1886 Bay View Massacre

1886 Bay View Massacre

Bay View Massacre site

Milwaukee, WI, May 5, 1886

Milwaukee was the scene of a general strike in 1886. The key demand was for an 8 hour day, rather than the typical 10-12 hour 6 days a week shifts. On May 4, negotiations for a new contract at the North Chicago Rolling Mill had reached a standstill. Later that day the governor ordered six companies of the state militia to set up camp at the mill.

The next morning a crowd of about 1,500 laborers and union activists marched to the mill to highlight their demand for an 8 hour day. They were followed by a number of men, women and children, the latter on their way to school. As the crowd approached the mills and the militia, they were ordered to halt, but ignored the command. A minute later the command to fire was given. A single volley instantly killed seven and injured many more. Among the dead were a 12 year old schoolboy and a 60 year old man watching the proceedings from his doorway. The eight hour movement lost all momentum after this tragedy.

By | 2023-05-06T11:18:51-07:00 September 3rd, 2022|1. Blood In the Streets|Comments Off on 1886 Bay View Massacre

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