Today in labor history: Anarchist fails to kill steel magnate


On July 23, 1892 Alexander Berkman took a shot at and stabbed but failed to kill Henry Clay Frick, the steel magnate.

Berkman tied to kill the wealthy industrialist to avenge the Homestead, Pa. massacre that took place 18 days earlier. Nine striking workers had been killed.

The suicide bomb that Berkman had attached to himself also failed to detonate.

The Homestead strike began when the steel magnate Andrew Carnegie reduced wages at this steel mill in Homestead, Pa. and the union workers refused to accept the cut. On July 6 company the company goons he hired attacked the workers killing ten.

Photo: Berkman addresses a May Day rally in New York, circa 1914.   Wikipedia/George Grantham Bain Collection