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Vol. 74/No. 28      July 26, 2010

25, 50 and 75 years ago
July 26, 1985
The Reagan administration has launched a new, direct challenge to women's constitutional right to abortion.

In a brief filed July 15 urging the Supreme Court to uphold state laws restricting access to abortion in Pennsylvania and Illinois, the Justice Department calls on the court to overturn the historic 1973 decision in Roe vs. Wade that legalized abortion.

That Supreme Court ruling registered the most important gain for women's rights in decades. It recognized abortion as the constitutional right of a woman, legalized abortion through the first 24 weeks of pregnancy, and struck down all laws that restricted that right.

The right to control our own bodies is the most fundamental right of women. Precisely because of the stakes involved, the right to abortion has been the target of bipartisan attack since the day it was won.  
July 25-August 1, 1960
Unemployment rose by about 1,000,000 in June, according to government reports. The total jobless figure is near 4,500,000.

This June's rise in unemployment is greater than usual. Exceptionally large number of students have flooded the labor market. The inability of students and school graduates to find jobs is itself a symptom of slackening in the economy.

Unemployment is especially bad in the steel industry. According to Steel Labor, jobs are near the lowest level in the last 20 years.

U.S. Steel profits reached near-record heights. The steel trust showed net profits of $112.6 million for the first quarter of 1960, an annual rate of $450 million. This would top the prior record of $419 million profit in 1951.

"It is increasingly evident," observed United Steel Workers president McDonald, "that even at a fifty per cent operating rate, the industry can realize highly satisfactory profits."  
July 27, 1935
Though a surprise to the outside world the declaration of the general strike was no surprise at all to the workers of Terre Haute [Indiana]. For seventeen long weeks a battle had been in progress between the Enameling and Stamping Plant and its employees. Their strike had gained the support and admiration of the workers in all crafts and unions. And where three days ago fifty-eight armed guards marched a crew of scabs into the plant, the labor movement rose to action.

A conference of unions took place and the workers left their jobs to a man. The town was tied up tight as a drum. From gasoline station attendants to retail clerks no one worked. Even the printing crafts, which with the abominable attitude that characterizes the so-called "aristocracy of labor" refused to join the swelling ranks, could not print the labor-hating newspapers because the teamsters would not deliver paper for the rags.  
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