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Jump Back in Time Reconstruction (1866-1877)
A flyer informing workers of a mass meeting
A flyer informing workers of a meeting that was to end in the Haymarket Riot

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National Labor Union Requested an Eight-Hour Workday
August 20, 1866

In the 1870s and early 1880s, a group called the Knights of Labor was more successful with its efforts to reform labor laws. In 1886, the Knights of Labor included 700,000 laborers, shopkeepers, and farmers. The union discouraged strikes and instead promoted changing society.

But in 1886, a series of violent strikes waged by railroad workers hurt the union's reputation. In May, police were called in when fighting broke out between striking workers and strikebreakers at the McCormick Harvesting Machine Company in Haymarket, Illinois. Two union men were shot by police, and an explosion killed seven policemen. The outbreak became known as the Haymarket Riot.

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