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Herndon in Fairfax County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

The Rail Strike of 1916

 
 
The Rail Strike of 1916 Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Craig Swain, January 14, 2008
1. The Rail Strike of 1916 Marker
Inscription.  In the years before motor vehicles came to dominate transportation, business was never better for the Washington & Old Dominion Railway. Demand for passenger and freight service boomed, while the W&OD's owners balked at spending the money necessary to keep the line running smoothly.

The increasing dissatisfaction of the workers coincided with a campaign by the Amalgamated Association of Street and Electric Railroad Employees to unionize area rail workers. In the spring of 1916 many W&OD employees joined the union, and, on April 5, they called a strike.

Demands included recognition of the union, adoption of a 10-hour work day with overtime, and a wage increase for conductors and motormen from $3 to $4 a day. Negotiations involved such prominent figures as American Federation of Labor President Samuel Gompers and legendary labor organizer Mary Harris "Mother" Jones.

Union members were fired. Rail cars were vandalized and derailed (see below). W&OD owners hired armed private detectives to protect company property. By the end of the year the strike was called off, but labor troubles plagued the railroad for many years
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Credits: Background photograph – Courtesy Thomas Underwood. Photograph upper right – Courtesy Milton Riley Family. Exhibit planning and design – Jane Hanna, Leesburg, Va. This wayside exhibit was made possible through a grant from the Virginia Recreational Trails Fund Program of the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation.
 
Erected by Washington and Old Dominion Railroad Regional Park and The Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority.
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Labor UnionsRailroads & Streetcars. In addition, it is included in the NOVA Parks, and the Washington and Old Dominion (W&OD) Railroad series lists. A significant historical month for this entry is April 1860.
 
Location. 38° 58.172′ N, 77° 23.079′ W. Marker is in Herndon, Virginia, in Fairfax County. Marker is on Elden Street (County Route 606), on the right when traveling east. Located along the Washington & Old Dominion Railroad Trail, just to the south of the street crossing. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Herndon VA 20170, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Herndon Town Square (within shouting distance of this marker); Mosby's Raid (within shouting distance of this marker); Herndon Dairy Farming (about
The Rail Strike of 1916 Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Craig Swain, October 18, 2007
2. The Rail Strike of 1916 Marker
300 feet away, measured in a direct line); World War II Memorial (about 400 feet away); Herndon Town Hall (about 400 feet away); Herndon Fire Department (about 500 feet away); The Yellow House (about 500 feet away); 100th Infantry Battalion, 442nd Regimental Combat Team, Military Intelligence Service (about 500 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Herndon.
 
More about this marker. The background of the marker is a photo of "W&OD cars derailed, April 1916." An inset photo shows "The W&OD workforce in 1916 included this crew, shown in Rossyln with friends.
 
Also see . . .
1. The Washington and Old Dominion Railroad. Book by Ames Williams available on Amazon.com (Submitted on May 7, 2008, by Tom Fuchs of Greenbelt, Maryland.) This website may earn income if you use this link to make a purchase on Amazon.com. 

2. Rails to the Blue Ridge: The Washington and Old Dominion Railroad, 1847 - 1968. Book by Herbert Harwood available on Amazon.com (Submitted on May 7, 2008, by Tom Fuchs of Greenbelt, Maryland.) This website may earn income if you use this link to make a purchase on Amazon.com. 
 
The Rail Strike of 1916 Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Craig Swain, January 14, 2008
3. The Rail Strike of 1916 Marker
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on January 25, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 2,566 times since then and 98 times this year. Last updated on July 3, 2011, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on January 25, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.

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Jul. 24, 2024