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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July 8, 1853  
An American naval squadron under Commander Matthew Perry sails into Japanese waters and threatens to bombard Japanese cities unless Japan agrees to a treaty of “peace and friendship” which will give American business interests access to Japan. Unable to stand up to American military power, the Japanese government submits to American ‘friendship’, but also resolves to build up its own industry and military capabilities.
July 8, 1867
Birth of Käthe Kollwitz (1867-1945), German artist, known especially for her portrayals of the victims of poverty and war.
Related Topics: Artists
July 8, 1875
Birth of Ernst Bloch (1885-1977), German Marxist philosopher and utopian thinker.
Related Topics: Utopian Socialism
July 8, 1900  
The Fraser River Fishermen’s Strike. Fishermen who work for 47 salmon canneries along the lower Fraser River go on strike, asking for a season-long minimum price of 25 cents. Under the existing system, the price canneries paid dropped as catches increased. The fishermen include whites, natives, and Japanese, and the canners association, backed by the provincial government, tries to sew division among them while at the same time bringing out police and militia to break the strike by force.
The strikers hold out, and, by the end of July, achieve a season’s price that is less than they were asking, but still a substantial improvement over the previous arrangement.
July 8, 1917  
The Women’s Peace Crusade protests against the first World War in Glasgow, Scotland. Processions from two sides of the city, accompanied by bands and banners, wind their way toward the Glasgow Green where they merge into one demonstration of some 14,000 people.
Related Topics: Anti-War Movement

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