Glossary Term – Event
Inventor Alexander Graham Bell patented the telephone.
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.
The American Federation of Labor was formed by trade unions to organize skilled workers, with Samuel Gompers as its first president.
Under pressure from small businesses and farmers, Congress passed the Interstate Commerce Act creating the Interstate Commerce Commission, the first federal regulatory commission.
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...
Pullman Palace Car Company workers initiated a boycott of Pullman train cars through the American Railway Union. The boycott, observed by 150,000 members of the American Railway Union, stopped rail traffic in and out of Chicago and affected rail traffic across the country. The US Attorney General issued an injunction against the striking workers, and President Grover Cleveland sent federal forces to protect trains being run by non-union strikebreakers. Pro-union mobs destroyed trains and buildings, leading to the jailing of union and strike...
L. Frank Baum’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz was published. Many read the book as an allegory of the populist movement, though Baum denied that the subtext was intentional.