Let’s continue on the journey of exploring the Labor History Collections films that are featured in the “For Liberty, Justice, and Equality: Unions Making History in America” exhibit! In part 1 of this blog series, we looked at Leading the Way: Black Trade Unions in South Africa, Pay Equality, To Dream, and Solidarity Day. All four of these films explored various events from history that correlate to the social justice topics that are discussed in the displays. Though the topics may be different, the films help viewers understand how social justice issues and the labor movement are intertwined and how historical events resonate today.
The film Toxic Earth explores the alliance between the labor and environmental justice movements. Today, environmental topics are always in the news and are being discussed in political debates. The ability to watch this discussion transform within the context of the labor movement can help us see how we have gotten to the point of the conversation we are in today.
“Today’s environment is the one we will earn and choose by organizing and working on the issues of occupational and environmental health. By demanding “Right To Know” laws, controls on acid rain, strict regulations, and enforcement of standards. The alternative is leaving life and death decisions in the hands of polluting corporations, relaying on lax and inadequate government supervision. Our greatest strength is in working together.”
For the past year I have helped co-curate the Labor History Collections exhibit, “For Liberty, Justice, and Equality: Unions Making History in America.” It has been an exciting and rewarding experience that has taught me so much about the vast history of the labor movement. One of the displays that I designed and installed was “Labor, Recreation, and Rest: The Movement for the Eight-Hour Day”. While looking through the vast Labor History Collections here at University of Maryland, Special Collections and University Archives, I came upon a very odd and fragile document. At first I did not know the significance, only that it was House Resolution 8357 and was approved by President Harrison on August 1, 1892.
House Resolution 8537, the first federal resolution for the eight-hour workday.
We are celebrating American Business Women’s Day! In the spirit of this holiday, we will be highlighting an item from the Labor History Collections’ exhibit, “For Liberty, Justice, and Equality: Unions Making History in America.”
Starting in the 1930s and 1940s, women entered the workforce en masse due to war time economic demands. Once the war was over and the men returned home, many women wanted to stay in the workforce because it gave them a newfound independence. With more women working, the labor movement had to make sure that their rights as workers were protected, as well as the already established rights centered on male workers.
The photos above are examples of the various jobs that women were employed in during the time war efforts. Still Images, Photographic Prints.
Today we are celebrating National Women’s Equality Day! Gender equality in the workplace is a social justice issue that the labor movement has always been involved in. In the spirit of this holiday, we will be highlighting some of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) items that will be featured in the Labor History Collections’ exhibit, “For Liberty, Justice, and Equality: Unions Making History in America”!
For the past several weeks we have been delving into the history of various buildings on campus through Instagram (@hornbakelibrary)! Here we will recap a few of our favorite features.
We chose buildings based on:
- An interesting or unusual name
- An unrecognizable name
- The importance of the building to UMD students
Feature buildings included Taliaferro Hall, Preinkert Hall, H.J Patterson Hall, The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, Tawes Hall, and Van Munching Hall.
Taliaferro Hall—one of particular interest to many students because seemingly no one knows the correct pronunciation. That is, aside from the history professors whose offices reside in this building and who are quick to correct any mispronunciation! It is regionally pronounced “Tolliver.” The beautiful and often overlooked building on South Campus was built in 1899. At the time it was home to the School of Engineering, which is why it was named after Thomas Hardy Taliaferro, Dean of the College of Engineering and College of Arts and Sciences.
The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center – this consortium of 10 interconnected structures is the largest single building ever constructed in the State of Maryland. It was named for artist and alumna Clarice Smith who was a notable water color painter, and spread her talents by teaching in the D.C. area and funding our performing arts center!