Skip to content

Minnesota Workers Make History - Online Course


Classes for Adults / Community Engagement -
Winter 2023 - Adult

At key turning points in our country's history, Minnesota workers have had a significant impact on the national labor scene. Uncover the stories you were not taught in school. From the forming of the Farmer Labor Party to the railroad strikes that led to and the establishment of Labor Day. Join us for a series of conversations about these experiences and how they are relevant to the challenges we face today.

In the spring of 1894, Great Northern Railroad workers joined the new American Railway Union and took on the oligarch, James J. Hill. Their struggle not only forced Hill to take back the wage cuts he had imposed, but it inspired 125,000 railroad workers to launch a nationwide strike that summer, leading to the establishment of Labor Day as a national holiday. In 1924, Minnesota workers and farmers founded the Farmer Labor Party, and it became a model for other independent political ventures in 6 states. By 1932, it had become the most popular political party in the state, and it would elect two governors, a senator, a congressman, and more. In 1934, Minneapolis truck drivers and warehouse workers took on the most powerful anti-union business organization in the country, and, in three strikes, turned Minneapolis from an open shop town into a union town. Their impact led to the passage of the National Labor Relations Act in 1935 and the formation of the CIO. In 1985-86, Hormel workers' strike became the national poster child for the struggle against economic neoliberalism. 


All Community Education participants are required to follow SPPS COVID guidelines (https://www.spps.org/safelearningplan), and all other communicated health and safety expectations. Failure to do so could result in removal from the class/program.

Peter Rachleff

Peter Rachleff taught American Labor, Immigration and African American History at Macalester College for over 30 years. He has retired from college instruction and is now leading a new project, the East Side Freedom Library, which is transforming the historic Carnegie library formerly know as Arlington Hills Library into a labor and immigration history center.  Click here to learn more about the East Side Freedom Library.

 February 2023 
SuMTuWThFSa
 
 
 
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 March 2023 
SuMTuWThFSa
 
 
 
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
4711WA

  Peter Rachleff


Online Course : Zoom - T
Mondays, Feb 6 - Mar 6
7:00 - 8:30 PM

Su
M
Tu
W
Th
F
Sa

Min Age   16 yr.