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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March 1, 1562
French Huguenots (Protestants) in Vassy are massacred by French troops commanded by the Duke of Guise.
Related Topics: HuguenotsMassacresReligious Persecution
March 1, 1886
Start of the Great Southwest Railway Strike: a strike against the Union Pacific and Missouri Pacific railroads involving more than 200,000 workers. Jay Gould, the immensely rich and powerful railway owner, brings in large numbers of scabs to break the strike. He hires private security firms to break up union meetings, beat up union members and sympathizers, and commit acts of violence for which union members are then falsely blamed. Said Gould, “I can hire one half of the working class to kill the other half.” Faced with massive and violent repression from the employers and the state, the strike ultimately fails. The failure leads to the collapse of the Knights of Labor, and to the formation of a new union federation, the American Federation of Labor.
March 1919
Publication of Ten Days That Shook the World, John Reed’s account of the Russian Revolution.
Related Topics: Russian Revolution
March 1949
The first issue of Socialisme ou Barbarie, a left-Marxist libertarian socialist journal, appears in France. Published from 1948 to 1965, Socialisme ou Barbarie is critical of Leninism, rejects the idea of a revolutionary party, places an emphasis on the importance of workers’ councils, and sees the daily struggles of working people as creating the true content of socialism.
Related Topics: Libertarian Socialism
March 1, 1954
Four Puerto Rican nationalists attack the U.S. Congress in an attempt to highlight Puerto Rico’s struggle for independence from U.S. rule.
Related Topics: Puerto RicoU.S. Imperialism
March 1, 1968
The Battle of Valle Giulia, a clash between Italian left-wing militants and the police at Valle Giulia, in Rome, with students battling the police who have taken control of the Faculty of Architecture. 148 policemen and 478 students are wounded, 232 people are arrested.
Related Topics: ItalyPolice ViolenceRiots

January  February  March  April  May  June  July  August  September  October  November  December
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For more information about people and events in Seeds of Fire, explore these pages: