By Peter Dreier
regrettably, such a lot american citizens be aware of little of this innovative background. It isn’t taught in so much excessive colleges. You can’t locate it at the significant tv networks. In well known media, the main continual interpreter of America’s radical previous is Glenn Beck, who teaches audience a wildly misguided historical past of unions, civil rights, and the yankee Left.
The a hundred maximum american citizens of the 20 th Century, a colourful and witty heritage of the main influential revolutionary leaders of the 20 th century and past, is the suitable antidote.
Preview of The 100 Greatest Americans of the 20th Century: A Social Justice Hall of Fame PDF
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Additional info for The 100 Greatest Americans of the 20th Century: A Social Justice Hall of Fame
In reaction, manhattan governor, John Alden Dix, created the manufacturing unit Investigating fee, a pioneering physique with wide subpoena powers and groups of investigators. He placed Wagner and his kingdom meeting counterpart, Al Smith, accountable for the research. a few reformers figured that the fee used to be a political ploy to prevent doing something via learning the matter till the general public forgot in regards to the tragedy. yet Wagner and Smith approved their accountability with great zeal, hiring major reformers to employees the blue-ribbon crew. They took the fee individuals up and down the country retaining hearings, traveling over 3,000 factories, and interviewing virtually 500 witnesses. they discovered structures with no hearth escapes and bakeries in poorly ventilated cellars with rat droppings. simply 21 percentage of the bakeries even had bogs, and such a lot of them have been unsanitary. Children—some as younger as 5 years old—were toiling in risky canning factories. girls and women have been operating eighteen-hour days. there has been fierce competition from the enterprise neighborhood, yet Wagner and Smith, fortified by way of a colourful innovative move, missed it. within the first 12 months, the fee proposed and the legislature quick handed a package deal of legislation requiring essential hearth drills, computerized sprinklers, and outward-swinging doorways that have been to stay unlocked in the course of paintings hours. in addition they created principles at the garage and disposal of flammable waste, and so they banned smoking from the store ground. within the moment yr, the legislature handed extra reforms. They set the utmost numbers of staff in line with ground; they demonstrated codes requiring new constructions to incorporate fireproof stairways and hearth escapes. They required employers to supply fresh ingesting water, washrooms, and bogs for his or her staff, they usually gave hard work fee inspectors the facility to close down unsanitary tenement sweatshops. ultimately they governed that ladies might paintings not more than fifty-four hours per week and that youngsters lower than eighteen couldn't paintings in harmful occasions. The duo’s outstanding management in shepherding those landmark reforms in the course of the legislature catapulted Smith to the governor’s place of work in 1918 and Wagner (after a seven-year stint as a brand new York country ideally suited courtroom justice) to the USA Senate in 1926. In Washington, Wagner displayed an identical expertise for reform. His maximum achievements happened in 1935 while Congress handed the nationwide hard work family Act (often referred to as the Wagner Act), making certain labor’s correct to arrange into unions, and the Social protection Act, which supplied old-age pensions. Wagner performed a key function in nearly each significant New Deal application. He helped draft and sponsor the nationwide business restoration Act of 1933, which validated the nationwide restoration management to manage codes of reasonable perform inside of every one undefined, together with the 1st federal minimal salary. Wagner additionally led the profitable struggle to move the 1937 US Housing Act, which supplied the 1st major executive subsidies for inexpensive housing.