The Battle of Homestead Foundation (BHF) is a diverse organization of citizens, workers, educators and historians.
Its purpose is to preserve, interpret and promote a People’s History focused on the significance of the dramatic labor conflict at Homestead, Pennsylvania in 1892.
∞ Become a member here …
∞ Join our mailing list here …
∞ Help today’s labor heroes tell their stories to a new generation.
*** 2021 Programs – You’re Invited! ***
FRI. MAY 21, 7:30 P.M. Just published by Harvard University Press, The Next Shift: The Fall of Industry and the Rise of Health Care in Rust Belt America ventures inside Pittsburgh neighborhoods and talks with dozens of working-class Pittsburghers to show how America’s cities have weathered new economic realities.
The Next Shift offers unique insights into how we got here and what could happen next. Author Gabriel Winant believes that if health care employees, along with other “essential workers”, can translate their newly-recognized economic and social value into true political power, they may become the determining force in reviving the American Dream in the 21st century. SPECIAL GUESTS: Labor journalist Alex Press, union activist Rosemary Trump.
Order “The Next Shift” book here from co-sponsor White Whale Bookstore.
THUR. JUNE 10, 7:30 P.M. Social historian Tammy Hepps discusses the legacy of US Steel’s 1941 expansion of Homestead Works by demolishing the immigrant working-class neighborhood called “The Ward” — 8,000 residents removed and replaced by 80 new factory buildings and 30 new miles of rail.
80 years later after the corporate-induced diaspora of The Ward in Homestead, what lessons can be brought to bear when evaluating today’s proposed urban improvement efforts?
THUR. JULY 15, 7:30 P.M. Director of the Pittsburgh Labor Choir, Dr. Edwin Everhart, offers a fascinating overview of union and protest songs over the last 150 years … and the tactical/political applications of singing for today’s marches, vigils, meetings, picket lines and social action gatherings.
The program will include live music along with song examples from several traditions, geographical settings and political contexts — and give attendees the tools they need to make constructive use of music as part of their own organizing work.
THUR. AUG. 19, 7:30 P.M. Join us for an online program discussing the legacy of the 1921 *Battle of Blair Mountain* — the largest pitched battle on American soil since the Civil War, pitting 7,000 armed coal miners against 3,000 lawmen and strikebreakers backed by coal mine operators opposing the miners’ attempt to unionize West Virginia coalfields.
In conjunction with the battle’s Official Centennial Commemoration from Sept. 3-6, 2021, the Battle of Homestead Foundation brings together a panel of historians and authors to examine what insights the epic 1921 conflict can provide for working people today faced by many of the same labor grievances and corporate abuses that sparked the original Battle of Blair Mountain.
INFO & REGISTRATION HERE – “The Battle of Blair Mountain, 1921 … and What It Means for Working People in 2021”.
READ: “Anne Feeney: A
Personal Testimonial by Mike Stout”
* Essential Work Podcast *
“Essential Work: Exploring the Past, Present and Future of Jobs” is a timely new podcast series presenting interviews with local and national experts offering insights into what’s ahead for the American work force.
Produced by the Battle of Homestead Foundation, Essential Work features a rotating cast of hosts including Rosemary Trump, Dr. Charles McCollester, Dr. Patricia DeMarco and Nathan Ruggles. LISTEN here for the latest episode!
* Charlie’s Monday Marker *
A 10-MINUTE video series highlighting the true stories behind the numerous historical markers across Western Pennsylvania celebrating the people, places and events that made our unforgettable labor history. CLICK here to watch the latest edition!
A STATEMENT FROM THE BATTLE OF HOMESTEAD FOUNDATION
Facing the Reality of Racism
June 5, 2020 by BHF Board Member Patricia M. DeMarco
OUR HEARTS ARE heavy this night as we see once again streets filled with people in peaceful protest being forcefully suppressed by police in military riot gear.
We may join in sorrow with the family of George Floyd but know that tears are useless unless we act. Righteous rage at the violent response of authorities to peaceful protests across the land must translate into action.
We as a nation once again must confront the truth of our country: systemic racism is woven into the fabric of America. It is evident in the wealth gap – the health gap – the education gap – the environmental injustice – the inequity inherent in the system of justice.
All these injustices persist, even thrive, because we who are wealthy enough, have health care, assume that justice is ours and experience no overt hatred have allowed such conditions to exist among us. We take care not to see. We go out of our way not to feel.
This day we are called again to confront the worst that is in our society. We cannot hide, pretending that this is not our battle. We must stand with our Brothers and Sisters and acknowledge that the system we all endure has failed.
As the workers and townspeople stood together in solidarity to battle unjust and unsafe conditions in the Battle of Homestead in 1892, so we must stand in solidarity and assert the moral truth: murdering a man for an unproven accusation with complicity from four police officers is wrong.
“Innocent until proven guilty” too often does not apply when the accused is a person of color and the enforcers are white.
The outrage of true Americans has surfaced again from the depths of delusion. Those who marched for Civil Rights in the 1960s, celebrated the election of President Barack Obama and rejoiced in the growth of black community leaders now must stand up and join in the demands that call for justice.
We are none of us free until we take responsibility for the rights of the downtrodden. None of us are free as long as our fellow citizens are abused before the law. We are all guilty if we stand by in silence while our fellow citizens suffer injustice, abuse and despair.
Those of us who do not bear the daily burden of hatred must stand up and help lift that yoke of racist hatred from the backs of our Brothers and Sisters.
Freedom is not free … it comes with a responsibility to fight for justice, to act for fairness and to demand accountability from those in power.
When people have reached the limit of their frustration at a system that does not hear them, the scene is set for a revolt.
When people lose confidence in their government to protect their rights and preserve their safety, we descend into chaos.
When our leaders use their power for oppression and fear, it is time for all of us to stand up together and say No More!
It is WRONG for police to fire tear gas, rubber bullets and flash grenades into crowds of people standing together singing for justice.
It is WRONG to expect people sprayed with tear gas, rubber bullets and flash grenades to behave peacefully.
It is WRONG to criminalize citizens as they exercise their Constitutional right to protest.
The power of America is vested through the Constitution in The People. It is time for us to take it back!
Take action and CLICK HERE
Read more and CLICK HERE
We have two books of interest to buy – at a discount!
Mike Stout’s compelling drama – “Homestead Steel Mill: The Final Ten Years”
Amy Aronson’s biography – “Crystal Eastman: A Revolutionary Life”
The Detailed Story of the 1892 Battle is told Here
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
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.