Today in Labor History

Labor history is OUR history

Archive for the tag “samuel gompers”

November 24, 1875


The United Cigar Makers of New York affiliates with the Cigar Makers’ International Union (CMIU) to form CMIU Local 144. Samuel Gompers was elected first president of the local and served several terms before going on to serve as the international’s vice president. “[W]e are powerless in an isolated condition,” Gompers said, “while the capitalists are united; therefore it is the duty of every Cigar Maker to join the organization.”

January 26, 1850


Labor leader Samuel Gompers is born in London, England. A cigar-maker by trade, Gompers served as president of the American Federation of Labor for almost forty years. He believed that strong trade unions would humanize industry, protect workers’ interests, and create opportunities for workers to educate themselves and claim a larger role in industrial society.

December 13, 1924


Samuel Gompers dies at the age of 74. Gompers served as president of the American Federation of Labor from 1886 to 1894 and from 1895 to his death.  What does labor want?   Gompers said, “We want more school houses and less jails; more books and less arsenals; more learning and less vice; more constant work and less crime; more leisure and less greed; more justice and less revenge; in fact more of the opportunities to cultivate our better natures, to make manhood more noble, womanhood more beautiful and childhood more happy and bright.”

Post Navigation