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...
The American Protective Association was formed as a secret anti-Catholic organization in 1887. Using propaganda and rumor-mongering, the APA aimed to restrict Catholic immigration into the United States and to prevent Catholics from holding office. At its 1896 peak, the organization had 2.5 million members.
The Pinkerton National Detective Agency, a private security force, was often hired to put down strikes during the labor disputes of the late nineteenth century. Most famously, the Pinkerton Agency clashed with strikers at Andrew Carnegie’s Homestead steel plant outside of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in 1892.