23
Nov
08

On This Day, 11-23-2008: Cripple Creek

November 23, 1903

Colorado governor sends militia to Cripple Creek

Determined to crush the union of the Western Federation of Miners (WFM), Colorado Governor James Peabody sends the state militia into the mining town of Cripple Creek.

The strike in the gold mines of Cripple Creek began that summer. William “Big Bill” Haywood’s Western Federation of Miners called for a sympathy strike among the underground miners to support a smelter workers’ strike for an eight-hour day. The WFM, which was founded in 1893 in Montana, had already been involved in several violent strikes in Colorado and Idaho. By the end of October, the call for action at Cripple Creek had worked, and a majority of mine and smelter workers were idle; Cripple Creek operations ground to a halt. Eager to resume mining and break the union, the mine owners turned to Governor Peabody, who agreed to provide state militia protection for replacement workers.

Outraged, the miners barricaded roads and railways, but by the end of September more than a thousand armed men were in Cripple Creek to undermine the strike. Soldiers began to round up union members and their sympathizers-including the entire staff of a pro-union newspaper-and imprison them without any charges or evidence of wrongdoing. When miners complained that the imprisonment was a violation of their constitutional rights, one anti-union judge replied, “To hell with the Constitution; we’re not following the Constitution!”

Such tyrannical tactics swung control of the strike to the more radical elements in the WFM, and in June 1904, Harry Orchard, a professional terrorist employed by the union, blew up a railroad station, which killed 13 strikebreakers. This recourse to terrorism proved a serious tactical mistake. The bombing turned public opinion against the union, and the mine owners were able to freely arrest and deport the majority of the WFM leaders. By midsummer, the strike was over and the WFM never again regained the power it had previously enjoyed in the Colorado mining districts.

“Colorado governor sends militia to Cripple Creek.” 2008. The History Channel website. 23 Nov 2008, 05:26 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=4346.

On This Day

1765 – Frederick County, MD, repudiated the British Stamp Act.

1835 – Henry Burden patented the horseshoe manufacturing machine.

1889 – The first jukebox made its debut in San Francisco, at the Palais Royale Saloon.

1936 – The first edition of “Life” was published.

1943 – During World War II, U.S. forces seized control of Tarawa and Makin from the Japanese during the Central Pacific offensive in the Gilbert Islands.

1945 – The U.S. wartime rationing of most foods ended.

1948 – Dr. Frank G. Back patented the “Zoomar” lens.

1971 – The People’s Republic of China was seated in the United Nations Security Council.

1979 – In Dublin, Ireland, Thomas McMahon was sentenced to life imprisonment for the assassination of Earl Mountbatten.

1980 – In southern Italy, approximately 4,800 people were killed in a series of earthquakes.

1998 – The tobacco industry signed the biggest U.S. civil settlement. It was a $206-billion deal to resolve remaining state claims for treating sick smokers.

November 23, 1972

Paris peace talks deadlocked

Secret peace talks resume in Paris between Henry Kissinger and Le Duc Tho, the North Vietnamese representative, but almost immediately reach an impasse.

The sticking points were the implementation of the international supervisory force and Saigon’s insistence on the withdrawal of all North Vietnamese troops from South Vietnam. When the talks became hopelessly deadlocked, President Nixon ordered what became known as the “Christmas bombing” to force the North Vietnamese back to the negotiating table.

Nixon halted the bombing when the communists agreed to return to Paris; a peace agreement was signed in January 1973. Because the United States was in such a hurry to end American participation in the war, the insistence on the withdrawal of North Vietnamese troops from South Vietnam ceased to be an issue. More than 100,000 communist troops were left in the south when the cease-fire went into effect. This played a major role in the fall of South Vietnam to the communists in April 1975.

“Paris peace talks deadlocked.” 2008. The History Channel website. 23 Nov 2008, 05:37 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=tdihArticleCategory&id=1506.

On This Day in Wisconsin

1909 – Janesville Man Convicted for Selling Oleo
On this date A.E. Graham of Janesville was put on trial for selling oleo as butter. Oleo, an early form of margarine, was outlawed in the dairy state of Wisconsin. On January 27, 1910, he was found guilty in federal court and sentenced to 18 months in Fort Leavenworth Prison. [Source: Janesville Gazette]

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