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Entry Category: Labor - Starting with F

Faubus, John Samuel (Sam)

John Samuel (Sam) Faubus was a hardscrabble farmer whose struggles to make a living for his large family from the thin hillside soil of Madison County turned him, for his time, into a radical—a champion of labor unions, civil rights for African Americans, other forms of social justice, and finally the Socialist Party of America. Following the script of the Socialist Party and its leader, Eugene V. Debs, Faubus opposed America’s entry into World War I and was arrested on federal sedition charges for distributing pamphlets opposing the war. After the early reforms of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal, including Social Security, rural electrification, farm relief, and the federal wage-and-hour laws of 1936 and 1938, Faubus abandoned socialism, or …

Fort Smith Telephone Operators Strike of 1917

On September 19, 1917, women who were employed as telephone operators by the Southwestern Bell Telephone Co. in Fort Smith (Sebastian County) left their stations, walked out of the exchange, and began striking. This strike was a response to the company’s dismissal of two employees, Nora Boger and Mamie Garret, due to their involvement with the creation of a labor union for the operators. When the company denied the reinstatement of these women, the strike began. Over the next four months, the company would wage court battles against the strikers instead of listening to their demands, and conciliators from the Department of Labor would be called in to help solve the conflict. While the strike itself was tumultuous and disrupted …