LABOR: Man on the Spot

Middle-aged U.S. citizens were dimly aware that history was repeating itself.

In 1919, a few months after World War I, the U.S. was a boiling cauldron of labor trouble. During the war, wages had been high and unionism had flourished; as the readjustment began, strikes spread over the land in fearsome fury.

President Wilson's National Industrial Conference, even with the labor statesmanship of shrewd little Samuel Gompers, simmered away to nothing on the issue of collective bargaining. By the end of 1919, 4,160,348 U.S. workers had been embroiled in 3,630 strikes.

Toil &...

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