Wednesday, February 03, 2016

Today -100: February 3, 1916: Of child labor and Philippines independence

The House passes a bill to ban interstate shipping of products produced by child labor (that is, children under 14 in factories, 16 in mines, or 16 if they work at night or more than 8 hours a day). The chief opposition comes from Southerners, since cotton mills are a major employer of minors. The Keating-Owen Act will become law, only to be overturned in 1918 by the Supreme Court, which ruled that, while the interstate commerce clause allows Congress to regulate inherently immoral products like liquor and whores, cotton is not immoral and Congress doesn’t have the power to overrule states with crappy child labor laws.

The Senate votes 41 to 41 for independence for the Philippines in 1921. VP Marshall casts the deciding vote in favor.

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