Sifting through the settled dust of the Virginia elections and the mind-numbing postmortem shouting from every wannabe pundit with a Twitter account, I can’t help but feel as if those of us on the left can be counted on to consistently and sometimes acrobatically miss the point. Rather than working within the confines of what […]

On this day in Labor History the year was 1982. That was the day that eleven women graduated from the New York City Fire Academy. They were the first women firefighters ever to serve in the city of New York since the department was founded in 1865. The inclusion of women firefighters did not come […]

While I hate to be the bringer of bad news at a time when people are finally beginning to secure a few wins in the workplace, we need to talk about what’s coming, about how working people are about to be on the receiving end of yet another attack from corporate power and the elite […]

On this day in Labor History the year was 1926. That was the day that one of the great labor leaders in U.S. history, Eugene V. Debs, died in Elmhurst, Illinois. In 1894, Debs gained national attention when his American Railway Union launched a boycott in support of the striking workers of Pullman Palace Car […]

On this day in Labor History the year was 1919. That was the day that began the Elaine Massacre. The massacre took place in Arkansas, where more than 100 black farmers and sharecroppers were gunned down for daring to organize their labor. The Year before, a black farmer by the name of Robert L. Hill […]

In a recent episode of The Rick Smith Show, we had the pleasure of speaking with author Jason Stanford about a book he recently co-authored called “Forget the Alamo.” It’s an examination of the actual events that occurred there, and also of the mythology that replaced those events in our history books, and how this […]

On this day in Labor History the year was 1985. That was the year that the first Farm Aid concert was held in Champaign, Illinois. A retrospective article in Time magazine reported, “In the 1980s, American farmers were hit hard by what were, at the time, the worst economic conditions since the Great Depression.  Droughts […]

The 9/11 anniversary has always been cause for reflection and remembrance, but the 20th anniversary of that terrible day happening within a few days of the withdrawal of US forces in Afghanistan gives us cause for a necessary, overdue, and in many ways difficult look in the mirror. History has always been a harsh critic, […]

Social Security has become an indispensable part of the American social safety net, but it’s also something we often take for granted. Listen to Rick Smith tell the story of the day President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed Social Security into law, and what it has meant to Americans ever since. On this day in Labor […]

Click the play button to hear Rick Smith discuss “The Silent Parade” – a part of our history that you won’t find in many textbooks. On this day in labor history, the year was 1917. That was the day more than 10,000 African-Americans marched down New York City’s 5th Avenue in what is known as […]