Images of the Strike

On Friday, May 11th, 1894, at 9:00 a.m. Pullman workers orderly "walked out" of Pullman, with the American Railway Union and its President Eugene V. Debs fully behind them. What followed was the greatest strike in American history. Meetings were held and strike committees formed to arbitrate the situation. ARU delegates decided to boycott Pullman cars on June 26th and the boycott spread throughout the nation. President Grover Cleveland called federal troops in to restore order and placed Debs under arrest. No violence occurred until Independence Day when mobs gathered and burned hundreds of cars. Railroad property damage was estimated at $340,000 and more than forty died in nationwide clashes. Chicago newspaper headlines read, "Big Riot in the Yards" and "World's Fair in Flames." Rioting was not under control until July 18 when workers began returning to Pullman.

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