Today in History
5 May 2012
May 5, 1886
The day after the Haymarket massacre in Chicago, the Bay View massacre took place in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. After three days of parades and strikes by factory, brewery and building trades workers in support of the eight-hour day, the mayor issued a warning against further demonstrations. On May 5, a crowd of 1,500 marched nonetheless to the Bay View Rolling Mill. The state militia was called out and troops fired in the crowd, killing seven people. No one who fired the shots was ever indicted, but 50 strikers were sentenced to several months of hard labor on rioting and conspiracy charges.
May 5, 1920
Two Italian-born anarchists, Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti, were arrested in Brockton, Massachusetts, and charged with killing two people in an armed robbery. The Sacco-Vanzetti case became a cause celebre that drew attention to the oppression of working people, particularly immigrants, in the United States.
May 5, 1934
John Sweeney was born. As president, he built the membership of the Service Employees International Union with an aggressive organizing program. In 1995, he was elected president of the AFL-CIO.