This Day in History

July 5, 1935: National Labor Relations Act Passed

Time Periods: Prosperity, Depression, & World War II: 1920 - 1944
Themes: Labor

On July 5, 1935, the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA or Wagner Act) was signed into law.

One of the clauses states:

Employees shall have the right to self-organization, to form, join, or assist labor organizations, to bargain collectively through representatives of their own choosing, and to engage in other concerted activities for the purpose of collective bargaining or other mutual aid and protection.

Secretary of Labor Frances Perkins, having personally witnessed workers jump to their death during the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire, played a major role in getting the legislation passed.

In the photo to the right, Perkins is inspecting a mine.

Below are lessons and other resources for teaching about labor history. We also recommend an article by Adam Sanchez in Rethinking Schools on teaching outside the textbook about the New Deal.