March 1, 1886
District Assembly 101 of the Knights of Labor ordered a strike on the Texas and Pacific Railroad after a foreman in Marshall, Texas, fired Charles A. Hall, a local Knights leader. A mass walkout of shop workers on the Missouri Pacific followed on March 6. Two days later, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch headlined, “Traffic Throttled: The Gould System at the Mercy of the Knights of Labor.” At its height, the Great Southwestern Strike of 1886 shut down railway lines in five states (Arkansas, Illinois, Kansas, Texas, and Missouri), threatened to upset commerce nationally, and, with its promise of union recognition, attracted support from a wide spectrum of unskilled and semi-skilled railroaders.