The Imaginary Realms of
Gilbert M. Stack

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Today in History: Bloody Thursday

Posted by Gilbert Stack on July 5, 2018 at 7:10 AM

On this day (July 5) in 1934, police opened fire on striking San Francisco longshoremen killing two people in what came to be known as “Bloody Thursday”. What caused the police to fire, if anything, is disputed, but the gunfire came after a long day of police firing tear gas at the strikers, and charging them from horseback in an attempt to break the strike and get the west coast ports open again. The police action unintentionally inspired the strike to turn into a general strike which put tremendous pressure on business to negotiate with the strikers, even as the general strike inspired more police brutality in an attempt to stop the strikes and get business working again. When the strike eventually ended, business leaders claimed victory, but working conditions, and the strength of the participating unions, also improved.

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