Wisconsin History Day By Day

Related Web Sites:
The Bay View Tragedy

An Eclectic List of Events in U.S. Labor History

Read More About It

"The Wisconsin National Guard in the Milwaukee Riots of 1886" Wisconsin Magazine of History 1971 by Jerry M. Cooper

"The Bay View Tragedy of May 5, 1886," Workers in Wisconsin History by Howard Zinn

"The Bayview Massacre of 1886" (video) by Wisconsin Labor History Society



Interesting Fact:

The shooting at Bay View took place one day after the famous Haymarket Riot in Chicago where a bomb killed seven policemen and one bystander during a labor protest.

Study Questions:

  • What was the eight hour day movement?
  • What was the response to the shootings?
  • Wre there other areas of labor unrest in Wisconsin during the late 19th century? If so, whre and what did they involve?

    U.S. historical events that occurred on May 1:

    1931: The Empire State Building is dedicated.
    1960: An American U-2 spy plane is shot down over the Soviet Union.

  • May 1

    May 1, 1886: Worker unrest was growing in the Milwaukee area due in part to the wide-spread eight hour day movement. By May 3 nearly 14,000 workers were on strike in Milwaukee causing Gov. Rusk to dispatch 17 companies of militia. On May 5 rioting broke out at the Illinois Steel Co. in Bayview where the nervous militia fired into the mob, killing five. Rusk answered his critics by saying, "I seen my duty and I done it."

    Milwaukee Daily, May 5, 1886

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