ABOUT THE BATTLE OF HOMESTEAD FOUNDATION
The Battle of Homestead Foundation (BHF) is a diverse organization of citizens, workers, educators and historians. It’s purpose is to preserve, interpret, and promote a people’s history focused on the significance of the dramatic labor conflict at Homestead, Pa. in 1892.
Many people interested in the Battle, as well as the history of the working class and the Labor movement, are dedicated to preserving the Pump House (the sole existing structure of the 1892 Homestead Steel Works) as a labor monument to working people that will attract tourism, labor groups, students, and anyone in any way interested in Western Pennsylvania’s fascinating industrial and labor heritage. The BHF strives to assist and abet these interests and efforts. Read More About Us Here
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
1968 in the United States was marked by several major historical events. It is often considered to be one of the most turbulent years of the 20th century.
The year began with the Tet Offensive in the midst the Vietnam War, which reached its climax after President Lyndon B. Johnson signed legislation allowing for an increased maximum number of troops on the ground at one time (549,500). Likewise, it was the most expensive year of the war, costing $77.4 billion. Antiwar sentiment continued to grow after the occurrence of the My Lai Massacre (though the public did not learn of this until the following year) and an increasing number of Americans considered intervention in Vietnam to be a mistake. Nonetheless, the war persisted.
Following the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. on April 4, the country erupted in violent riots, the most severe of which occurred in Washington, D.C., Chicago, and Baltimore. More than 45 people were killed during the month of protest, which led to greater racial tensions between white and black Americans. Despite this, a landmark piece of legislation, the Civil Rights Act of 1968, was passed in April, effectively prohibiting housing discrimination based on race.
The assassination of Robert F. Kennedy in June led to uncertainty in the race for the Democratic nomination for the presidency. After Hubert Humphrey was declared the nominee at the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago, another wave of violent protests emerged, this time between antiwar demonstrators and police. The tumult within the Democratic Party helped launch Richard Nixon, a Republican and former vice president, to the presidency in November. A particularly strong showing by segregationist George Wallace of the American Independent Party in 1968’s presidential election highlighted the strong element of racism that continued to persist across the country, particularly in the South.
Membership: Get updates on events and happenings of the Battle of Homestead Foundation by becoming a new member, or renewing your membership!
Members receive notice of all BHF events and business and are eligible to vote for Directors of the BHF Board. Membership is open to all persons who pledge to support the BHF mission and make an annual membership contribution.
With your membership you also get free admission to the Heinz History Center via their Affiliates Program. The annual membership card we send you will allow up to four persons per visit to the Heinz History Center, The Fort Pitt Museum, and the Meadowcroft Rockshelter and Historic Village.
Join Us! Become a Member!
Renew for 2018!
The Working-Class Images Art Exhibit at the Bost Building has been extended until
March 31, 2018!
The works of Charlee Brodsky, Robert Qualters, Peter Oresick and Jennifer Rempel encompass many aspects of working-class life and culture in the Monongahela Valley. Looking closely at their work, one can see the themes of work, community, struggle, dignity, faith, democracy, patriotism, play, friendship and love running through it.
During the weekdays of Monday, Wednesday, and Friday it will be open for viewing, 10 am to 2 pm until March 31, 2018.
Call Rivers of Steel at 412-464-4020 for more information
Bost Building, 623 E. Eighth Avenue, Homestead, PA 15120. (Home of the Rivers of Steel National Heritage Area).
Yesterday and Tomorrow – The Legacy of the 1892 Homestead Strike
The Battle of Homestead is the most famous event in American labor history, and perhaps the most significant. Just after dawn on July 6, 1892, the battle erupted when locked-out steelworkers of the Carnegie Steel works at Homestead, together with citizens of the town, broke into the closed and fortified mill nick-named “Fort Frick” after CEO Henry Frick. On the bank of the Monongahela River, they confronted a private army of Pinkerton agents hired by Frick as they attempted to land and secure the mill. The battle was soon joined, and raged throughout the day with gunfire, burning oil, and cannon.
At day’s end, the Pinkertons surrendered. Seven workers and three Pinkerton “detectives” lay dead, with others wounded. When the Pinkertons were led away they were humiliated and beaten as they passed through a gauntlet of enraged women, children and townspeople. The conflict marked a watershed in U.S. labor relations and casts a deep shadow to this day.
Many students of the Homestead battle see it as a signal event in establishing the predominance of the rights of capital over rights of labor in the workplace. While legal and supra-legal suppression of workers was nothing new, Homestead seemed to draw the lines as never before. For several decades after, corporate violence against workers, especially immigrant workers, in the form of private enforcement agencies like the Pinkertons and the infamous Coal and Iron Police, was acceptable, even when the human rights of workers were clearly violated and public sentiment favored their cause.
The Battle of Homestead Foundation was founded to preserve the Pump House, as well as the many stories it has to tell.