News broke that members of Congress had been involved in rail industry corruption. The Union Pacific Railroad company had been hired to build part of the transcontinental railway. Instead of hiring outside contractors to complete the construction, however, Union Pacific vice president Thomas Durant and Union Pacific’s other largest stockholders organized their own construction company—Crédit Mobilier—and awarded the UP building contract to themselves. Durant and other Crédit Mobilier executives reaped major profits for themselves from the...
Hostilities between settlers and the Nez Perce Indians became violent in June 1877. For the next four months, the Nez Perce were pursued by the US Army, and the two sides clashed across Montana and Idaho. In October, led by Chief Joseph, the Indians surrendered. Though promised a safe return to their Oregon homeland, the Nez Perce were relocated to Kansas and Oklahoma.
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.