The Fracas In Fall River

Throughout the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries the booming textile mills in Fall River, Massachusetts were lightning rods for labor action. On this day in 1904 Mill managers and textile honchos, who had first descended upon Fall River in 1811, pushed their largely female work force to toil for long hours in abysmal conditions. By 1871, Fall River had become one of the textile capitals of the United States and many of the mill owners had raked in hefty profits. The prosperity, though, didn't trickle down to the textile workers, prompting them to stage a series of increasingly bitter strikes. The strikes stretched on for most of the late summer and, though they hardly toppled the textile owners, the workers helped force the situation at mills, as well as the plight of child laborers, onto the national stage.