Seeds of Fire: A People’s Chronology

Recalling events that happened on this day in history.
Memories of struggle, resistance and persistence.

Compiled by Ulli Diemer

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November 23, 1170 BCE  
November 23, 1170 BC – The first recorded strike (but certainly not the first strike!) takes place in Egypt when necropolis workers who have not been paid for their work in more than two months sit down and refuse to work until they are paid and able to eat.
Related Topics: EgyptStrikes
November 23, 1644  
Publication of John Milton’s Areopagitica (full title: Areopagitica: A speech of Mr. John Milton for the Liberty of Unlicensed Printing to the Parliament of England), an argument for freedom of expression and against censorship.
Quote: “[T]hough all the winds of doctrine were let loose to play on the earth, so Truth be in the field, we do injuriously, by licensing and prohibiting, to misdoubt her strength. Let her and Falsehood grapple; who ever knew Truth put to the worse, in a free and open encounter?”
Related Topics: CensorshipFreedom of Expression
November 23, 1793  
A slave insurrection breaks out in St. John, in the Danish West Indies. The rebellion turns into one of the longest slave revolts in the Americas. Akwamu slaves capture the fort in Coral Bay and take control of most of the island. The revolt ends in mid-1734 when French and Swiss troops sent from Martinique defeat the rebels.
Related Topics: Slave RevoltsWest Indies
November 23, 1837
The first major armed clash in the 1837-38 Rebellion in Lower Canada takes place.
November 23, 1887  
The Thibodaux Massacre: Armed white vigilantes attack striking black sugercane workers in Thibodaux, Louisiana. The number of dead is unknown, but may have been in the hundreds. Vigilante gangs rampage through the town, killing not only unarmed workers, but their families, including women, children, and the elderly. No one is ever charged for any of the killings.
Related Topics: Massacres

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For more information about people and events in Seeds of Fire, explore these pages: