes law, making interference with conscription and war related industrial production a crime.
  • June 19: Secretary of War Newton Baker and Gompers sign an agreement to establish a 3 member board of adjustment to control wages, hours, and working conditions for construction workers employed on government projects. Although the agreement did not protect the closed shop, it did protect union wage and hour standards for the duration of the war.
  • June 28: Copper miners in Bisbee, Arizona, strike for higher wages. Local authorities claim that foreigners, aliens, and enemies of the state are violently intimidating law abiding citizens,  including women, and call for federal troops to break the strike.  After this request is turned down, the sheriff joins forces with local businessmen, and on July 12, two thousand deputies track down IWW members and force them out of town. The majority are American citizens who have registered for the draft or purchased liberty bonds.
  • July 17: U.S. Justice Dept. instructs its attorneys and special agents to keep tabs on local Wobblies and ascertain their plans, sources of income, and any data that might link them to anti-war or pro-German activity. No incriminating evidence surfaces however.
  • July 29: With support from George Creel's Committee on Public Information, the American Alliance for Labor and Democracy organizes and Gompers serves as chair.
  • Aug. 1: IWW organizer Frank Little is lynched in Butte, and his body is left dangling from a railroad trestle.
  • Aug. 19: On the eve of a threatened general strike to retaliate against military harassment, federal troops move into Spokane and raid local IWW headquarters.
  • Sept. 5: Federal agents raid IWW offices in 48 cities.
  • Sept. 18: Gompers is called to the White House to give his views on the labor situation in Russia.
  • Sept. 19: Pres. Wilson appoints a mediation commission to investigate labor conflicts in Arizona copper mines. Hearings begin on Oct. 6.
  • Sept 24: Gompers sends a message to the Russian people supporting the Kerensky government.
  • Sept. 28: A federal grand jury in Chicago indicts 166 IWW members on five charges, including failing to register for the draft, conspiring to cause insubordination in the armed forces, and interfering with the constitutional rights of employers to execute government contracts. On the advice of counsel, they turn themselves in.
  • Oct.-Nov.: Bolshevik revolution overthrows Kerensky.


  • John Reed publishes Ten Days That Shook the World.
  • In Mexico, the Confederación Regional Obrera Mexicana, or Regional Confederation of Mexican Workers, is organized, and in Nicaragua, the Federación Obrera Nicaraguense, the Nicaraguan Labor Federation, is organized.
  • Jan. 4: President Wilson appoints Secretary of Labor William B. Wilson as War Labor Administrator, with responsiblity for creating federal agencies to maintain a stable workforce for war production, safeguard working conditions in war-related industries, and resolve labor disputes.
  • Jan. 9: President's Mediation Commission report finds that "industry's failure to deal with unions" is the prime reason for labor strife in war industries.
  • Jan. 28:Secretary of Labor Wilson asks the National Industrial Conference Board, an employers' group, and the AFL to each nominate five individuals to sit on the War Labor Conference Board. The Board was created to develop uniform standards and procedures to guide the government's labor policy.
  • Feb. 20: Inter-Allied Labor and Socialist conference meets in London.
  • Mar. 28: State Dept. gives Gompers permission for an AFL delegation to travel through the war zones of Europe. The group departs in April to tour England and the continent, and returns to the U.S. in June.
  • Mar. 29: The War Labor Board recommends the creation of National War Labor Board to oversee the adjustment of labor disputes in war-related industries.
  • Apr. 1: IWW trial begins in Chicago. After listening to 4 months of testimony indicting the IWW as a revolutionary organization (but offering no evidence of individual guilt), the jury finds the defendants guilty. On Aug. 31, nearly all are sentenced to jail, some (Bill Haywood, for example) for as long as twenty years.
  • Apr. 8: Pres. Wilson establishes the War Labor Board.
  • June 16: Debs speaks in Canton, Ohio, on the relation between capitalism and war; this leads to his arrest under the Espionage Act. In September he is tried, convicted, and sentenced to ten years. In April 1919 he is incarcerated first at a state prison in Moundsville, West Virginia, and then in the Atlanta Federal Penitentiary, a maximum security prison.  He remains there until he is pardoned by President Warren G. Harding in December 1921.
  • Aug. 16: Gompers and AFL delegation travel to Europe on one of fourteen troop ships carrying 40,000 American soldiers. On Sept. 1 they attend the British TUC and on Sept. 17, the Inter-Allied Socialist and Labor Conference. They also travel to France and Italy. Before returning home, though, Gompers learns that his youngest daughter, Sadie, has died from influenza.  He immediately returns to Washington, D.C.
  • Nov.: Chicago Federation of Labor votes to submit a resolution to the AFL calling for an endorsement of an independent labor party.
  • Nov. 11: Armistice ending the war is signed.
  • Nov. 13-16: Labor representatives from Mexico, Chile, and Yucatan, along with AFL representatives including Gompers,  participate in a Pan American Federation of Labor conference in Laredo, Texas.


