Monthly Archives: January 2018

“Save the Union” riot, 1928

About 250 club-wielding coal miners allied with John L. Lewis’ faction of the United Mine Workers of America attacked members of an anti-Lewis splinter group, the “Save the Union” movement, at Springfield’s Old West Mine on April 24, 1928. See … Continue reading

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Roy Jones (radical activist)

Roy Jones’ alleged Communist sympathies in the 1920s and ’30s got him in trouble with both with law enforcement and more conservative wings of the labor movement. See Hunger march blockade, 1933.

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George Voyzey (labor radical)

Springfield activist George Voyzey’s radical sympathies got him in trouble with both local authorities and some other labor union leaders. See Hunger march blockade, 1933.

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Hunger march blockade, 1933

Police cordoned off Sangamon County in April 1933 to quell a planned “hunger march” on the Statehouse by unemployed people from around Illinois. Springfield Mayor John “Buddy” Kapp summed up authorities’ opinion of the demonstration: “The law enforcing officers of the … Continue reading

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‘Toy-pistol tetanus’

Dozens of young Sangamon County residents were injured, and a few killed, by toy pistols during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The pistols were a regular feature of the Fourth of July, which is when the vast majority … Continue reading

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Prince Sanitarium

The David Prince Sanitarium opened in 1890 as a center for general surgery and eye, ear, nose and throat treatment. By 1978, when the building was demolished, it was a shabby apartment building whose tenants were the respectable (and elderly) … Continue reading

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Fuel crisis shutdown, 1918

In January 1918, the federal government told thousands of Sangamon County workers to take the week off. U.S. fuel administrator Harry Garfield on Jan. 17, 1918, ordered most factories east of the Mississippi River to close from Friday, Jan. 18, … Continue reading

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First labor strike, 1872-73

Sangamon County’s first labor strike failed, but it was only the first step in a coming struggle between business owners and the growing power of unionized workers. The issue in December 1872 was a demand by the county’s coal miners … Continue reading

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International Union of Operating Engineers, 1930s (photo)

Springfield-based Local 965 of the International Union of Operating Engineers, founded in 1931, struggled at its start, largely because of the Great Depression. But there was another problem, according to an international union official who critiqued the local in 1933: … Continue reading

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Coldest day in Springfield history (1905)

Springfield’s temperature fell to 24 degrees below zero at 7 a.m. on Monday, Feb. 13, 1905, the lowest official reading ever recorded in the city. Engines seized up, gas mains failed, and the destitute crowded local jails. Even the ink … Continue reading

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