Rise of the I.W.W.
In 1905 a handful of the nation's most radical political and labor figures met in Chicago. Featuring "Big" Bill Haywood of the Western Federation of Miners and Eugene V. Debs of the Socialist party, the group aimed to ignite a grassroots fire that would sweep the nation and burn down a system they viewed as evil.
The industrial workers of the world – the I.W.W., also known by their nickname of Wobblies– would prove to be the most radical and militant movement in the nation's labor history.
Fresh from his acquittal on murder charges in Idaho, Bill Haywood soon became a driving force for the Wobblies. Convinced that the Western Federation of Miners was not the answer, Haywood wanted the I.W.W. to represent all workers in one big union. . .and have that union clash head-on with the centers of power in America.
(Courtesy: Library of Congress)