Sunday, March 07, 2010

Today -100: March 7, 1910: Of general strikes, quiet rubber, and phosphate violence

The city of Philadelphia’s director of public safety claims there are only 30,000 out on strike; the unions disagree. (And many paragraphs later, the NYT gets around to mentioning that the director of public safety is also a major stockholder in the Rapid Transit Company). Rioting was met by police shooting (annoyingly, the NYT is making no effort to keep count of the fatalities in this strike, but it’s certainly in the double digits). Emma Goldman is said to be on her way to the city, but the union leaders don’t want her. So far, 500 trolley cars have been burned or so damaged that they can’t be used, and people are soaping rail lines so the cars can’t climb hills. Scabs are being imported and paid a princely $5 a day (and some of them seem also to be keeping the fares they collect), compared to the $2 to $2.50 earned by the men they are replacing, who have actual experience.

The price of rubber has become less volatile, leading to the Headline of the Day -100: “Rubber Quiet in London.”

A short story with no details reports a race war with two dead in a phosphate camp in Florida. Don’t know what it’s about, but suddenly I want a chocolate phosphate.

What, too soon?

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