When the River City Was Red

Commemorating the General Strike of 1877

“All you have to do, gentlemen –  for you have the numbers -is to unite on one idea: that workingmen shall rule the country. What man makes belongs to him, and the workingmen made this country”



The 1877 St. Louis General Strike grew out of the Great Railroad Strike of 1877. When the railroad strike reached East St. Louis, Illinois in July 1877, the St. Louis Workingman’s Party led a group of approximately 500 people across the river in an act of solidarity with the nearly 1,000 workers on strike. The party transformed, through speeches and organization, an initial strike among railroad workers into a strike by thousands of workers in several industries for the eight-hour day and a ban on child labor.