The Eight Hour Day struggle and Haymarket.

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In May, 1886 a strike was began throughout the United States in support a eight-hour day. Over the next few days over 340,000 men and women withdrew their labor.
Over a quarter of these strikers were from Chicago and the employers were so shocked by this show of unity that 45,000 workers in the city were immediately granted a shorter workday.
The campaign for the eight-hour day was organised by the International Working Men’s Association (the First International).
On 3rd May, the IWPA in Chicago held a rally outside the McCormick Harvester Works, where 1,400 workers were on strike.
They were joined by 6,000 lumber-shovers, who had also withdrawn their labour.
While August Spies, one of the leaders of the IWPA was making a speech, the police arrived and opened-fire on the crowd, killing four of the workers.
On 4 May, over 3,000 people turned up at the Haymarket meeting. Speeches were made by August Spies, Albert Parsons and Samuel Fielden.
At 10 a.m. Captain John Bonfield and 180 policemen arrived on the scene. Bonfield was telling the crowd to “disperse immediately and peaceably” when someone threw a bomb into the police ranks from one of the alleys that led into the square.
It exploded killing eight men and wounding sixty-seven others. The police then immediately attacked the crowd. A number of people were killed (the exact number was never disclosed) and over 200 were badly injured.
Several people identified Rudolph Schnaubelt as the man who threw the bomb. He was arrested but was later released without charge. It was later claimed that Schnaubelt was an agent provocateur in the pay of the authorities.
After the release of Schnaubelt, the police arrested Samuel Fielden, an Englishman, and six German immigrants, August Spies, Adolph Fisher, Louis Lingg, George Engel, Oscar Neebe, and Michael Schwab.
The police also sought Albert Parsons, the leader of the International Working Peoples Association in Chicago, but he went into hiding and was able to avoid capture. However, on the morning of the trial, Parsons arrived in court to standby his comrades.
monument1912The 1912 Monument to the Haymarket Martyrs.
There were plenty of witnesses who were able to prove that none of the eight men threw the bomb.
The authorities therefore decided to charge them with conspiracy to commit murder.
The prosecution case was that these men had made speeches and written articles that had encouraged the unnamed man at the Haymarket to throw the bomb at the police.
The jury was chosen by a special bailiff instead of being selected at random. One of those picked was a relative of one of the police victims.
Julius Grinnell, the State’s Attorney, told the jury: “Convict these men make examples of them, hang them, and you save our institutions.”
Read on via Haymarket Bombing.

The Streets of Cincinnati.

1390224_744576962257964_796589654_nNewcomers to the city should also keep a lookout for some of the impressive mural work that graces its walls.
Not that they’ll have to look all that hard:
Thanks to public arts organization ArtWorks, the streets of Cincinnati are covered in all kinds of painterly designs.
Below is one of the most eye-catching examples.
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via Go to Cincinnati for FotoFocus, Stay for the Street Art | In the Air: Art News & Gossip | ARTINFO.com.

Billy the Kid, Outlaw.

(1859-81) The American outlaw, born Henry McCarty, killed eight people before being shot dead at the age of 21.
This new photo of the criminal (second from the left) playing cards, which is said to be only the second in existence of him, is being auctioned in Dallas, Texas and is expected to sell for $1m (£770,000).

The 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair.

Bird’s-eye view of 1904 World’s Fair buildings from the Administration building. A panoramic view of the construction of the Louisiana Purchase Exposition buildings in the snow. 1904-01-24

In April 1904, St. Louis opened its doors to the world for what was officially called the Louisiana Purchase Exposition, but was widely known as the St. Louis World’s Fair.
Millions of dollars had been spent to build the 1,200-acre fairgrounds and its nearly 1,500 buildings—a huge scale that ended up delaying the opening by a year.
During the eight months the fair stayed open, nearly 20 million people paid a visit. On display were marvels of technology, agriculture, art, and history, and there were amusement rides and entertainment to be found in a section called “the Pike.”
The fair introduced a huge audience to some relatively new inventions such as private automobiles, outdoor electric lighting, and the X-ray machine—as well as foods from across the United States and around the world.
The exposition also had a focus on anthropological exhibits—with an approach that is shocking by today’s standards: In some cases, organizers brought people from the Philippines, the Arctic, and elsewhere to the fairgrounds as set pieces among re-creations of their home environment or villages.
After the fair closed, nearly all of its structures were demolished within a short time, leaving only a few footprints, ponds, and canals in Forest Park in St. Louis.
Source: The 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair: Photos – The Atlantic

The Last Steam Locomotives.

Ice Train departure from Scranton, 2011. © Dennis A. Livesey
Steam trains have had a lasting romantic appeal, especially for photographers.
In the new book Smoke Over Steamtown, published by Schiffer Publishing, Ltd., Dennis A. Livesey documents the steam trains and the people who run them at Steamtown National Historic Site, in Scranton, Pennsylvania, a working railroad museum dedicated to the history of steam trains in the United States.
Livesey is a train photographer whose work has appeared in magazines including Trains and Railfan & Railroad.
Along with shots of locomotives passing through snowy landscapes framed by billowing clouds, Smoke Over Steamtown also focuses on life in the maintenance shop and yard, recording images and stories from the people who work as mechanics and crew for the site’s steam locomotives, diesel-electric locomotives, passenger cars and freight cars.

“My first visits here were made as a photographer, inspired by such greats as O. Winston Link and Richard Steinheimer, who tried to capture the steam train experience on film.”
But he eventually “stepped through the looking glass,” as he puts it, and began working on the trains as a volunteer, in addition to photographing them. “Having undergone rigorous training, I serve as a Steamtown trainman and railroader myself.
Instead of capturing the action of others on camera, I am now the one throwing track switches, hooking up air hoses, turning locomotives on the ninety-foot turntable, and giving hand signals to the engineer who stops and starts the locomotive on my say-so.”
The result is an insider’s view of the work of running the site and its trains. Writes Livesey,
“This participation has not only been a new personal experience, it has invigorated my photography, providing a new perspective and lending an authenticity that it did not possess before.”
Source: The Last Steam Trains | PDN Photo of the Day