1911 - 1950
Fresno city officials rescind the ban on street speaking and release all IWW prisoners.
Union leaders and brothers James and John McNamara shock their supporters by admitting to bombing the Los Angeles Times building. The confession results in a serious decline in union membership and the success of business leaders in keeping unions from gaining power in Los Angeles.
Voters pass an initiative enforcing the 8-hour work day and a minimum wage for women.
In response to IWW organizing, the San Diego city council passes an ordinance banning public speaking within 46 blocks of the city center. IWW issues a call for members go to San Diego. City leaders respond with vigilante violence and eviction of IWW members from San Diego county. Vigilantes violently assault anarchist leader Ben Reitman, prompting Governor Hiram Johnson to call for an investigation, which quells vigilante activity and restores free speech to the city.
Yuba County sheriff and deputies try to break up a rally of hop pickers led by IWW organizers Blackie Ford and Herman Suhr to protest the squalid, dangerous, and unfair conditions on the Ralph Durst ranch in Wheatland. A riot ensures and two workers, a district attorney, and sheriff’s deputy are killed. Ford and Suhr are convicted of second-degree murder. After a statewide campaign to free them, both are released from prison in 1926.
See a documentary excerpt about the Wheatland incident:
Police arrest Long Beach men who were allegedly members of two social clubs for gay men.
Militant labor organizers Tom Mooney and Warren Billings are convicted of the “Preparedness Day Parade” bombing. Mooney is sentenced to death and Billings to life imprisonment.