“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Pittsburgh in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)

State Violence Incites Rioting

Great Railroad Strike of 1877

State Violence Incites Rioting Marker image. Click for full size.
circa 2007
1. State Violence Incites Rioting Marker
Inscription. On July 20th, 1877, striking railroad workers in Pittsburgh successfully stopped trains from leaving the freight yard in the Strip District. The sheriff was called upon to clear the tracks by railroad officials, anxious to regain control of their lines. Already, many local police and militia had joined the crowd of friends and neighbors in support of the strike. Knowing that local militiamen would not use force against their own community, the sheriff requested assistance from the Philadelphia militia.

Philadelphia's troops had just returned home from service in the Reconstruction South. Tired, hungry and missing their families, these men were sent to Pittsburgh to defend the interests of businessmen who were losing money for every hour their trains stood idle. As the crowd showered the troops with insults and stones, the Philadelphia militia opened fire. The massacre ignited a full-scale riot, which left dozens dead and countless wounded.

The Great Strike of 1877 is thought to mark the first use of federal troops to defend a corporation's "right to run a profitable business." These actions have since set a precedent for state violence against labor movements and legislation that favors the rights of corporations over the safety and well being of working families.
State Violence Incites Rioting Marker image. Click for full size.
By the Howling Mob Society, used with permission, 2007
2. State Violence Incites Rioting Marker
2007 by the Howling Mob Society.
Location. 40° 27.09′ N, 79° 58.979′ W. Marker is in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in Allegheny County. Marker can be reached from 21st Street 0.1 miles south of Penn Avenue. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Pittsburgh PA 15222, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Saint Stanislaus Kostka Roman Catholic Church (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Desperate and the Decadent (about 400 feet away); Who Was the Howling Mob? (approx. 0.2 miles away); The Menace of the Iron Horse (approx. 0.2 miles away); Westinghouse Railroad Air Brake (approx. ¼ mile away); Seige at the 26th Street Roundhouse (approx. 0.3 miles away); Joshua (Josh) Gibson (approx. 0.3 miles away); Sixteenth Street Bridge (approx. 0.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Pittsburgh.
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. Other Great Railroad Strike of 1877 Markers erected by the Howling Mob Society in 2007.
Also see . . .  The Howling Mob Society Website. (Submitted on January 4, 2010.)
Additional keywords. Social Justice Struggles
Categories. Labor UnionsNotable EventsRailroads & Streetcars
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on January 1, 2010. This page has been viewed 1,024 times since then and 20 times this year. Photos:   1. submitted on January 5, 2010.   2. submitted on January 1, 2010. • Kevin W. was the editor who published this page.
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