Items tagged Work (132 total)

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Henry George was a reformer and utopian whose 1886 New York City mayoral campaign as the Workingman's Party candidate had the makings of a popular uprising. Although George finished second, behind Democrat Abram S. Hewitt and ahead of Republican Teddy Roosevelt, the campaign sent shockwaves around the established political and financial order, and…

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Item Type: Book (excerpt)
Date: 1879

From the 1860s to the 1880s, thousands of Chinese immigrants found work in railroad construction in the West, notably on the Central Pacific line of the First Transcontinental Railroad, which was built primarily by Chinese. The extreme danger of this work is suggested by this excerpt from Chinese American Voices, in which a railroad worker recalls…

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Item Type: Book (excerpt)
Date: 1926

In this letter to President Roosevelt written in 1936, Michigan workers express their gratitude for the Works Progress Administration (WPA) programs and urge the president to continue WPA efforts. The letter describes how working improves their self-esteem and makes them feel like active participants in society.

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Item Type: Diary/Letter
Date: 1936

In this letter to Eleanor Roosevelt, an aging Southern hotel worker describes long hours and hard working conditions. Advocating on behalf of women hotel laborers, she requests a six day, 48 hour work week, and an improved pension for older workers. Her letter refers to two popular critics of the New Deal, Charles E. Coughlin and Dr. Francis…

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Item Type: Diary/Letter
Date: 1937

In this lesson students analyze a propaganda poster, a photograph, and a poem to understand the tensions unleashed by the entry of African Americans into the industrial workforce during World War II.

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Item Type: Teaching Activity
Date: 2010

The poetry of Carl Sandburg often documented the lives of ordinary working people in his adopted city of Chicago. Here he contrasts the backbreaking work and simple lunch of a railroad laborer with the comfortable lives and fine food enjoyed by the passengers on a first-class dining car rushing by. Despite the use of the pejorative term "dago" (an…

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Item Type: Fiction/Poetry
Date: 1916

This poem refers to the Statue of Liberty, and appears to be a response to Emma Lazarus's poem "The New Colossus." The location mentioned by the author, "Sandy Hook," is on the coast of New Jersey, and signifies the border of the U.S. beyond which are the ocean and the countries that poor immigrants, those addressed in Lazarus's poem, were coming…

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Item Type: Fiction/Poetry
Date: 1898

This labor contract between a Chinese worker, "Affon," and California businessman Jacob P. Leese, was made in Hong Kong on July 28, 1849, and witnessed by A. Shue, C. H. Brinley, and Henry Anthon, Jr., acting U.S. Vice Consul in Hong Kong. The discovery of gold in California in 1848 drew miners from around the world and filling other kinds of jobs…

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Item Type: Government Document
Date: 1849

The steel strike of 1919 saw some 350,000 workers walk off the job, temporarily bringing the steel industry to a halt. The U.S. Senate Committee on Education and Labor investigated, interviewing striking steelworkers such as Slavic immigrant Andrew Pido. In his testimony to the committee, Pido tells of his abuse at the hands of local police, the…

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Item Type: Government Document
Date: 1919

The United States acquired the Caribbean island of Puerto Rico in 1898 after its victory in the Spanish-American War. After a period of limited local autonomy, the U.S. granted Puerto Ricans American citizenship in 1917. The arrival of large, U.S.-backed sugar plantations of the island displaced many erstwhile subsistence farmers, creating a rural…

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Item Type: Government Document
Date: 1918