In Henderson v. Mayor of New York, the Supreme Court ruled unconstitutional state laws requiring an immigrant head tax—a “per head” tax levied on shipowners for each immigrant transported into the US that was ultimately paid by the immigrant himself in the form of increased passenger fare.
Congress passed the Desert Land Act to promote the development of arid western lands. The act allowed settlers 640 acres of public land at a cost of twenty-five cents per acre in return for settlers’ promise to irrigate the land within three years.
The National Origins Act refined the immigration quota system, created by the 1921 Emergency Quota Act, to favor northern and western European immigration over southern and eastern European immigration.
President William McKinley was shot twice by Leon Czolgosz, the anarchist son of Polish immigrants. McKinley died eight days later on September 14. He was succeeded by Vice President Theodore Roosevelt.
Railroad workers in Martinsburg, West Virginia, initiated a strike to protest working conditions and wages. The strike spread and lasted more than a month, sparking violence and damaging the economy before being put down by federal troops.
In Chicago’s Haymarket Square, anarchists gathered to protest the police killing of labor strikers. When police attempted to end the demonstration, a bomb was thrown and exploded in the crowd. In the ensuing clash, police fired into the crowd and eight policemen and several protestors were killed and many more injured.
In response to falling steel prices, Henry C. Frick, the general manager of Andrew Carnegie’s steel plant in Homestead, Pennsylvania, cut wages and attempted to quash the workers’ Amalgamated Association of Iron and Steel Workers. The workers protested, and Frick closed the mills and refused to negotiate with the union, declaring that he would only deal with individual workers. The workers tried to appeal to Carnegie, who had defended unionization, but Carnegie made himself unavailable. The workers voted to strike, and Frick hired a private...