  • Chicago Federation of Labor launches a labor party and CFL President John Fitzpatrick runs unsuccessfully for mayor.
  • Left wing socialists break with the Socialist party and organize the American Communist party.
  • Jan. 8: Gompers travels to Europe for postwar labor conferences and to participate in the peace conference in Paris as a U.S. representative on the International Labor Commission.
  • Feb.: Seattle General Strike paralyzes the city for 5 days.
  • Sept. 9: Boston police strike begins.
  • Sept. 22: Steel strike begins.
  • Nov. 21-22: American Labor Party is formed in Chicago.
  • Dec. 13: AFL Executive Council hosts a meeting of delegates from unions, railroad brotherhoods, and farmers' organizations, issues a statement of grievances, and organizes the AFL's National Non-Partisan Politcal Campaign Committee to conduct labor's political campaign in  1920.


  • Jan. 2: The Palmer raids, a drive to rid the country of "reds," begin under the auspices of the U.S. Dept. of Justice. On Jan. 3, the New York Times reports that 650 are arrested.
  • Spring: Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti are arrested for murder and robbery. The following spring they are found guilty and sentenced to death in the electric chair. For the next six years they fight for their lives, but they are executed on Aug. 23, 1927.
  • Spring: Seattle Central Labor Council and other city central labor unions publicly challenge AFL's authority and policies.
  • May: Gompers debates Kansas Governor Henry J. Allen over industrial court law.
  • May 20: The Socialist Party nominates Debs for president, and he is the first candidate to mount a campaign from jail. Beginning in Sept. he is permitted to issue weekly public statements that are then circulated by the party. He runs on the slogan, "From the Prison to the White House," and polls 3.5 percent of the vote.


  • AFL institutes an information and publicity service.
  • Building Service Employees International Union organizes.
  • Bill Haywood skips bail and flees to Russia where he eventually dies on May 28, 1928.
  • Soviet leaders establish the Red International, or Profintern, an international trade union organization.
  • June: Gompers and Frank Morrison attend a meeting called by railroad union leaders and Senator Robert La Follette to establish a People's  Legislative Service to aid Congress. Gompers opposes the plan, however.
  • Dec. 25: Debs is released from prison, following a spirited amnesty campaign.


  • AFL convention petitions for a new trial for Sacco and Vanzetti.
  • Open shop proponents launch the "American plan" against organized labor.
  • Feb.: Conference for Progressive Political Action is organized to support Socialist and labor candidates for Congress.
  • Mar. 19: Chicago Federation of Labor challenges the AFL's craft structure.
  • Nationwide coal miners, quarry workers and granite cutters' strikes begin
  • May 15: U.S. Supreme Court strikes down Child Labor Tax Act
  • June 1: SG forms Permanent Conference for the Abolition of Child Labor
  • June 22: Herrin Massacre
  • July 1: Railroad shop craft workers' strike begins. Taking the side of  employers, President Warren G. Harding declares it to be a strike "against the government." The strike is lost the following year.
  • Aug. 20: Authorities raid Chicago headquarters of the Trade Union Educational League
  • Fall: James A. Duncan, a leader of the Seattle Central Labor Council, runs for United States Senator on the Farmer-Labor ticket. Gompers supports the Democratic candidate, arguing that he has the better chance to defeat the reactionary, anti-labor Republican incumbent.
  • Nov: The Farmer-Labor party elects a U.S. Senator in Minnesota, Henrik Shipstead, its first statewide victory


  • Mar. 7-23: SG hospitalized in New York City with influenza, bronchial pneumonia, and heart congestion; returns to work Ap. 3 
  • Apr. 2: U.S. Supreme Court strikes down District of Columbia's minimum wage law for women  
  • July 3-5: Founding convention of Federated Farmer-Labor party meets in Chicago 
  • Dec. 4: SG initiates AFL campaign to organize women workers 
  • Dec. 24: SG travels to Panama Canal; returns Jan. 17, 1924  

  • 1924

    • Feb.-April: SG suffers with severe bronchial cold
    • June 3-July 8: SG is hospitalized in New York City
    • June 17-19: Farmer-Labor Progressive convention meets in St. Paul
    • June 25: SG presents labor's demands to the Democratic party's platform committee
    • July 4-5: Conference for Progressive Political Action convention meets in Cleveland.
    • Aug. 2: Aug.:Despite serious illness, Gompers urges the AFL Executive Council to support Senator Robert La Follette's independent campaign for president, if only to send protest message to the traditional parties.
    • Nov. 9: railroad union representatives vote to oppose the formation of a third political party.  
    • Nov. 17-25: AFL meets in El Paso, Tex. SG is reelected president. Convention adopts resolution describing Sacco and Vanzetti as "victims of race and national prejudice and class hatred."
    • Nov. 30: Gompers attends inauguration of Mexico's first labor president, General Plutarcho Elias Calles in Mexico City
    • Dec. 2: "Gompers Day" is celebrated in Mexico City with a reception hosted by President Calles is held in the National Palace
    • Dec. 3-9: Pan-American Federation of Labor convention meets in Mexico City
    • Dec. 8-11 SG is stricken in Mexico City and is rushed by train back to the United States at his request.
    • Dec. 13: SG dies in San Antonio, Tex.
    • Dec. 18: SG is buried in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, Sleepy Hollow, New York.
    • Dec. 19: William Green is elected AFL president


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