Posts tagged ‘history’

John Nichols: The Power of the General Strike

by , posted on Monday, April 23rd, 2012 at 9:16 pm

from The Nation

The idea of a general strike might seem a little outdated for today’s global economy, but general strikes nevertheless demonstrate not just the power but also the necessity of coordinated action for social and economic justice. In this video, John Nichols, who grew up in a factory town, offers a brief overview of the history of unionization and the general strike and the impact of both on workers’ rights.


SDS Founder, Tom Hayden on Participatory Democracy From Port Huron to Occupy Wall Street

by , posted on Friday, April 13th, 2012 at 9:59 am

from Democracy Now! – We speak with Tom Hayden, principal author of the Port Huron statement 50 years ago, the founding document of Students for a Democratic Society (SDS). The statement advocated for participatory democracy and helped launch the student movement of the 1960s. Tens of thousands of copies of the 25,000-word document were printed in booklet form. The youth-led movement changed the very language of politics and its impact is still being felt today. Hayden is a longtime activist and former California state senator.

See also: “Participatory Democracy: From the Port Huron Statement to Occupy Wall Street,” by Tom Hayden, The Nation, April 16, 2012

and: Found Objects for a Friday Afternoon: The Port Huron Statement


Found Objects for a Friday Afternoon: The Port Huron Statement

by , posted on Friday, April 6th, 2012 at 11:30 am

Full text: The Port Huron Statement (1962; New York: Students for a Democratic Society, 1964) [.pdf, 18.9 MB]

See also: “Participatory Democracy: From the Port Huron Statement to Occupy Wall Street,” by Tom Hayden, The Nation, April 16, 2012


Found Objects for a Friday Afternoon: “the banner Progressive district of the United States”

by , posted on Friday, October 7th, 2011 at 12:00 pm

Aurora, Ill.—Representative Ira C. Copley,

president of the Western United Gas and Electic Co., and director of the Rotary Meter Co., who represents in Congress what is said to be the banner Progressive district of the United States, is making a good campaign for re-election. Two years ago Mr. Copley got a plurality of more than 11,000 votes.

The Gas Age, September 1, 1914, p. 251.


Labor Day Parade, Aurora, 1911

by , posted on Monday, September 5th, 2011 at 8:05 am

Sign of the Times: Endangered

by , posted on Monday, June 20th, 2011 at 12:11 pm

Although I can’t claim to study it, I usually at least read the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Annual Most Endangered Historic Places List. This year, I was struck by something that seems to me to be unusual; I can’t remember a list so replete with sites that are endangered not by residential or commercial development, but rather by negative environmental impacts, whether those are represented by erosion and storms, or by mining and oil-well placement.

On the list and endangered by environmental threats are:

Bear Butte, South Dakota
Fort Gaines, Alabama
Greater Chaco Landscape, New Mexico
Isaac Manchester Farm, Pennsylvania

Also of note on this 11 most endangered list is item 11: “Sites Imperiled by State Actions” although I think they could have called this “State Inaction” because it amounts to funding for preservation projects drying up in states that are all experiencing budget shortfalls. And since I think we can all agree that “Our Endangered Economy” is impacting all 50 states, that would amount to just about every corner of the U.S. that is poised to lose important landmarks.


Found Objects for a Friday Afternoon: Green Jobs in the Fox Valley

by , posted on Friday, July 2nd, 2010 at 12:00 pm



Found Objects for a Friday Afternoon: If Aurora Is Bombed

by , posted on Friday, May 7th, 2010 at 12:00 pm

History of Earthquakes In Northern Illinois

by , posted on Wednesday, February 10th, 2010 at 11:38 am

So I just got done reassuring a friend that this was no doubt a freak incident and then I found this on the USGS website.

1909 Jun 26 14:42 5.1M Intensity VII
Aurora, Illinois ( 41.6N 88.1W )
This earthquake has been related to the La Salle anticline in the Illinois Basin. Many chimneys fell, a stove overturned, and gas line connections broke at Aurora, west of Chicago. Several chimneys were downed at Forreston, Naperville, Streator, Triumph, and Troy Grove, and one fell at Waukegan. Brick walls cracked at Bloomington, and sidewalks cracked and many chimneys were damaged at Freeport. At Platteville, Wis., about 130 km northwest of Chicago, an old building was cracked; houses were jostled out of plumb at Beloit, Wis., about 240 km northwest of Chicago. Felt from Missouri to Michigan and Minnesota to Indiana.

and this

1912 Jan 2 16:21 4.5M Intensity VI
Near Aurora, Freeport, Morris, and Yorkville, Illinois? ( 41.5N 88.5W )
The highest intensity was reported at those towns in Kane, Stephenson, Grundy, and Kendall Counties, respectively. Slight damage to chimneys was reported at Batavia and Geneva, Ill., north of Aurora, in Kane County. Two distinct shocks were observed at some places. The stronger shock also was felt in parts of Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky (Fulton County), and Wisconsin.

Thos are both pretty damned close right here. The USGS calls the 1909 quake perhaps the strongest to ever occur in Illinois. Leaving me to wonder why I know quite a bit about the New Madrid fault, but have never heard of the LaSalle anticline in the Illinois Basin.


The Cherry Mine Disaster, 1909

by , posted on Thursday, November 12th, 2009 at 10:19 pm

Cherry, Illinois was a company town. Named after James Cherry, the superintendent of the St. Paul Coal Company, mining operations had begun at Cherry, in the Illinois River Valley of north central Illinois, in 1904 in order to produce coal for the steam engines of the Chicago, Milwaukee, and St. Paul Railroad.

The Cherry operation was considered a safe, modern mine by the day’s standards, but on November 13, 1909, a fire started in the mine when torches used to light the mine after it’s state-of-the-art electrical lighting system had broken down set fire to a coal car full of hay that was being taken to feed the mules living down in the mine. There were 481 miners in the Cherry mine that day; 259 died. At the time it was the most deadly mining disaster the country had ever seen.

What follows is a description of what happened in the mine that day, based on first-hand testimony, excerpted from The Report on the Cherry Mine Disaster, published by the State of Illinois’ Board of Commissioners of Labor in 1910.